Vuk Radivojevic led Crvena Zvezda on a late 11-0 run to come from behind and beat Dynamo Moscow 76-67 in their Eurocup Group F opener at Pionir Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. Some fine play by Sergey Bykov put the visitors ahead 57-61 midway through the fourth quarter, but Radivojevic took charge with the game on the line, tying the game with a three-pointer, scoring the go-ahead basket on a three-point play and icing the win with a perfect pass to Vladimir Stimac in the final minute. Next up for Crvena Zvezda is a trip to Italy to face Benetton Treviso. Dynamo returns home to take on Cholet Basket in its home opener. Tadija Dragicevic carried the winners early and finished with 17 points, while Radivojevic, who was scoreless at halftime, finished with 14. Filip Videnov added 11 points and 5 assists and Marko Keselj scored 10 for the winners. Sergey Bykov led Dynamo with 18 points, Alexey Zhukanenko scored 12 and Aleksey Savrasenko had 10 in defeat.
The visitors controlled the opening tip and struck first through Bykov. Savrasenko added a basket before Nemenja Bjelica got Crvena Zvezda on the scoreboard from downtown. Dynamo looked to pull away as a Dmitry Domani three and a Savrasenko score made it 4-11. Dragicevic answered for the hosts, going through Sergey Monya for a basket-plus foul to bring his team back within 3. But two more baskets down low from Savrasenko and another by Dimitriy Khvostov pumped the visitors to 8-17. Keselj tried to ignite the hosts only to see Bykov with free throws and then a layup at the buzzer make it 13-23 after 10 minutes. Boris Bakic’s three-point play to start the second quarter showed signs of life from Crvena Zvezda and a Keselj fast break slam got the crowd involved before Zhukanenko scored twice to keep Moscow in control. Dragicevic heated up and buried a pair of three-pointers to close the gap to 26-29. Mike Taylor showed off his skill with an acrobatic basket to get the hosts within 2 before Videnov drilled a three from the elbow to give Crvena Zvezda its first lead, 33-32. However Moscow stayed focused and Khvostov scored in transition and Monya from downtown to put the visitors ahead again. A second Videnov three kept Crvena Zvezda at 37-39 at halftime.
A strong start to the second half by Crvena Zvezda saw the team tie the score twice before taking the lead on a long Keselj jumper. Khvostov tied the game for Dynamo before Domani struck from downtown as a new sense of determination washed the floor from both sides. Keselj connected from behind the arc to tie the game at 46-46. Zhukanenko and Videnov traded baskets before Radivojevic went coast to coast for a layup-plus-foul. Free throws by Zhukanenko brought Dynamo within 1 only for Radivojevic to drill a three-pointer – his eighth point of the quarter – to put Crvena Zvezda up 54-50 heading into the fourth quarter. Taylor cut to the basket to give the home side its biggest lead, 6 points, early in the fourth quarter, but Zhukanenko scored twice inside to narrow the gap to 2 and soon Bykov stepped up with a three to tie the game and a steal and basket to put Dynamo ahead. A Domani steal and feed to Anton Galzunov made it 57-61 with six minutes to play. Both teams missed opportunities over the next two minutes before Dragicevic brought Crvena Zvezda back to life with a three-pointer. Savrasenko made a baby hook inside only to see Radivojevic hit from downtown to tie the score at 63-63 with two minutes to play. Radivojevic carved up the Dynamo defense for a basket-plus-foul with 1:33 remaining. Despite taking a timeout, a high pass from Monya to Savrasenko resulted in a turnover and Bjelica fired in another three with 57 second to play to put a dagger through Moscow’s hopes. Stimac took a pass from Radivojevic and iced the win with a basket inside as the Belgrade fans celebrated.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009