Bayern repels Baskonia in their first meeting, 77-71
FC Bayern Munich took advantage of their first game ever to put the brakes on KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz with a 77-71 home win on Thursday. Bayern improved to 2-2 while Baskonia fell to 1-3 in the standings. Derrick Williams came off the bench for 22 points, including several key ones late in the game, to lead Bayern. Maodo Lo added 15 points and Nihad Dedovic 14, but it was Bayern's defense that really starred, holding Baskonia to 16.0% three-point shooting. The visitors got 24 points from Vincent Poirier, 16 from Tornike Shengelia and 12 from Matt Janning, but could not overcome 4-for-25 shooting from the arc.
A sole free throw fell through 4 minutes until Stefan Jovic made 2 baskets around his perfect alley-oop pass to Devin Booker. When Lo came on for 2 triples and a high layup, Bayern was on its way to a 20-11 lead after one quarter. Shengelia and Poirier reeled Baskonia back to within 22-19 but Lo and Williams boosted Bayern ahead by 33-26 again. Janning sparked Baskonia's next comeback at 33-32 but Vladimir Lucic and Dedovic led a 10-0 closing run to a 43-32 Bayern advantage at halftime. Baskonia scored in spurts but Bayern answered and kept a 56-45 lead on Lo's free throws. Shengelia's triple brought the visitors within 56-51 but a big three-point play by Williams made it 61-52 after 30 minutes. He came up big, too, with 5 points in an 11-2 fourth-quarter run that ended with Dedovic's three-pointer at 72-56. Baskonia's 0-7 run into the final minute forced a Bayern timeout, but the hosts stayed strong the rest of the way and finished with a big reverse dunk by Williams.
With fellow big man Leon Radosevic out of action and Danilo Barthel hurting, Bayern needed Derrick Williams and he delivered 11 points in each half off the bench, with many big ones in the final 12 minutes, more than balancing Baskonia's strong inside game.
Bayern came into the game as the league's worst rebounding team, but was able to match Baskonia's much bigger frontcourt on both ends of the court. With 11 offensive boards and 24 on defense for a total of 35, Bayern was 1 short of Baskonia, but 12 above its own average going into the game. It was a group effort, too: Barthel, Vladimir Lucic and Devin Booker each had 6.
Baskonia was one of four teams making more than 10 threes per game and one of five shooting 40.0% or more form the arc before Thursday. At the Audi Dome, the visitors couldn't hit a barn and finished 4 for 25 from deep, their 16% rate being their second-lowest in almost four years.
Lo comes alive
After matching his career high with 16 points in Round 3, Maodo Lo came off the bench and hit 2 points in 2 minutes of the first quarter for Bayern's first big lead. He kept it going into the second with 6 more for a total of 13 in under 7 minutes that boosted Bayern's confidence during a key stretch.
Bayern has a tough task in Round 5 when it travels to the Asian side of Istanbul to face perennial finalist Fenerbahce. Meanwhile, Baskonia goes home looking desperately for a win against another Istanbul team, Darussafaka.
Thursday, October 25, 2018