Veteran sharpshooter Nik Stauskas, playing in his debut season in the competition, has been on fire lately and his performance Thursday night led KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz to a tough road win at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Stauskas missed only two field goals for the game, including shooting 4 of 5 from three-point range and netting a season-high 22 points in a 64-72 win.
"My teammates made an effort to get me the ball and I was feeling good," Stauskas said after the game in the Serbian capital. "They got me a couple of open looks and once I saw the ball go in a couple of times, my confidence just continued to grow."
Stauskas, however, seemed to have found his confidence well before this clash. This was the third consecutive game in which he made 4 three-pointers and he is shooting 12 for 19 from downtown (63.2%) over that stretch.
This has gone a bit under the radar because Baskonia was coming off back-to-back losses of 25 or more points, having allowed 100 or more points against each of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and Anadolu Efes Istanbul. However, on Thursday night in Belgrade, Baskonia held the hosts to 64 points, which was already the sixth time this season Baskonia allowed 66 or fewer points in a game.
Baskonia was especially impressive in the third quarter. Zvezda scored baskets from close range on its first and last possessions of the quarter, respectively, but during 9 minutes in between Baskonia held the home team to just 8 points on 1-for-11 field goal shooting, while forcing 5 turnovers.
And when Baskonia did almost everything right defensively, another big shooting night from Stauskas finally made the difference.