Hamburg tops Lietkabelis, 96-100, for historic first win
Hamburg Towers made history by defeating Lietkabelis Panevezys 96-100 on the road for its first victory ever in the 7DAYS EuroCup. Lukas Meisner came off the bench for an injured Maik Kotsar and scored a game-high 20 points while Jaylon Brown poured in 18. Robin Christen added 13 points for the winners, including the game-deciding free throws with 7.4 seconds left; Seth Hinrichs chipped in 12 and Caleb Homesley had 10 points. Hamburg improved to 1-3 in Group A while Lietkabelis dropped to 2-2. Hamburg could not stop Gediminas Orelik, who drained 7 three-pointers in scoring a career-high 31 points for the hosts. Nikola Radicevic collected 13 points and 12 assists, Djordje Gagic had 13 points and 8 rebounds and Panagiotis Kalaitzakis was held to 11 points on just 3 field goal attempts.
Hamburg got three-pointers from Brown and Justus Hollatz in building a 2-10 lead early. Orelik scored 8 points to try to keep Lietkabelis close but Kotsar countered with 4 points and Brown added a layup as the advantage grew to 15-27. Karolis Giedraitis and Kalaitzakis both drained three-pointers for the hosts to trim the deficit, but only to see Meisner connect from deep for a 23-33 scoreboard after 10 minutes.
Lietkabelis tallied the first 4 points of the second quarter and kept Hamburg off the boards for the first 2 minutes while Radicevic's three-pointer cut the gap to 30-35. Orelik drained another triple and Vytenis Lipkevicius trimmed it to 37-40. Hamburg stood strong with a Hollatz triple and Christen three-point play to keep the guests in control, 45-50, at the break.
Orelik continued his superb game with a three-pointer to start the second half and scored 3 more points the hard way as Lietkabelis reclaimed the lead, 53-51. Yet another Orelik triple had the hosts up 56-53. Meisner stepped up for the guests with 6 straight points and Hamburg went back ahead 56-59. Kaspars Berzins countered with a three-pointer to even the game. It remained tight the rest of the quarter and Ray McCallum's jumper had the guests leading 66-67 after 30 minutes.
Gagic opened the fourth quarter with the first 4 points for a 70-67 lead change. Brown countered with a triple and then it was Meisner's time to take over again with 2 three-pointers. Brown added a three-point play in that 2-11 run to move Hamburg ahead 75-81. Hollatz extended the gap to 77-84 with a triple of his own with under 6 minutes to play. The guests defended well and Meisner and Brown both were on target from deep yet again as the advantage reached 80-92. Lietkabelis, not ready to go down without a fight, used a sudden 9-2 run to pull within 89-94. Homesley answered with a big three-pointer with 63 seconds left to make it 89-97. Orelik did drain his seventh three-pointer as the hosts would not go away, pulling within 96-98 thanks to Homesley missing 4 free throws in the final 24 seconds, although Christen finished off the win at the foul line with 7.4 seconds left.
Pivotal performer: Meisner fills in superbly
Maik Kotsar, such a big part of this Hamburg team, was unable to play in the second half with a shoulder injury. Lukas Meisner stepped up, though, to pick up the slack. He scored 20 points, including hitting 4 of 7 three-pointers and added 4 of 6 free throws. He also grabbed 7 rebounds while dishing out 2 assists and swiping 1 steal. Meisner did not commit a single turnover despite playing more than 24 minutes. All that resulted in a performance index rating of 25.
Orelik unstoppable for Lietkabelis
Gediminas Orelik came into the game as a real weapon for Lietkabelis, averaging 12.0 points a game and hitting 3 three-pointers in two of the three games. But the 31-year-old really broke out against Hamburg. He connected on 7-of-14 three-pointers in scoring a career-high 31 points, which was 4 more than the 27 he scored for Rytas Vilnius in November 2014 against Banvit Bandirma. Orelik also grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 3 assists. In addition, he drew 5 fouls to finish with a PIR of 28, which matched his EuroCup career high from March 2015 for Rytas against Pinar Karsiyaka.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021