Road warrior was Partizan, which topped Prokom 62-69
Partizan mt:s registered its first road win in Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season Group A by edging Asseco Prokom Gdynia 62-69 in Poland on Wednesday. Partizan improved to 2-2 in Group A and bounced back from last week's home loss against Maccabi Electra. Meanwhile, Prokom dropped to 0-4 and needs to change things right away to keep its Top 16 options alive. James Gist paced the winners with 16 points on 3-of-3 three-pointers. Nathan Jawai added 15 while Rasko Katic added 10 for Partizan. Bobby Brown led Prokom with 16 points. Ratko Varda added 14 while Daniel Ewing had 10 for the hosts, that trailed for the best part of the game but managed to tie the game, 58-58, midway through the fourth quarter. Gist stepped up with an off-balance jumper and a three-point play by Jawai, added to outstanding team defense, allowed Partizan to stay ahead all the way until the final buzzer.
Prokom coach Tomas Pacesas surprised everyone by leaving Brown and JR Giddens out of his team's starting lineup. Jawai got Partizan going with free throws that Jan Jagla matched with a mid-range jumper. Jawai split foul shots and a triple by Dragan Milosavljevic gave Partizan a 2-6 lead. Varda stepped up with a jump hook but free throws by Dusan Kecman and a reverse driving layup by Milosavljevic forced Prokom to call timeout at 4-10. Varda sank a turnaround jumper, as Prokom had managed to adjust its defense. Brown struck from downtown but a backdoor layup by Katic restored a 10-12 Partizan edge. Ewing and Katic exchanged baskets and a layup by Jan Vesely gave the guests a 12-16 edge. Varda and Gist traded triples, as Partizan tried a tall lineup with Vesely at small forward. Brown sank free throws to keep Prokom within 18-20 after 10 minutes.
Ronnie Burrell shined with a driving layup early in the second quarter but the hosts kept committing turnovers. Jaka Klobucar rescued Partizan with a driving layup that Ewing erased with a jumper. Burrell hit a mid-range shot to give Partizan its first lead, 24-22. Kecman scored in transition and a jump hook by Jawai put Partizan back ahead, 24-26. Giddens nailed a big three-pointer and Brown added a driving layup but a big dunk by Jawai kept the guests within 29-28. Branislav Djekic buried a corner triple and Jawai rocked the rim again for a five-point Partizan lead, 29-34, after a 0-8 run. Ewing took over with a coast-to-coast layup that Gist erased with foul shots. Prokom tried to lock the defensive rebound with Varda and Adam Lapeta together on court. Klobucar split free throws and Katic scored down low but a triple by Jagla kept Prokom within 34-39. Free throws by Mike Wilks fixed the halftime score at 36-39.
Varda, on court with 3 fouls, sank free throws that Jagla followed with a baseline jumper for a 40-39 Prokom edge immediately after the break. The game had turned into a physical battle and the hosts paid a high price for that, as Varda picked up his fourth foul and returned to the bench. Gist buried a three-pointer and a reverse layup by Katic gave Partizan a 40-44 edge. Prokom called timeout but a floating jumper by Gist made it a six-point game, 40-46. Giddens and Burrell made free throws, as Adam Hrycaniuk had managed to stop Jawai down low. Partizan struggled to score now and a three-pointer by Brown tied it at 47-47. Jawai dunked it again but a red hot Brown took over with an off-balance driving layup. Partizan improved its defense off a timeout and Gist downed an open triple. A put-back layup by Hrycaniuk kept Prokom as close as 51-52 after 30 minutes.
Free throws by Hrycaniuk completed the hosts' comeback, 53-52, early in the fourth quarter. It didn't last long, howeber, as Katic banked in a jump hook and Vesely added foul shots for a 53-56 score. Partizan was all over the place in defense now but the guests faced foul trouble, as Vesely and Jawai had 4 apiece. Brown split free throws and added a wild driving layup for a 56-56 tie with 6 minutes left. Milosavljevic nailed a six-meter shot that Ewing matched in the other end. Gist shined with an off-balance basket off a timeout and Jawai added a critical layup-plus-foul for a 58-63 Partizan lead with 2:26 left. Prokom struggled to score right when it mattered until Varda shined with a driving layup. Jawai and Varda traded missed shots and a backdoor layup by Kecman sealed the outcome, 60-65, with 35.7 seconds left. Free throws by Oliver Lafayette and Kecman allowed Partizan to start celebrating a well-deserved win.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010