In the opening clash of the Eurocup Eighthfinals played in Kaunas, Lithuania, on Tuesday, Budivelnik Kiev held off JSF Nanterre 86-82 in Game 1 of their two-game Eurocup Eighthfinals series. The second leg will be played next week in Paris, France, and the team with the highest aggregate scored will advance, which means that a victory or a loss by up to 3 points will be enough for Budivelnik to advance. In the third match between these two teams this season, Darjus Lavrinovic scored 18 points in the first half, helping Budivelnik to a 47-41 halftime lead. After the break, Michailis Anisimov and Blake Ahearn extended it to 64-50, but Nanterre rallied behind three-pointers from Sergii Gladyr and inside play from Johan Passave, cutting it to 76-74. Budivelnik never relinquished the lead, and had 86-77 with little over a minute to go, but Nanterre cut the deficit in the final minute. Lavrinovic finished with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, Ahearn netted 14, while Anisimov scored 12 in victory. Nanterre nailed 12 triples, as DeShaun Thomas led the way with 21 points. Gladyr hit 4 from downtown to score 15 points, Passave collected 11 points plus 10 rebounds, and Kevin Lisch added 10 in defeat.
Lavrinovic nailed a pair of jumpers and a layup, all in less than 80 seconds, and his triple made it 13-6, but Nanterre quickly replied through Trent Meacham and David Lighty hitting back-to-back from downtown. A jumper from Meacham and a dunk from Will Daniels gave the visitors a brief lead, 15-17. After layups from Dainius Salenga and Michailis Anisimov helped Budivelnik to 21-19 at the end of the first quarter, in the second it was Anisimov on one end, and Thomas on the other scoring baskets inside. Thomas added a fastbreak dunk for 31-29, but Drozdov and Lavrinovic scored from close range to put Budivelnik up by 6. However, the second quarter ended with a rain of triples. Thomas hit back-to-back for the French champ, and after Lavrinovic hit a triple and a long jumper for Budivelnik, Gladyr nailed back-to-back daggers to get Nanterre within 42-41. But Janis Strelnieks hit for two, and Ahearn beat the buzzer with a long three, for 47-41 halftime lead.
Passave opened the second half within a pair of layups for Nanterre, but Ahearn and Lavrinovic scored basket-plus-fouls, and Ahearn added one from long range for the first double-digit lead of the game, 60-50. A fastbreak layup from Anisimov extended it to 14 points, the largest margin of the night, but Nanterre answered right back as Gladyr, Lisch and Jeremy Nzeulie each hit a triple to cut it to 66-61 at the end of the third quarter. Ricky Minard had a dunk-plus-foul, and Salenga hit a shot to keep Budivelnik ahead, but Gladyr scored from downtown, Passave had a put-back and Lighty a long jumper for 75-70. While allowing only one field goal in more than 7 minutes, Thomas and Passave scored more baskets inside for 76-74. A jumper from Dajuan Summers, and another three-pointer from Ahearn gave Budivelnik more breathing room, 81-74 with 2 minutes to go. After free throws on both ends, Summers made a basket-plus-free throw, but Thomas answered with a triple, and Lighty drove for a layup to round out the scoring.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014