Zalgiris routs Galatasaray
Zalgiris Kaunas stormed out of the gate, leading from start to finish to beat visiting Galatasary Liv Hospital Istanbul 72-59 on Thursday. Zalgiris opened the game with an 18-3 lead and the visitors never came closer than 9 points the rest of the way as the hosts improved to 3-5 in Group E. Galatasaray dropped to 2-6. Zalgiris held a 42-24 advantage at halftime and the margin reached 20 points immediately after the break. Kerem Gonlum and Sinan Guler rallied Galatasaray within 62-53, but Zalgiris stepped it up on defense in the fourth quarter before Edgaras Ulanovas sealed it with 9 consecutive points. Paulius Jankunas led the winners with 12 points and 9 rebounds, while Ulanovas scored 9 of his 11 points in the final five minutes of the game. Will Cherry netted 10 points and had 4 steals in victory. Guler picked up 16 points and 7 rebounds in defeat, while Gonlum collected 13 points and 10 boards. Justin Carter also scored 13 for Galatasaray.
First quarter: Hosts storm out of the gate
Jankunas opened the scoring with a long jumper, and Ulanovas scored a put-back for a 4-0 lead. Patric Young split free throws to open Galatasaray's tally, but the visitors failed to score a field goal on their first 11 possessions. During that span, a steal from Ulanovas led to an easy dunk from James Anderson. Cherry hit a triple and Jankunas made another long jumper. Cherry fed Jankunas for a layup and a 13-1 lead, before Gonlum made a put-back to end Galatasaray’s drought. He also registered his 400th offensive rebound, becoming just the second player in competition history to accomplish this feat. However, a pair of baskets from Darius Songaila and a three-pointer from Cherry made it 20-3. Kristijan Nikolov made a pair of free throws for Galatasaray – his first ever Euroleague points – before Guler and Lukas Lekavicius traded triples to make it 23-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Second quarter: Zalgiris keeps control and big lead
Arturas Milaknis opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, but Guler answered with a long-range shot of his own. A close-range basket from Siim-Sander Vene and a driving layup from Anderson made it 30-11. Guler drove for a layup on the other end, then made a steal and enabled Carter a fastbreak dunk. Gonlum’s tip-in cut it to 30-18, before Lekavicius drove to the hoop to snap a 0-7 spurt. Guler drove for another layup, but Songaila scored an easy layup, and Cherry finished a fast break with a three-pointer for 38-21. Songaila banked-in a jumper, but Gonlum answered with a baseline dunk before Robertas Javtokas finished the quarter with a basket inside for 42-24 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Gonlum and Guler fuel Galatasaray’s run
The lead reached 20 points with a Jankunas put-back at the start of the third. Vladimir Micov drove for a layup, and after Jankunas made another put-back, Carter buried a jumper to make it 46-28. Gonlum scored inside, before Guler made a steal and raced for a dunk. Milaknis nailed a three-pointer, but Guler scored another basket, and Micov added a pair of free throws. Jankunas hit a jumper, but Carter bettered that with a big dunk-plus-free throw, and Gonlum hit an off-balance jumper, 51-41. After a timeout, Vene hit a corner triple, but Gonlum beat the buzzer with a put-back dunk to cut it to 54-43.
Fourth quarter: Ulanovas puts the visitors away
Anderson opened the quarter with a tip-in, and after Micov scored inside on the other end, Anderson drove for a dunk, and Lekavicius drove for a layup, 60-45. Carter scored free throws and a fastbreak dunk. After a jumper from Javtokas, a triple followed by a free throws from Zoran Erceg cut it to 62-53. But Zalgiris stepped up on defense, not allowing another field goal for more than six minutes. Ulanovas pushed the margin back into the double figures from the free throw line, and after neither team managed to score, he hit a jumper and back-to-back triples to make it 71-55. That sealed the deal. Carter had another dunk, ending Galatasaray’s field goal drought, but it was too little too late as Zalgiris closed out the game.
Thursday, February 26, 2015