Simonovic, Jenkins lead Zvezda past Panionios
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade moved up to 2-1 in Last 32 Group L by downing Panionios Athens 84-64 in the Serbian capital on Wednesday. Zvezda stayed undefeated at home while Panionios dropped to 0-3 and may run out of chances to advance with its next loss. Marko Simonovic paced the winners with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Charles Jenkins added 16 points, Jaka Blazic had 11, Boban Marjanovic got 10 and 11 rebounds while DeMarcus Nelson dished 11 assists for Zvezda. Errick McCollum led Panionios with 11 points. Kevin Langford and Marc Antonio Carter allowed Panionios to get an early 9-15 lead. Nelson and Jaka Blazic stepped up for Zvezda but a three-pointer by Carter gave Panionios a 34-35 edge near halftime. Jenkins, Nelson and Marjanovic fueled a 16-0 run that put Zvezda ahead for good, 50-35. Nothing changed since that moment, as Zvezda kept a 61-47 margin after 30 minutes and cruised to a well-deserved win.
Carter got Panionios with a three-pointer by Simonovic and a basket Ivan Radenovic soon gave Zvezda its first lead, 5-3. Guy-Marc Michel and Langford fueled a 0-7 run for a 5-10 Panionios lead. Blazic and Nelson stepped up with consecutive layups but Mario Batis and McCollum made the hosts call timeout at 9-15. Jenkins shined with back-to-back baskets by Langford kept Panionios ahead, 13-19. A three-pointer by Nelson fixed the score at 16-19 after 10 minutes. Rasko Katic scored down low early in the second quarter and Radenovic soon tied it at 20-20. Batis struck again from downtown but Blazic singlehandedly put Zvezda back ahead, 25-24. Katic took over with a three-point play, Gaios Skordilis dunked and a jumper by Jenkins boosted the hosts' lead to 30-26. Panionios kept going to the foul line often and free throws by Batis, McCollum and Milbourne tied it at 32-32. Jenkins scored again but Carter did better with a triple. A jumper by Tadija Dragicevic and a three-point play by Jenkins gave Zvezda a 39-35 edge at halftime.
Zvezda improved its defense after the break while Radenovic, Marjanovic and Simonovic combined for 8 unanswered points to boost the hosts' lead to double digits, 47-35. Panionios could not find the way to the basket and free throws by Nelson and Marjanovic made it a 15-point game, 50-35, after a 16-0 run that bridged between both halves. Skordilis split free throws and McCollum added a basket but Marjanovic and Jenkins kept Zvezda way ahead, 54-38. McCollum kept trying to change things for Panionios but Dragicevic and Simonovic allowed the hosts to get a 61-47 margin after 30 minutes. Simonovic hit a jumper and a three-point play by Marjanovic gave Zvezda a 66-47 margin. Milbourne scored down low, Simonovic hit a three-pointer but Guy-Michel and Uros Duvnjak brought Panionios a bit closer, 71-56. Dragicevic, Simonovic and Jenkins had 11 points in a 12-0 run that sealed the outcome, 82-56, allowing all Zvezda fans to celebrate another home win.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014