Laboral Kutxa crushes Cedevita for its 200th Euroleague win
In a clash of Top 16-bound teams, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz remained perfect on its home floor by topping Cedevita Zagreb 92-70 on Thursday for its 200th win. Laboral became the sixth team to rush that milestone and finished the regular season with a 6-4 record. It will be second in Group B if Olympiacos Piraeus beats Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Friday. Laboral will be third if Efes wins, while Cedevita moves on to the Top 16 from fourth place with a 4-6 record. Fabien Causeur made sure Laboral took control of the game early, scoring 12 first-quarter points before Ioannis Bourousis and Tornike Shengelia helped open a 45-29 halftime lead. Marko Arapovic and Luka Babic led Cedevita back in the third, but the hosts opened the fourth with a 7-0 run before Bourousis hit a pair of triples that broke the game wide open. Causeur had 20 points, and Bourousis scored 14 points of his 17 points in late third and early fourth quarter. Shengelia netted 16 on 4-for-5 three-point shooting in victory. Marko Arapovic scored 12, and Miro Bilan collected 10 points plus 6 rebounds for Cedevita. Babic had 9 in the losing effort.
First quarter: Causeur scores 12 to put Laboral in control
Causeur got Laboral going, making a floater and a reverse layup. After Miro Bilan opened Cedevita’s account with a baseline shot, Causeur's triple made it 7-2 after exactly two minutes. But Karlo Zganec made a short jumper, and Jacob Pullen added a runner and a triple during a 0-9 run that gave the visitors a 7-11 edge. Darius Adams’s three-pointer ended the run, before Adam Hanga and Kim Tillie scored from close range. Causeur and Nemanja Gordic traded baskets, before Bourousis stepped up. The big man first found Hanga for a dunk, then dished it for a Causeur layup. He finally finished a fast break himself, before Pullen split foul shots to end an 8-0 run and make it 23-16 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Laboral builds commanding halftime lead
Henry Walker opened the second quarter with a long jumper for Cedevita. After Jaka Blazic and Bilan traded baskets inside, Lovro Mazalin finished a fast break with an alley-oop dunk, getting Cedevita within 25-22. James and Bilan traded baskets before James nailed a jumper and Alberto Corbacho made a tough runner-plus-foul , opening a 32-24 lead. After free throws from Walker, Shengelia buried a wide open triple to open a double-digit margin, 36-26. James added a jumper to the tally, and after Luka Babic went coast-to-coast for a layup, James kicked it out to Shengelia for another triple and that made it 43-28. Ilimane Diop scored inside to extend the margin to 17 points, before Pullen snapped an 18-4 spurt by splitting free throws to set the halftime score at 45-29.
Third quarter: Cedevita rallies within range
Cedevita’s James White hit a corner triple to start the third, but Shengelia hit a pair of shots from downtown to make it 51-32. Marko Arapovic scored inside for the visitors, and after Causeur made an easy two on a breakaway, Arapovic buried a three to cut it to 53-37. The visitors found some offense, as Gordic drove the length of the court for a layup and Zoric made a jumper, but Laboral got to the free throw line to keep the visitors at bay. Arapovic's three-point play cut it to 57-44, and after Hanga drove for an easy layup, Babic scored a layup-plus-foul to make it a 12-point contest. Babic's fastbreak dunk a minute later got the visitors within 59-49. After a Laboral timeout, White trimmed the deficit with free throws, but Bourousis scored a layup and Causeur hit a long baseline jumper, forcing a Cedevita timeout. Zoric fought for a tip-in, and after Bourusis scored a reverse layup, Gordic beat the buzzer with a jumper to make it 67-57 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Bourousis takes care of business
Bourousis finished a fast break with a put-back dunk and Corbacho nailed a triple before Causeur had a fastbreak layup to open a 74-57 margin only 96 seconds into the quarter. Arapovic banked in a runner, before Tillie and Fran Pilepic traded triples. However, Bourousis stepped up, hitting a pair of threes that extended the lead to 83-62. The run continued with Blazic scoring inside, and Shengelia adding an alley-oop dunk. Bilan snapped a 9-2 run from close range, but Corbacho hit a jumper. Bilan scored inside again and Mazalin drove for a layup to round out the scoring.
Thursday, December 17, 2015