Canaan shines as UNICS holds Bourg off
UNICS Kazan remained in the running for the top spot in Group A by knocking off JL Bourg en Bresse 76-71 after wasting a 17-point lead on Wednesday. Isaiah Canaan led the way with 33 points including 8 three-pointers for UNICS, which had already qualified for the Top 16 after Umana Reyer Venice lost to Joventut Badalona a day earlier. Nate Wolters scored 16 points and Jordan Morgan added 13 points and 8 rebounds in helping UNICS win its fourth game in the last five to improve to 6-3. That is the same record for Bourg, while Joventut is first at 6-2. Bourg, which had won its last two games, was paced by Pierre Pelos with 16 points and Danilo Andjusic's 12 points.
Andjusic opened the scoring with a layup for the visitors, but little went well for Bourg after that as Morgan scored the next 4 points and Canaan drained 3 three-pointers in a 23-4 run to move ahead 23-6. Pelos scored 5 points at the other end and the deficit was 25-11 after 10 minutes. Bourg had a better start to the second quarter with Andjusic again starting the frame and Maxime Courby knocking down a triple in getting the margin to 29-20. A Wolters three increased the lead to 12 points. Pelos scored twice and Andjusic hit a jumper get within 41-34. The gap was 43-36 at the break.
UNICS started the second half with three-pointers from Wolters and Canaan as the lead grew to 49-36. Bourg was held scoreless for the first 3 minutes of the third quarter, but then got a triple from Zach Peacock and back-to-back three-pointers from Andjusic to get the margin down to 49-45. UNICS punched back with the next 4 points only to see Bourg respond with the next 8 to knot the game 53-53. Canaan ended a 3-minute drought and UNICS went up 56-55 after 30 minutes. Canaan’s mid-range jumper to start the final frame was answered by a Courby three-pointer to even things at 58-58. Canaan made sure his team would not lose by adding a four-point play and triple in a 13-3 surge to pull ahead 71-61 with 5 minutes left. Kadeem Allen kept things interesting with the next 5 points and Scrubb’s triple trimmed the deficit to 73-71 with under 2 minutes to play. Canaan provided the dagger with a three-pointer with 47 seconds left to seal the win.
Career night for Canaan
Isaiah Canaan was huge all night for UNICS with the absence of the injured Jamar Smith. Canaan set career-highs with 33 points and an index rating of 39 while tying his career-best with 6 rebounds and dishing 5 assists.
Solid first game for Theodore
UNICS made a major addition since its last game with the signing of Jordan Theodore. The point guard had a solid first game with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
The game was tight stats wise but UNICS shooting 58.8% on 2-pointers compared to 54.8% for Bourg as well as 41.7% to 33.3% from long range made just enough of a difference.
UNICS will finish its regular-season schedule on the road when it travels to Spain to face Joventut Badalona on Tuesday, December 15 in Round 10. Bourg will return home for its next EuroCup game when it hosts Partizan NIS Belgrade the same day.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020