On a Buducnost VOLI Podgorica team that relied on a balanced attack all season long, two men stood out from the rest to lead the way to a historic 76-77 road win at AS Monaco on Thursday in the opener of their best-of-three 7DAYS EuroCup Semifinals series. Justin Cobbs and Willie Reed combined for 22 of their team's 26 fourth-quarter points as Buducnost came from 6 down with 2 minutes remaining to grab the win.
Five different players averaged double figures in scoring for Buducnost this season and all of them contributed to the Game 1 win, but none quite like Cobbs and Reed. Cobbs finished with a season-high 21 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting. He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, powering Buducnost with one big basket after another, including the game-winning jumper with 2.4 seconds left. Reed shined in the paint with a personal-best 24 points, including 10 in the last 10 minutes. He added 13 rebounds, too.
Together, Cobbs and Reed combined to score 58.4% of their team's points against Monaco, which goes down as one of the greatest scoring efforts by a duo in EuroCup Quarterfinals history.
The last time two players combined for a higher percentage of their team's points in a quarterfinals game was in 2013 when Loukas Mavrokefalidis (21) and Zack Wright (14) had 62.5% of Spartak St Petersburg's output in a 73-56 Game 2 loss to Budivelnik Kyiv. The last time two players combined for a higher percentage of their team's points in a quarterfinals game for a winning team was in 2011 when Maciej Lampe (31) and Marko Popovic (17) had 60.7% of UNICS Kazan's points in a 79-77 Game 2 victory over Pepsi Caserta.
Buducnost relied heavily on Cobbs and Reed all game long. Reed scored the team's first 4 points and Cobbs added the only Buducnost three-pointer of the first quarter when only four players scored for the visitors. They combined for 18 of Buducnost's 37 points at halftime when the team trailed by 1. After a quiet third quarter, Cobbs and Reeds combined for Buducnost's first 10 points before Danilo Nikolic and Malvin Ejim each scored. Cobbs and Reed then carried Buducnost the rest of the way.
The true blessing for Buducnost is that it knows it has many more weapons in Nikola Ivanovic, Ejim, Amedeo Della Valle, Nikolic and Suad Sehovic. Some of them will surely need to step up in Game 2 for Buducnost to have a chance at a series sweep because a dominant two-man game like Cobbs and Reed produced in Monaco is truly a rare occurrence.