Maye leads Trento past Lokomotiv
After an outstanding back-and-forth battle, Dolomiti Energia Trento grabbed its first win in the Top 16 by downing Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 96-84 at home on Wednesday. Lokomotiv trailed 48-20 late in the first half, but managed to get within 75-73 with 7 minutes left. Trento improved its defense when it mattered most and an outstanding Luke Maye allowed the hosts to hold off Lokomotiv's comeback and get a big win. Trento is now 1-1 in Group F while Lokomotiv dropped to 0-2. Maye led the winners with 23 points and 15 rebounds. JaCorey Williams added 17 points, Jeremy Morgan scored 14, Gary Browne 12 and Victor Sanders had 10 for Trento. Jordan Crawford paced Lokomotiv with 20 points, Will Cummings added 13, Mindaugas Kuzminskas 12, Mantas Kalnietis 11 and Kevin Hervey 10.
Toto Forray got Trento going with a floater, Williams added a jump hook and Browne hit back-to-back jumpers for an 8-2 lead. Kalnietis and Reggie Lynch stepped up for Lokomotiv, but Maye followed a layup with a jumper and Andrea Mezzanotte struck from downtown to make it a double-digit game, 17-7. Maye and Cummings traded triples, and Maximilian Ladurner dunked for a 22-10 Trento lead. Maye scored again and Browne joined the three-point shootout to boost the hosts' lead to 27-12 after 10 minutes. Browne buried a mid-range shot early in the fourth quarter and Sanders struck from downtown to make it 33-12. Stanislav Ilnitskiy and Grigory Motovilov tried to change things for the visitors, but Williams and Morgan kept Trento way ahead, 41-17. Williams remained on fire and Maye downed a triple that seemed to break the game open, 48-20. Crawford and Hervey fueled a 0-7 Lokomotiv run, but Forray and Sanders restored a 56-30 Trento lead. Crawford and Hervey kept pushing the guests, bringing their team a bit closer, 59-39. Morgan beat the halftime buzzer with a jumper that fixed the score at 61-39.
Crawford scored after the break and Kalnietis hit a three-pointer, giving Lokomotiv hope at 61-44. Kalnietis scored again and Cummings added a three-point play that made it 63-49. Crawford bettered Williams's dunk with a triple and got help from Cummings and Kalnietis to bring the visitors within 67-57. Williams and Browne stepped up for the hosts, and Maye gave Trento a 74-59 advantage. Crawford and Cummings each had a three-point play and Hervey added a layup and a dunk in a 0-12 run that brought Lokomotiv within striking distance, 74-71, after 30 minutes. Morgan nailed a triple that gave Trento fresh air, 78-73, early in the fourth quarter. Lynch scored in penetration, but Sanders and Forray kept the hosts ahead, 81-75. Ilnitskiy buried a three-pointer, however, he didn't find much help. Meanwhile, Morgan and Ladurner gave their team an 85-79 lead with over 3 minutes to go. Maye sank a critical three-pointer and added a driving layup that sealed the outcome, 90-81, as Lokomotiv never recovered.
Luke Maye had his best game of the season and scored 9 of his career-high 25 points in crunch time to make the difference in the game. He hit 5 of 8 two-point shots, 3 of 9 three-pointers and 6 of 6 free throws. Maye also reached personal-best numbers in rebounds (15) and PIR (34).
Lokomotiv got within 83-79 with 4 minutes left, but Trento found a go-to guy in Maye. He buried a three-pointer, added a driving layup, downed a couple of free throws and finished his exhibition with a backdoor slam. All that boosted Trento's lead to 94-83 in the next-to-last minute, enough to seal the outcome.
Trento hit 9 of 10 two-point shots in the first quarter and went on to bury 5 three-pointers without a miss in the second. That helped Trento score 61 first-half points, a new club record for any half, with outstanding percentages (82.3% 2FG, 52.9% 3FG). It is the second-best scoring mark before halftime in the EuroCup this season; Lokomotiv had 71 points against Telenet Giants Antwerp on November 4, 2020.
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Trento also set a club record for most defensive rebounds - 34. Its previous record were 32 defensive boards against Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana earlier this season, on October 20, 2020.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action next week. Trento visits still-undefeated Boulogne Metropolitans 92 on Tuesday, January 26. The next day, Lokomotiv hosts Partizan NIS Belgrade.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021