Credit: IMAGO/camera4+-SCANPIX
Credit IMAGO/camera4+-SCANPIX

In a tough fight between two playoffs contenders, ALBA Berlin (10-14) managed to edge out the visitors Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (11-14) 74-70 (24-15, 13-20, 21-22, 16-13).

Player of the Game
Luke  Sikma
EFF
23
Luke Sikma
Points 13
Accuracy 5-9
Rebounds 9
Assists 2

ALBA were leading by one (58-57) before the last quarter of the game. Like the whole second half, the game went neck-on-neck in the final tally.

Nate Wolters reduced Zvezda's deficit to three points (67-70) with 1:40 to go but Ben Lammers answered him on the other end (72-67).

Luka Mitrovic committed an offensive foul and ALBA seemed to have a comfortable time. However, Maodo Lo missed the three-pointer, while Dejan Davidovac sank a crucial triple for the Red Star (70-72).

Luke Sikma came for the rescue, as he was fouled and made a two-possession game (74-70) with 22.7 seconds to play. ALBA got a game-clinching stop, as Nate Wolters' layup was off the mark.

Maodo Lo was spectacular for the Germans, registering 22 points (4/8 2PT, 3/7 3PT, 5/8 FT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, and 23 PIR.

Luke Sikma aided him with 13 points (4/6 2PT, 1/3 3PT, 2/2 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, and 23 PIR as well.

"Congratulations to my players for their effort in a very tough game. It was very difficult against one of the best defensive teams in the league. We had a new challenge with new missing players. The situation is really difficult for us the whole season. The only way to handle this is to play together as we do and to play with the values that make us strong," Israel Gonzalez spoke post-game.

Nate Wolters played the lead role for the Serbian powerhouse. He finished the game with 18 points (9/11 2PT, 0/1 3PT), 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and 20 PIR.

"Congrats to ALBA for the win. In the beginning, we played very bad defensively. We made so many mistakes and our focus was not good. In the next 10 minutes, it was totally different. In the second half, it was a possession-by-possession, point-by-point game. In the end, we allowed some very important points after offensive rebounds," Dejan Radonjic told.

Maodo Lo and Jaleen Smith-led ALBA closed the first half on a high note, arranging a 15-4 run and gaining a nine-point advantage (24-15).

Though, the success was temporary, as Crvena Zvezda responded at the start of the second. Dejan Davidovac, Nate Wolters, and Ognjen Dobric guided the Red Star to a 15-3 push to take the upper hand (32-31). ALBA managed to get in front again before half-time, taking the lead by 2 (37-35).

ALBA: Maodo Lo 22, Jaleen Smith 17, Luke Sikma 13 (9 REB).

Zvezda: Nate Wolters 18 (5 AST), Nikola Kalinic 13, Ognjen Dobric 12, Dejan Davidovac 11.

Highlights

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ALBA Berlin
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade
49%
28/57
Field goals
47%
26/55
36
Rebounds
26
12
Assists
15
8
Steals
7
71%
10/14
Free throws
63%
12/19
20
Fouls
22

Best players

Maodo  Lo
22 PTS
7/15 FG
5/8 FT
Nate  Wolters
18 PTS
9/12 FG
0/0 FT
Luke  Sikma
9 REB
5 DREB
4 OREB
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade
Few players
4 REB
Maodo  Lo
4 As
2 TO
32 MIN
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade
Few players
5 As
Luke  Sikma
23 EFF
67% 2P%
33% 3P%
Nate  Wolters
20 EFF
82% 2P%
0% 3P%