Milaknis shoots Zalgiris over Brose
Zalgiris Kaunas held on against Brose Bamberg for a tough 88-84 victory at Zalgirio Arena on Tuesday. The Lithuanian champs boosted their record to 8-5 while knocking Brose down to 6-7. Arturas Milaknis starred for the winners with career-highs of 20 points and 6 three-pointers made to lead an excellent long-range Zalgiris attack that connected on 10 of 19 from downtown (52.6%). Paulius Jankunas scored 8 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, Antanas Kavaliauskas added 15 points and Kevin Pangos tallied 11 points and 6 assists. Dorell Wright paced the German champs with 22 points, Daniel Hackett scored 17, Maodo Lo 14, Leon Radosevic 11 and Nikos Zisis accounted for 8 points and 9 assists in defeat.
Aggressive and physical defense did not allow either team any clean looks in the early going; Hackett’s three-pointer was the game’s first basket after more than three minutes of action. A mid-range jumper and lefty layup by Radosevic gave Brose a 4-7 edge midway through the opening quarter. Wright came off the bench for 8 points in a 0-9 Brose run to make it 6-16. After a Zalgiris timeout, back-to-back three-pointers by Aaron White and Milaknis brought the hosts right back. Pangos added another triple as Zalgiris drew within 21-22 after 10 minutes. Vasilije Micic opened the second quarter with a three that put Zalgiris back ahead. The lead changed hands a few times before Milaknis heated up with 5 points in a 7-0 spurt for a 33-27 advantage. The lead twice reached 7, but Brose came back to tie it at 44-44 on Hackett free throws. Zalgiris went back on top through a series of free throws and Ricky Hickman’s layup ended the half at 50-49.
Milaknis buried his fourth three early in the second half and his fifth made it 61-54 and prompted a Brose timeout. However the stoppage did not get Brose going and another Milaknis triple, which was followed by a big Brandon Davies block, gave Zalgiris a double-digit margin, 64-54. Brose quickly regrouped with 7 unanswered points to get back in the game. A fourth three-pointer by Wright made it 66-64. Back-to-back threes by Lo completed the comeback. After Jankunas free throws, Lo beat the buzzer with a layup to keep things even, 72-72, through three quarters. Pangos used a pair of layups to gain a 79-74 advantage for his team. Rubit fouled out with five minutes to go, but Brose stayed close on Hackett free throws that closed the gap to 80-79 with 3:39 on the clock. Jankunas responded with a basket-plus-foul and a little later brought the crowd to its feet with a triple that made it a 7-point lead. Hackett had Brose back in it with a three with 25 seconds left to make it 86-84, but Aaron White all but iced the victory with a pair of free throws with 10.7 seconds remaining.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017