Credit: zalgiris.lt
Credit zalgiris.lt

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (2-1) defeated Zalgiris Kaunas (0-3) 73-61 (13-14, 16-13, 17-15, 27-19) in a Jure Zdovc’s debut at the helm of the Lithuanian champions.

Player of the Game
Nikola  Kalinic
EFF
19
Nikola Kalinic
Points 15
Accuracy 6-11
Rebounds 5
Assists 3

The fourth period started with both teams trading baskets. Zalgiris cut the deficit to two points with 4:24 to play after two Cavanaugh’s threes in a row (58-60).

However, Zvezda made an 8-0 run and gained a 10-point lead (68-58). Kalinic, Hollins buckets, and the lock-down defense sealed the victory for the Belgrade’s club.

Nikola Kalinic was a top performer for Zvezda. He posted 15 points (5/9 2PT, 1/2 3PT, 2/2 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 19 PIR.

“It’s always emotional in front of our fans. They gave us great support,” said Kalinic post-game. “We were struggling, we were a little bit tight, a little bit nervous, but in the end, we won the game, which is most important, and I think we played a good second half, so we can be satisfied.”

Bench boss Dejan Radonjic was happy about his team’s performance: “After the game, the feeling is really good. It’s an important win for us, especially at this moment with all our problems. A very tough game from the beginning till the end of the game.

Our defense was good almost all 40 minutes, but offensively we were much better in the second half. Like I said at halftime, for us, it will be very important for us to play much better on offense, and we did. Congratulations to my players.”

For the losing side, Josh Nebo was dominating under the baskets. He accumulated a double-double performance with 14 points (6/8 2PT, 2/2 FT), 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and 24 PIR.

“The game is 40 minutes, not 38. Actually, we played well,” told new Zalgiris coach Jure Zdovc after the duel. “We were behind 2-3 points, but we lost the momentum, and they took the momentum. In the end, the difference is not realistic. We tried something tactical, let’s say to make a last try to make some big shots. Congratulations to Red Star. We must work and believe.”

Zvezda created the tangible lead in the second part of the third quarter. After Dobric, Kalinic, and Hollins buckets, their advantage reached 8 points (45-37). However, Giffey’s trey and Blazevic’s two-pointer stabilized the positions of Zalgiris Kaunas (42-46).

For Zalgiris, Joffrey Lauvergne missed the game due to a shoulder injury, while Crvena Zvezda did not have big men, Aaron White and Maik Zirbes.

Crvena Zvezda: Nikola Kalinic 15 (5 REB, 3 AST), Ognjen Dobric 13, Luka Mitrovic 12 (7 REB), Nate Wolters 11 (6 REB, 7 AST, 17 PIR), Dejan Davidovac 7.

Zalgiris: Josh Nebo 14 (10 REB), Lukas Lekavicius 11, Niels Giffey 11 (3/5 3PT, 5 REB), Tyler Cavanaugh 8 (4 REB). 

Highlights

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Belgrado Crvena Zvezda
Kauno Žalgiris
44%
27/61
Field goals
42%
23/55
37
Rebounds
30
17
Assists
13
6
Steals
5
1
Blocks
2
17
Fouls
22

Best players

Nikola  Kalinic
15 PTS
6/11 FG
2/2 FT
Josh  Nebo
14 PTS
6/8 FG
2/2 FT
Luka  Mitrovic
7 REB
3 DREB
4 OREB
Josh  Nebo
10 REB
5 DREB
5 OREB
Nate  Wolters
7 As
0 TO
28 MIN
Janis  Strelnieks
4 As
1 TO
24 MIN
Nikola  Kalinic
19 EFF
56% 2P%
50% 3P%
Josh  Nebo
24 EFF
75% 2P%
- 3P%