Hamburg outscores Trento on the road
In an exciting and high-scoring game in which neither team managed to take a double-digit lead, Hamburg Towers prevailed and grabbed its second road win of the season by beating Dolomiti Energia Trento 90-99 at BLM Group Arena on Wednesday night. The visitors entered the fourth quarter trailing 70-66, but scored 33 points in the last 10 minutes to seal the outcome and improve to 3-5 in Group B. Caleb Homesley set the tone for Hamburg with 27 points and 5 three-pointers, Jaylon Brown contributed 20 points in just 19 minutes, Maik Kotsar signed off on a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds for a career-high PIR of 30 and Ray McCallum and Justus Hollatz provided 14 and 12 points, respectively. Diego Flaccadori led Trento with 19 points on 10-of-11 free-throw shooting. Cameron Reynolds followed with 16 points, while Johnathan Williams posted 13 points, 8 boards and 4 steals, and Toto Forray and Welsey Saunders had 11 points apiece for Trento, which dropped to 1-6.
Reynolds pushed the hosts to a solid offensive start with 5 points in a row that built an 8-3 lead. Eddy Edigin and Hinrichs showed up to narrow the gap, but Trento found Saunders and Flaccadori to retain a 12-9 edge after 5 minutes. The visitors struggled to keep the ball safe on the offensive end until McCallum took the court; he provided a layup and drew an unsportsmanlike foul that tied the game at 14-14. Despite Forray taking over for the hosts to restore a 4-point advantage, consecutive baskets by Robin Christen, McCallum and Hollatz granted Hamburg its first lead, 20-21, at the end of the first quarter.
The run continued when the game resumed, as Kotsar scored inside and then stole a ball that turned into a three by McCallum for an 18-25 lead. Forray and Bradford drained a triple each to make it a one-possession game and Caroline joined in to keep Trento in the hunt. A triple by Homesley helped Hamburg stay in front, 29-35, midway through the second quarter. A put-back slam by Williams and a couple of turnovers by the visitors allowed Trento to react and get it even at 36-36. Homesley came to the rescue to drop back-to-back threes that kept Hamburg calm. Edigin and McCallum followed with consecutive baskets to send the game to the locker rooms with the visitors in charge 40-46.
Trento looked much more confident after the break as it sparked a 12-2 run in which Reynolds and Caroline combined for 10 points to turn things upside down, 52-48, in less than 3 minutes. The visitors didn’t panic, though, and managed to take the reins again, 52-57, through a 0-9 charge highlighted by back-to-back threes from Brown. The scoring rhythm didn’t decay, as Flaccadori took over and strung together a three and a three-point play to restore the lead for Trento. Forray followed with a couple of buckets before feeding Andrea Mezzanote for a 70-66 edge at the end of the third quarter.
Although Forray contributed another basket entering the fourth, back-to-back steals brought the visitors within 72-70. Trento’s timeout did not pay off, as Homesley finished the comeback with a three-point play and Hollatz provided 4 points in a row to make it 74-77. Bradford answered with another 4 of his own to tie it again, but Homesley showed up again to make his fifth triple of the night and give Hamburg an 80-86 edge with 5 minutes remaining. Kotsar, inside, and Brown, from deep, helped Hamburg enter crunch time with an 88-95 margin. Flaccadori connected from downtown soon after to give Trento hope, but Homesley replied with a drive and Brown followed with a transition dunk entering the last minute that extended the gap to 90-99 and put the game to bed.
Hamburg relies on offense to win again
With its 90-99 win in Trento, the visitors crossed the 90-point mark for the fifth time this season; Hamburg scored 97 against Partizan NIS Belgrade in Round 1; 91 against MoraBanc Andorra in Round 3; and reached triple-digits by signing 100 points against Lietkabelis Panevezys and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Rounds 4 and 7, respectively. The first two games finished in defeat, but the last two turned into victories, as it did this night against Dolomiti Energia Trento. So far, all of the Hamburg wins have come when the team scored 99 or more points, something that may disturb its coach, but probably makes the team's fans happy.
Brown, Kotsar and Homesley boost Hamburg late
Despite enjoying short leads for many moments in the game, the visitors entered the fourth quarter trailing 70-66. At that moment, Trento seemed to have already found the momentum when Toto Forray made it 72-66 early in the quarter, but Hamburg managed to turn it upside down thanks to a superb offensive performance in the last 9 minutes, in which it scored 33 points. 18 of those came through 3-point plays, and all of them were contributed by the trio of Jalen Brown, Caleb Homesley and Maik Kotsar. They combined for 27 of Hamburg’s 33 fourth-quarter points. In contrast, Trento totaled 20 in the last 10 minutes.
Telling numbers: Steals made the difference
Both teams played high-tempo basketball for almost 40 minutes and displayed similar accuracy when shooting the ball. The hosts shot 25 for 45 (55.6%) on two-pointers, 8 for 22 on threes (36.4%) and 16 for 24 (66.7%) from the line, while the visitors were 27 of 47 from two-point range (57.4%), 11 of 27 from three (40.7%), and 12 of 17 on free-throws (70.6%). They were also balanced in rebounding and made 14 and 13 turnovers, respectively, but the one who used them better was Hamburg. The visitors pulled out 22 points from them - against Trento’s 16 - and outscored its opponent 8-21 in fastbreaks, which proved decisive when the game went to the line.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021