Lottomatica Roma scored a clutch road win to stay in the hunt for a spot in the Top 16, beating DKV Joventut 72-83 in Badalona, Spain. The Roma backcourt of Mire Chatman and David Hawkins were too much for the hosts to stop. Roma dominated practically throughout the 40 minutes, as Joventut only managed to jump ahead by one minute at the start of the third quarter with a 43-42. After that, Hawkins and Chatman fired in points to restore the Lottomatica cushion for good. The win lifts Roma to a 5-7 record, tied for fourth place with Unicaja, Cibona and Partizan in Group B. Joventut drops to 7-5 and is tied for second place with Maccabi Elite. Hawkins led the way for Lottomatica with 25 points, Chatman added 18 and Dejan Bodiroga 13 – 5 of them in the two final plays. For Joventut, Charles Gaines had 19 points and Lubos Barton had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Loukas Mavrokefalidis hit a turnaround jumper and Alessandro Tonolli soon fed Bodiroga for a 0-4 Lottomatica start. Bodiroga found another quick basket and Rudy Fernandez could only score for Joventut from the free throw line, 1-6. Barton blasted a three from the corner to make it 6-8, but Hawkins replied with a three-point play to maintain a 6-11 Roma edge. Robert Archibald and Charles Gaines added three fast points for the hosts, but Bodiroga was stellar on offense. Two more free throws by Hawkins made it 9-17 but Dmitry Flis did the same. Lottomatica grew the lead to 11-20. Chatman put the first double-digit lead of the night for the guests with a free throw for 11-21, but Marcelinho Huertas had an easy layup for the hosts after a fastbreak to make it 16-23. There was only time for a Luca Garri layup that closed the first period with a 16-25 Roma lead.
Ognjen Askrabic with a three and Garri with a dunk helped the guests start the second quarter with a 0-5 run, but Barton again broke the spell for Joventut with his own three, 19-30. However, Chatman replied with a three-point play to maintain Roma at a healthy 19-33 as defenses ruled and baskets were scarce. Rudy awakened the stands with his triple, and when the Joventut press defense started working, Barton and Ferran Laviña made two consecutive baskets as the hosts trimmed the deficit down to 27-33. Roma reacted thanks to Chatman and Hawkins, and then Alex Righetti had a three-point play to keep the guests comfortably ahead, 33-40. In the last play of the first half, a Huertas turnover allowed Askrabic to score for a 36-42 Lottomatica edge at the break.
Elmer Bennett opened the third quarter with a triple to Joventut fans' delight, and Archibald added a free throw for 40-42. The run escalated to a 7-0 as Barton allowed Joventut to jump ahead for the first time, 43-42. Hawkins broke the drought for Roma with a three and Chatman had 5 straight points of his own to make it 46-53. Barton tipped in his sixth offensive rebound, maintaining Joventut at a safe distance, but Chatman was on fire and always found the right space to drill baskets. Gaines moved inside for his bucket but Roma played with patience in offense and Garri was left open for a triple that made it 50-58 in minute 28. Joventut was confused in defense and that was used by Hawkins to continue Roma's momentum and forcing a new timeout for the hosts. In the last play of the quarter, Barton found another offensive rebound to make it 52-61 after 30 minutes.
Hawkins continued with his offensive festival to open the last quarter, but Gaines slammed on the other side to re-vindicate Joventut's options. Both teams were nervous now and missed baskets. Hawkins nailed a free throw for the guests and Rudy replied with a long jumper for a 56-64 score. But Lottomatica resisted each strike of the hosts with a Bodiroga that showed his classy experience with an inmense jumper from the side to maintain the lead of the guests over the 10 points, 57-68 in minute 36. Joventut had several chances to turn the game to its favor but 18 turnovers up to that point didn't help. It was Gaines who had 4 straight points including a three-point play to make it 62-68. However Bodiroga stepped up again with a triple to put things back in place and Chatman blasted another for 64-74, smashing all the hopes of the fans in Badalona. Gaines was the only solid option in offense for Joventut as he slammed again, but Righetti went to the corner for a triple that made it 69-81 to break the game open.
Thursday, January 18, 2007