Marjanovic leads Crvena Zvezda to final road win
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade finished its 2013-14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in style by thrashing Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 75-99 in the Lithuanian capital on Friday. Zvezda finished fifth in Group D with a 4-6 record while Rytas was sixth at 1-9. Both teams were eliminated before the game and will carry on playing European competitions this season in the Eurocup Last 32. Boban Marjanovic paced the winners with 25 points on 11-of-13 two-point shooting and 11 rebounds in less than 18 minutes. DeMarcus Nelson added 12 points, Blake Schilb scored 11, while Rasko Katic and Jaka Blazic each had 10 for Zvezda. Juan Palacios led Rytas with 26 points. Martynas Gecevicius added 16 while Zab Dowdell had 10 for the hosts. Marjanovic had 11 points and 8 rebounds in a first quarter in which Zvezda went 13 of 15 from two-point range to take a 17-28 lead after 10 minutes. Zvezda boosted its margin to 30-51 at halftime and then again to 36-71 on a wild alley-oop tip-in by Schilb. Rytas never gave up, but Zvezda kept a safe margin all the way until the final buzzer.
First quarter: Dominant Marjanovic pus Zvezda in control
Marjanovic got Zvezda going with a close basket and a layup by Marko Teic soon gave the guests a 0-4 lead. Nelson sank a jumper and Blake buried a five-meter shot. Rytas kept struggling to score and a jumper by Marjanovic forced Coach Aleksandar Petrovic to call timeout at 0-10. Marjanovic picked up a loose ball and dunk to cap a 0-12 run, before Juan Palacios stepped up with a three-point play. Marjanovic kept excelling with a two-handed slam. Darius Songaila and Dowdell brought the hosts closer, 7-14. Palacios hit a mid-range shot, but Marjanovic scored again and a dunk by Ivan Radenovic boosted Zvezda's lead to 9-18. Dowdell nailed a jumper that Marjanovic erased with a put-back slam. Gecevicius made free throws. Schilb hit a floating jumper and a driving layup by Blazic made it a 12-point game. After Katic free throws, Stevan Jelovac and Blazic traded baskets. Renaldas Seibutis kept the hosts within 17-28 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Visitors pull away
Blazic split free throws early in the second quarter and Charles Jenkins soon gave Zvezda a 17-30 lead. Tejic scored in penetration, as the guests kept L. Rytas scoreless for more than two minutes. Blazic boosted Zvezda's margin to 17-34. Songaila and Katic traded baskets and a baseline jumper by Gecevicius got the hosts within 21-36. Marko Simonovic struck from downtown, but Songaila matched that with a layup-plus-foul. Radenovic swished a six-meter jumper from the left corner, which Gecevicius matched with foul shots. Zvezda suddenly had trouble getting Marjanovic involved. A layup by Dowdell gave Rytas hope at 28-41. Zvezda called timeout and Nelson hit a one-handed floater, which Gecevicius matched with more free throws. Marjanovic scored down low and a fast break layup by Radenovic restored a healthy Zvezda margin. Back-to-back dunks by Marjanovic boosted Zvezda's margin to 30-51 at halftime.
Third quarter: The big man takes care of business
Palacios made free throws immediately after the break, but Marjanovic kept pushing Zvezda forward with a turnaround jumper. Palacios insisted with a floating jumper, which Jenkins bettered with a three-pointer for a 34-56 Zvezda margin. Marjanovic followed a layup with free throws and Nelson struck from downtown to cap a 0-10 run. Palacios stepped up with a baseline jumper, but Schilb nailed a corner triple and Nelson hit another one – from the same exact spot – prompting Rytas to call timeout at 36-69. Schilb took over with an off-balance tip-in and Nelson soon made it a 35-point game. Palacios followed free throws with a layup and a jumper by Jelovac got the hosts closer, 44-73. Schilb hit a jumper, but free throws by Steponas Babrauskas and a layup by Dowdell kept Rytas within 48-75. Katic scored down low and split free throws, but Seibutis and Palacios brought the guests a bit closer, 51-78, after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Zvezda cruises to big road win
Jenkins nailed a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter, as Rytas had trouble organizing its offense without Cook and Seibutis on court. A tip-in by Katic made it 51-83. Jelovac tried to change things with a fallaway jumper and Gecevicius struck from downtown. Jenkins stepped up with a jumper. Babrauskas made free throws and Dowdell scored in penetration. Katic scored again, as Zvezda kept playing with high intensity on defense. Palacios, however, shined with a three-point play, but by the time Dusan Ristic made free throws, everything was said and done.
Friday, December 20, 2013