Unics Kazan narrowly defeated Hemofarm Stada 83-84 on Tuesday night at the Centar Millenium in a defining game in Group I. Unics Kazan remain undefeated through three games in the Eurocup Last 16 thanks to an impressive 28-point performance form star guard Terrell Lyday, who was perfect in 5 tries from downtown. Forward Vladimir Veremeenko was equally impressive in the victory with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Kelly McCarty and Maciej Lampe each added 14 points. Hemofarm dropped to 1-2 and complicated its chances to reach the playoffs with the home loss. The hosts could have come away with the win in the final seconds if Boris Savovic had hit his last-second fallaway jumper. The forward played a complete game with 22 points and 8 rebounds recorded, while point guard Miljan Pavkovic scored 19 and dished out 9 assists and forward Mladen Jeremic added 17 points. Hemofarm and Kazan will face each other again in two weeks at the Basket Hall in Kazan.
The hosts enjoyed a strong start to the game, as they moved the ball efficiently and found Savovic for wide-open triples that sparked an 8-1 run. Kazan kept in distance by applying a 3-2 zone defense and Ricky Minard providing an intimidating factor in the paint. Lyday got going on offense for the visitors with a triple that cut the lead to 10-14, while Hemorfarm stayed focused, as jitterbug point guard Pavkovic worked the pick-and-roll beautifully to drain a jumper and then scored on a fast-break layup to make it 18-12. As the pace quickened, Petr Samoylenko swished a triple for Kazan, but it was Savovic who was on fire, converting his third shot from beyond the arc to leave his team leading 24-17 after Mustafa Abdul-Hamid closed the opening quarter with another three-point bomb. The visitors jump-started the second period with a Veremeenko three-point play, and Lyday stayed smooth from the perimeter, hitting a couple of three-pointers to make it 31-29. With both squads playing lock-down defense after that, the game stayed tied for over two minutes at 31-31 after a Veremeenko close-range shot, and only Pavkovic was able to shake things up with a gutsy drive against the lengthy forward. Kazan responded by powering the ball inside to Veremeenko, and the forward came through from the free-throw line to give the visitors their first lead of the game, 33-34. McCarty also got in the mix for Kazan, while Pavkovic was the one keeping Hemofarm within reach the rest of the way. By halftime the score was 37-38.
Lyday showed no rust after the break, getting things going with another three right off the bat, but Hemofarm pressed Saymolenko as he brought the ball up the court, patiently developed its half-court sets and was able to get the lead back with a Jeremic triple that made it 47-45. Jerome Jordan finally got going with a layup off a nifty assist from Pavkovic and, with Vermeenko suddenly gone cold and Lyday taking a back seat, Kazan was appeared pressed for buckets. McCarty and Lampe answered the bell for the visitors with 10 combined points on mid-range shots and post moves to cap the quarter, while Sutalo and Abdul-Hamid kept the hosts close to reach the final quarter at 55-59. Lampe hit first in the fourth with a sweet jumper and McCarty followed with another two-pointer, as the visitors threatened to pull away at 55-63. Hemofarm again turned to Pavkovic and the guard came through with a beautiful jumpshot after assisting Borisov on a layup to get his team within 62-63. Kazan tried to seal the win by sealing the paint and, after a defensive rebound, Lyday shook loose for a gorgeous baseline reverse layup. As Hemofarm had trouble finding good looks, Minard scored on a jumper and Lyday then waved off his teammates to drop a long-range bomb that made it 68-76 with three minutes to play. But Hemofarm would not go down: Savovic scored on a put-back off a Pavkovic three-point miss and the playmaker stole the ball form Minard on the ensuing possession to force an unsportsmanlike foul that resulted in a 4-point turnaround and a narrow 74-76 Kazan advantage with two minutes to go. McCarty worked the trenches to lay one in after consecutive offensive boards and Lyday kept his team in front from the line. At 80-83 with 34 ticks left on the clock, it was Hemofarm ball and Savovic again came up big with an offensive board to give Jeremic a second chance. The forward willed a corner triple and tied it at 83-83. With the score even and 16 seconds left in the game, Lyday was fouled on the inbounds play and split a couple of free throws to give the hosts one final shot. But Pavkovic was not able to manufacture a clean look in traffic and Savovic’s fallaway attempt came up short.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011