Zvezda bests Valencia on Brown's buzzer-beater
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade picked up its second consecutive victory by edging Valencia Basket 76-73 on Thursday night at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in the Serbian capital on the strength of Lorenzo Brown's game-winning buzzer-beating three-pointer. Lorenzo Brown starred even before that and finished with 19 points and 6 assists in leading Zvezda to victory in new head coach Dragan Sakota's first game back on the job. Branko Lazic added 14 points in helping Zvezda lift its record to 4-7. The result also ended Valencia's three-game winning streak and dropped its record to 4-7. Bojan Dubljevic matched his career-high with 22 points for Valencia, Belgrade native Vanja Marinkovic added 11 points and Alberto Abalde scored 10.
Lorenzo Brown delivered a pair of assists and Valencia committed turnovers on its first three possessions as the hosts took control. Belgrade native Marinkovic got Valencia on the scoreboard, but Lorenzo Brown's first basket made it 8-2. Lazic added a three-pointer before issues with the shot clock caused a 45-minute game stop after 4 and a half minutes of gameplay with Zvezda in charge 11-4. The break suited Valencia fine as the visitors regrouped and through Dubljevic and Marinkovic rallied to tie the game at 15-15. Jordan Loyd scored twice in the final minute of the opening quarter to give Valencia its first lead, 17-19. The big guys on both teams traded shots early in the quarter before Charles Jenkins put the hosts back ahead, 26-25. The lead continued to switch hands until Abalde struck from dow town to make it 30-34. Dubljevic and Abalde stretched the margin to 6 before Billy Baron free throws made it 37-41 at the break. Lorenzo Brown dished 3 assists and scored 5 points in an 11-2 start to the second half. Jenkins produced highlights at both ends in a 10-0 run that gave Zvezda the game's first double-digit lead, 58-47. Like in the early going, Marinkovic stepped up for Valencia, but he was less successful in the third quarter, which ended 60-51 in the home team's favor. Valencia came out refocused for the fourth quarter and scored 8 straight points to get within 1. Baron, who was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul during the Valencia run, made amends by connecting from downtown, however, back-to-back Dubljevic threes pushed Valencia in front, 63-65. Lorenzo Brown kept Zvezda in the game; his layup made it 69-70 with a little less than 3 minutes to go and his free throws tied it at 71-71 with 1:48 to play. On Zvezda's next possession, Ojo put the hosts ahead with free throws. Guillem Vives took on the entire Zvezda defense and came away with a fantastic game-tying layup. The game would come down to the final seconds and Lorenzo Brown rose to the occasion with a step-back three-pointer on the buzzer to win it.
Lorenzo Brown was already enjoying one of the best games of his premier EuroLeague season before he hoisted up the game-winning three-pointer on the buzzer. When that went in, it sealed a memorable night for the Zvezda guard, who finished with a personal-best 19 points plus 6 assists for a performance index rating of 21. He was perfect on 5 free throws and shot 4 for 7 on two-pointers and 2 for 4 on threes. Lorenzo Brown scored 10 points in the fourth quarter alone, including 7 in the final 3 minutes.
Dubljevic matches career-high
Valencia big man Bojan Dubljevic has now topped the 20-point mark three times in his career and two of those have been against Crvena Zvezda. He first did so nearly five years ago, in December 2014, with 22 points in Valencia. He also matched a career-best in performance index rating with 29 in this game. He also had a PIR of 29 one week ago in Round 10 against Khimki Moscow Region.
Did you know?
This game was the fifth meeting between the clubs in the EuroLeague and Zvezda is now 5-0 in those games.
Both teams will be on the road for Round 12 on Thursday, December 5. Zvezda will take its modest two-game winning streak to Italy to challenge AX Armani Exchange Milan. Valencia visits Spanish League foe Real Madrid.
Thursday, November 28, 2019