Credit: Yegor Aleyev/TASS - Scanpix
Credit Yegor Aleyev/TASS - Scanpix

Zenit Saint Petersburg's (7-2) great offensive game, fostered by their dominance on the offensive boards led Xavi Pascual's squad to a blowout 97-81 (25-21, 32-27, 18-17, 22-16) win over UNICS Kazan (8-2). 

Zenit ended their rivals' five-game winning streak, despite playing without Conner Frankamp and Denis Zakharov who are dealing with injury problems, while Dmitry Kulagin and Jordan Loyd missed the last games with a fever. Jordan Mickey and Mindaugas Kuzminskas were also out for the hosts.

UNICS, on the other hand, missed out on the opportunity to overtake Avtodor, which had the same record before tonight's game (8-1).

Billy Baron had his season-best performance with 27 points on 6/11 three-pointers, while Alex Poythress was also imposing with 21 points and 6 rebounds. For Zenit, Arturas Gudaitis was also in double-digits (14 points).

The hosts grabbed 18 offensive boards, overpowering UNICS in that department (6), and had 23 assists for only 9 turnovers. Mateusz Ponitika dished out 8 dimes and Andrey Zubkov came close to a double-double (9 points, 8 rebounds).

On those conditions, nothing could go wrong for Zenit. However, despite the big margin, the contest was nothing short of competitive in the first 30 minutes.

Billy Baron made it 57-48 at half-time for Zenit, as the first part turned into a three-point contest (9/21 for Zenit-6/11 for UNICS). Velimir Perasovic's team bounced back within four minutes (59-59), largely thanks to Andrey Vorontsevich.

Baron helped Zenit regain the lead (67-63), before the hosts made a 14-0 run that gave them a huge 81-65 advantage. Poythress and Gudaitis finished off several plays near the basket, allowing their team to close the game in a rather carefree manner.

UNICS, fresh off their overtime loss to FC Barcelona, collapsed in the last 12 minutes and without big men John Brown, Tonye Jekiri, stood no chance when Zenit started to roll. Mario Hezonja scored 18 points and Lorenzo Brown contributed with another 17 for the losing side.

Zenit Saint Petersburg: Billy Baron 27 (8/14 FG, 6/11 3-PT SHOTS, 5/5 FT, 3 AST), Alex Poythress 21 (8/10 FG, 5/5 FT, 6 REB, 2 AST), Arturas Gudaitis 14 (5/7 FG, 4/7 FT, 9 REB), Andrey Zubkov 9.

UNICS Kazan: Mario Hezonja 18 (8/14 FG, 1/3 FT, 9 REB, 3 AST), Lorenzo Brown 17 (5/12 FG, 4/4 FT, 3 REB, 5 AST, 2 TO), Isaiah Canaan 12 (4/7 FG, 2/4 FT), Andrey Vorontsevich 7, Anton Klimenko 7.

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Points this season

Points made: 73,5
Accuracy: 45,9%
Place in standings: 13
Record max: 90
Record min: 58
Best scorer: Jordan Loyd