Bamberg opens new season in style
Brose Baskets Bamberg fell behind early, but rallied back in style to take total control of Strasbourg en route to an 84-70 victory to open up the 2013-14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season. The German champs used a 19-1 run to finish the first half up 43-29 and Strasbourg never got within single digits again. Bamberg dominated the glass 37-23 and made an astounding 12 of 24 attempts from downtown, as Jamar Smith, Anton Gavel and Casey Jacobsen each made 3. Smith was the hero of the night as he triggered the big second-quarter with 11 points and finished his Euroleague debut with 19 points on near-perfect shooting in just 14 minutes on the floor. Gavel added 16 points and 6 assists, Sharrod Ford scored 11, Maik Zirbes 10 and John Goldsberry ran the offense with 9 assists. Alexis Ajinca paced Strasbourg with 19 points, Romain Duport scored 13 and Antoine Diot 12.
First quarter: Ajinca strong early to give Strasbourg lead
Coach Chris Fleming’s starting five for Bamberg featured Jacobsen, Gavel, Zirbes, Zack Wright and Ford. Strasbourg coach Vincent Collet started Ricardo Greer, Kevin Murphy, Louis Campbell, Ajinca and Jeremy Leloup. Ajinca started the game with a three-point play ,which Gavel answered with a triple for his team’s first points of the season. While Bamberg used two more three-balls to go ahead 9-7, Ajinca increased his point total to 7 points in knotting the game at 9-9. The Strasbourg center got a breather but the French team scored the next six points with center Duport’s long jumper making it 9-15. A long ball by Bamberg guard Goldsberry cut the deficit to 16-17, but Strasbourg’s bench continued to provide production as Duport scored again and Tim Abromaitis’s tip-in left the guests ahead 16-21 after one quarter.
Second quarter: Smith scores 11 points off bench, triggers 19-1 charge
Ajinca came back to start the second quarter and continued where he left off with another inside score. Smith took over the game for the next couple minutes with two jumpers, a three-pointer and a driving layup in getting Bamberg to within 25-26. Paul Lacombe increased the margin back to 25-28 but Goldsberry completed a three-point play to knot the game at 28-28. That started a run in which Ford twice was found for open dunks and Rakim Sanders nailed a three-ball with the shot clock winding down as Bamberg led 35-28. Collet called a timeout but his team still couldn’t solve the Bamberg defense and the host side pushed the margin to 37-28 on a Smith jumper. Duport’s free throw snapped a 12-0 Bamberg spurt and made it 37-29. A Gavel-to-Wright alley-oop dunk made it a double-digit lead before two Gavel’s free throws and a triple from the corner had the hosts up 43-29 at the break. All told, Bamberg finished the final six minutes on a 19-1 run.
Third quarter: Strasbourg unable to come up with defensive stops
Zirbes opened the second half with a dunk and a three-ball by Jacobsen grew the Bamberg advantage to 18 points at 48-30. Abromaitis hit a driving layup for Strasbourg’s first basket of the half – trimming it to 48-32. But Zirbes sandwiched two free throws around a Gavel three-pointer and Bamberg led 53-32. Strasbourg could not consequently come up with defensive stops as Ford dunked and Wright and Sanders both got to the rim for layups to off-set a Leloup three-ball and a Duport jumper as Bamberg still led 59-41. Duport hit another long jumper and Antoine Diot made two free throws as the lead was down to 59-45. But Smith answered with a jumper and nailed a three in the waning seconds of the third period for a 66-45 lead.
Fourth quarter: Bamberg holds off all rallies
Strasbourg would not go down without a fight and Diot opened the fourth quarter with a triple and Ajinca completed a three-point play to get the deficit down to 66-51. Smith got Bamberg on the board with another trey but the hosts watched Diot hit again from long range and Greer knock down a jumper after an offensive rebound as the Bamberg lead was down to 69-56. Fleming called a timeout and the hosts responded with a Jacobsen three-ball from the right corner and a Zirbes score in the lane for a 74-58 advantage. But Ajinca was on target with a baseline jumper and hook in the lane as the guests pulled to within 74-60 with five minutes to play. Ford converted in the paint after a timeout but Murphy’s three-point play and a free throw by Ajinca had Bamberg’s faithful getting nervous with the cushion down to 76-64 with three minute to play. And it was a 10-point game after an Ajinca hook shot. But Gavel nailed a three-pointer and a free throw after a Murphy unsportsmanlike foul with two minutes left as Bamberg led 80-66. Duport got the lead back to 12 but there wasn’t enough time to mount any bigger of a comeback.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013