Baldwin lifts Baskonia to victory in his return to Munich
Wade Baldwin IV scored a career-high 30 points in leading Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz to a 76-81 victory over his former team, FC Bayern Munich, in his first game at Audi Dome since switching teams over the summer. Baldwin set the tone for short-handed Baskonia with 16 first-quarter points as Baskonia finished the opening period on a 0-13 run and never trailed again. The result snapped a six-game losing streak on the road for Baskonia, which improved to 6-11. Bayern lost its third straight game to fall to 7-10. Matt Costello played all 40 minutes and posted 23 points and 9 boards for Baskonia, which was without starters Simone Fontecchio, Rokas Giedraitis and Tadas Sedekerskis. K.C. Rivers paced Bayer with 16 points, DeShaun Thomas and Vladimir Lucic added 12 points apiece and Ognjen Jaramaz and Othello Hunter scored 10 each. Lucic also collected a career-high and club-record 14 rebounds in the loss.
After Costello missed a pair of free throws for Baskonia, Corey Walden opened the scoring for the hosts with a three-pointer. Thomas added a jump hook only to see Baskonia quickly tie it through Baldwin and Steven Enoch. The teams traded shots with Baldwin’s three-point play giving Baskonia its first lead, 11-12, midway through the opening quarter. Baldwin reached 14 points in the first 7 minutes with a pair of triples for a 13-20 cushion. A Bayern timeout only succeeded in cooling off both teams. Landry Nnoko scored on consecutive possessions and Baldwin added a jumper to extend a 0-13 Baskonia run for a 13-25 lead after 10 minutes.
Costello made a jumper in the lane before Rivers’s layup ended a 6-minute scoring drought for the hosts. Lamar Peters drilled a triple to give Baskonia a 15-30 cushion. Rivers scored a total of 12 points on five consecutive possessions to narrow the gap to 25-32. Lucic drew the hosts within 5. Costello scored twice in a 0-6 push to regain a double-digit lead, 27-38. Jaramaz sank a three and Thomas scored from mid-range to prompt a Baskonia timeout at 35-40 with 3 minutes to go in the half. Weiler-Babb completed a 7-0 run to get Bayern within 3 before Costello gave Baskonia breathing room with a triple. Thomas scored on a broken play at the end of the half to bring Bayern within 42-46 at the break.
Baldwin buried his fourth triple for the first basket of the second half. Nnoko added a jumper before Bayern called timeout down 42-51. Lucic scored for Bayern only to see Baldwin’s three-point play restore a double-digit lead. Nnoko scored twice to extend the margin to 46-58. Baldwin made a mid-range jumper before Costello netted a three that set a new biggest lead for Baskonia 48-65. Thomas, Augustine Rubit and Rivers combined on a 7-0 run that resulted in a Baskonia timeout. Baldwin finished the third quarter with a jumper that made it 55-67.
Costello drove the baseline for a slam-and-one and Vanja Marinkovic added a triple to match the game’s biggest lead, 56-73. Lucic and Hunter chipped away for Bayern, but the visitors maintained control. Free throws by Lucic and a three by Jaramaz made it 65-75 with less than 3 minutes remaining. After both Nnoko and Enoch fouled out and Hunter made a tip-in, Bayern had hope at 69-77. Free throws by Jayson Granger with 1 minute to go put the game on ice.
Baldwin enjoys return to Munich
Wade Baldwin IV emerged as a star last season with FC Bayern Munich when he helped carry the team to the EuroLeague Playoffs for the first time and within a few points of a spot at the Final Four. In his first trip back to Audi Dome with new team Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, Baldwin made himself at home. He dominated with 16 first-quarter points to help Baskonia take control and finished the game with a career-high 30. Baldwin made 7 of 11 two-pointers and 4 of 7 threes. He was perfect in 4 trips to the foul line and added 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in compiling a performance index rating of 33. It was his best game in a Baskonia uniform and the third-best PIR of his career.
Baskonia wins with seven players
With three Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz starters sidelined for this game, Coach Neven Spahija played the game essentially with a seven-man rotation. The eighth player, Arturs Kurucs, saw most of his 4:39 of playing time after centers Steven Enoch and Landry Nnoko both fouled out. Wade Baldwin (38:41), Vanja Marinkovic (34:42) and Matt Costello (40:00) played career-highs in minutes and both Baldwin (30 points) and Costello (23 points) set career-bests in scoring, too. The missing players were Simone Fontecchio, Rokas Giedraitis and Tadas Sedekerskis.
Lucic makes another entry in Bayern books
Vladimir Lucic continued to leave his mark on the FC Bayern Munich history books with a double-double and career-high 14 rebounds in his team’s Round 17 loss against Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. The previous club record was 12 rebounds held by four players – including Lucic. The other three were John Bryant in January 2014, Greg Monroe in January 2020, Augustine Rubit in Round 13 this season and Lucic in Round 14 this season. Lucic, who has a career average of 3.9 rebounds per game, has been averaging 5.3 this season and 8.2 over the past month.
Thursday, December 23, 2021