Cordinier leads Nanterre to victory in Malaga
Nanterre 92 grabbed its first victory of the Top 16 with an 83-92 road win at winless Unicaja Malaga on Wednesday. Nanterre led the whole of the first quarter, but Unicaja grabbed a halftime lead, 49-46, on the back of great three-point shooting. Isaia Cordinier took over the third quarter to give Nanterre a double-digit advantage and, although Unicaja fought hard in the final quarter, it wasn’t enough. Cordinier produced a great all-round performance with 24 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. Alpha Kaba added a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, Chris Warren scored 21 points and Marcquise Reed and Tyler Stone netted 10 points apiece. Unicaja’s Tim Abromaitis led all scorers with 26 points, Dario Brizuela scored 17 and Adam Waczynski added 12.
Kaba’s three-point play opened the scoring and Cordinier added a dunk for a fast Nanterre start, but Alberto Diaz hit a pair of corner triples to keep Unicaja close. Nanterre kept enjoying success inside, including two scores for Ivan Fevrier for a 10-13 lead. Yannick Nzosa’s flying dunk was followed by consecutive mid-range jumpers from Reed, keeping Nanterre up 14-19. Nzosa’s tip-in was followed by Cordinier sinking Nanterre’s first triple and he added a fadeaway jumper before Nzosa and Dario Brizuela made it 22-24 after 10 minutes. Abromaitis knocked down a couple of triples to give Unicaja its first lead before Bouteille netted another pair of three-pointers and an off-balance mid-range jumper for a 36-31 edge. Warren’s corner three was bettered by another pair of Abromaitis deep strikes. Brizuela added another to make it 45-36. Kaba’s dunk-and-one helped bring Nanterre closer, and Warren’s deep three helped fix the halftime score at 49-46.
A couple of Warren triples sent Nanterre ahead in a low-scoring start to the second half. Cordinier added a steal and slam for a 51-54 lead. Brizuela’s three tied it up, but Fevrier responded from deep before Kaba and Cordinier scored inside to make it 56-61. Cordinier took over with a trio of inside scores before beating the third-quarter buzzer from deep for a 60-70 lead. Stone started the final quarter with another triple and Warren drove to the hoop to convert a layup. Waczynski’s triple gave Unicaja hope and Brizuela’s three-pointer made it 68-75. Waczynski also struck from deep to complete a 9-0 run which was ended by Warren, before Abromaitis made a three-point play to get Unicaja within 74-77. Kaba’s putback gave Nanterre fresh air and the visitors led 74-81 with 2 minutes left. Stone’s three-pointer was answered by Abromaitis, but free throws kept Nanterre safe in the last minute.
Nanterre focuses efforts inside
Nanterre had a clear strategy of attacking inside. The French team had attempted 16 two-point shots before even trying its first strike from beyond the arc, and ended up attempting 49 two-point shots compared to just 19 from beyond the arc.
Hot and cold from deep for host
Unicaja went three-point crazy in the second quarter, hitting 7 consecutive three-pointers in less than 7 minutes. Tim Abromaitis made 4 of those and Axel Bouteille added 2 more. But the host otherwise shot only 7 of 25 from deep, finishing with 14 of 32 (43.8%)
Nanterre takes care of the ball
Turnovers were a big factor in the game: Unicaja lost the ball 18 times while Nanterre committed just 6 turnovers.
Losing start for Katsikaris
It was a losing start for Fotis Katsikaris in his debut as head coach for Unicaja. In his seventh season in the competition with seven different clubs, the Greek coach now has an overall 36-24 EuroCup record.
The two teams will meet again in Top 16 Round 4, squaring off in France next Wednesday evening.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021