Credit: Roman Kruchinin/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Image
Credit Roman Kruchinin/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Image

UNICS Kazan (9-2) improved to the best record in the VTB United League, defeating Nizhny Novgorod (5-6) at home 85-71 (25-26, 18-11, 24-22, 18-12).

Free throws this season

Points made: 10,2
Accuracy: 72,9%
Place in standings: 18
Record max: 24
Record min: 1
Most made FTs: Mario Hezonja

It was a tight first quarter, but Nizhny Novgorod came out on top by one point (26-25). However, UNICS went on a 7-0 run in the second, securing a double-digit advantage (43-33). The hosts were up by six going into halftime (43-37).

Nizhny Novgorod cut their deficit to two in the third (49-51), but the hosts pushed back, regaining an 11-point advantage (62-51). Ilya Platonov cut Nizhny's deficit to 10 at the halfway mark of the fourth period, but that turned out to be the visitors' best effort.

UNICS were solid down the stretch, not leaving any doubts about the winner of this game, and came away with a 14-point victory.

Mario Hezonja and Isaiah Canaan led UNICS in scoring, putting up 20 points each. Hezonja (8/13 2PT, 1/9 3PT, 1/2 FT) also grabbed 8 rebounds, dished 4 assists, secured 3 steals, ending with 21 PIR.

Canaan (0/2 2PT, 5/8 3PT, 5/6 FT) added 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, and 18 PIR.

UNICS played without John Brown, O.J. Mayo, Jarrell Brantley, and Evgeny Valiev tonight.

UNICS: Mario Hezonja 20 (8 REB, 3 STL), Isaiah Canaan 20, Lorenzo Brown 14 (5 AST), Tonye Jekiri 10 (5 REB), Marco Spissu 9.

Nizhny Novgorod: Ilya Platonov 13 (5 REB), Ivan Srebkov 13 (5 AST), Mikhail Kulagin 11 (7 REB), Anton Astapkovich 8 (6 REB).

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