It was a tale of two halves in Bamberg, German on Tuesday before Brose Baskets moved into a tie for first place in Group H by running away 85-73 against visiting CEZ Nymburk. The victory raised Brose to a 3-1 record, tying it with Lauretana Biella for first place in the group. Nymburk fell to 2-2 and will need some help to survive now, especially since the margin of victory on Tuesday also gave Brose a tie-break advantage between them. The game's first 22 minutes produced 9 ties and 9 lead changes, but when Brose moved ahead, it did not look back. An 18-2 run in the third quarter proved too much for Nymburk. Brose got balanced scoring as Elton Brown finished with 16 points, Predrag Suput 15, Anton Gavel 14 and Tibor Pleiss 12 to go with 9 rebounds toward his team's 31-23 advantage on the boards. Nymburk got 17 points from Arthur Lee, 14 from Phil Ricci and 11 from Michal Kremen, but the sporadic nature of its scoring and porousness of its defense inside was too much to overcome on the road.
Nymburk followed a triple to open the game by Kremen to an early 6-10 lead, after Lee also measured his long-distance shot successfully. Pleiss and Anton quickly changed the momentum, splitting 7 points to put Brose ahead 13-10. Lee and Kremen returned to their shooting stations to tie the game on four successive shots between 15-15 and 22-22, which is how the scoreboard stood at the end of 10 competitive minutes. The ties turned into lead changes early in the second quarter as Robert Garret's three pointer put Brose up 26-25, only to have Kremen take back the lead on the next shot from the arc. There had already been 7 ties and 7 lead changes in the game when Garrett's next triple made it 31-30 for the hosts and Brown quickly added a layup to it on Gavel's assist. One more tie came on a three-point play the hard way by Ricci before Brown's next layup proved a turning point. Next, Gavel and Garrett pushed the lead to 39-35, and although Ladislav Sokolovsky cut 3 points out of the difference on one shot, Pleiss dunked to end the quarter with Brose holding tightly to a 41-39 advantage.
Petr Benda forged a new tie on the second half's first basket, the Ron Lewis put Nymbur in front 42-43 with his own. It was not to last, however, as Pleiss, Suput and Casey Jacobsen, with a three-point play, boosted Brose ahead 49-43. Benda and Lee got Nymburk within 49-47 before Anton let loose with 7 consecutive points in a 9-0 run that put the hosts in charge at 58-47. Nyburk stopped its slide with free throws by Lewis, but Brose answered with a triple by John Goldsberry. That sparked a new 9-0 run that put the hosts ahead 67-51 after 30 minutes. Ricci tried to right Nymburk's offensive ship early in the final quarter with 5 points that made it 67-56. He was alone, however, as he added another pair of baskets while Brown, Brian Roberts and Suput, from long range, raised the Brose lead again to 74-60. A quiet spell in the middle of the quarter did no good for Nymburk's comeback hopes as Brose soared ahead 78-61 on a new basket by Suput. By the time Jacobsen scored again, the lead had ballooned to 20 points, 82-62, and the close game of the first half was a memory. The question now was point difference in case these teams tie at the end of the regular season. Although Nymburk was able to trim the difference down the stretch, it was short of assuring a tie-break difference in a head-to-head tie with Brose, which rides into the holidays holding the upper hand.
Monday, December 14, 2009