Bayern ends three-game skid with home win
FC Bayern Munich earned a crucial change of fortunes on its home court with a 77-69 victory over Zenit St Petersburg on Friday. Vladimir Lucic poured in 17 points and Greg Monroe had 12 as Bayern snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 5-8. Maodo Lo, Petteri Koponen and Diego Flaccadori all chipped in 11 points as Bayern improved to 5-2 at home despite an 0-6 mark away from the Audi Dome. Zenit dropped to 3-10 despite Alex Renfroe picking up 18 points and Tim Abromaitis scoring 13 points for the road side, which collected its first home win of the season in Round 12 to snap a six-game losing streak.
Neither team scored in the first 2 minutes until Lo got Bayern going with a layup. The hosts would lead 7-1 as Lo hit a three-ball before Zenit finally got its first basket, a triple by Austin Hollins trey at the 4:21 minute mark. Abromaitis came off the Zenit bench for 5 straight points and a 7-9 lead. Zenit made just the 1 free throw in the first quarter while Bayern was 5-of-6, but it was the guests who led 14-15 after 10 minutes. Bayern finally reclaimed the lead on Flaccadori's basket to start the second quarter. Zenit reserves Gustavo Ayon and Abromaitis scored to get the guests up 18-20, but Flaccadori continued his strong quarter with a three-pointer and another basket for a 27-23 Bayern advantage. Koponen's triple increased Bayern's cushion to 32-27 but Renfroe would not let Bayern pull away. His quick seven points, including a half-court buzzer-beater, made it 37-35 at the break. Bayern picked up the first 5 points of the second half as the lead grew to 42-35. Renfroe drained a long three but Lucic answered with one of his own and 2 free throws as Bayern found itself up 49-38. Abromaitis managed a three-ball only to see DeMarcus Nelson's steal and layup push the lead to 53-41. Andrew Albicy and Renfroe followed with back-to-back triples and the gap was down to 53-47. The hosts were unfazed, though, as Lucic and Koponen both connected from downtown and Nelson made it 61-47. Zenit scored the final 3 points of the quarter to trail 61-50 after 30 minutes. Koponen's triple soon had Bayern ahead 66-52 but Vladislav Trushkin and Will Thomas hit from outside and Gustavo Ayon's three-point play trimmed the deficit to 70-61. Bayern tried to deliver the knockout punch with a Lucic triple for a 75-61 advantage but Trushkin's long ball had the guests within 75-66 with 2 minutes left. Lucic was able to score after an offensive rebound, however, and that was enough to secure the victory.
Season debut for Huestis
The second quarter began with Josh Huestis starting for Bayern Munich as the 27-year-old forward was making his season debut. Huestis ended up playing just 7:31 minutes and did not play a major role except for an impressive block. But his debut was a welcome sight for Bayern fans.
Career high for Flaccadori
Diego Flaccadori set a career high with 11 points on 4-of-4 two-point and 1-of-1 three-point shooting. Flaccadori, who also had 2 rebounds, bested his previous mark of 6 points against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and his PIR of 12 also was a new best after he had 5 in the same game.
Bayern nailed 8 of 14 three-pointers for 57.1% while holding Zenit to 10-of-36 or 27.8% from the outside. Zenit also could not take advantage of 18 offensive rebounds as it shot just 45.2% from two-point range and had just 8 second-chance points.
Now that Bayern has snapped its three-game losing streak, the German champs hope to finally grab victory number one of the season on the road at ALBA Berlin on December 18. Zenit will return home and take on Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on December 17.
Friday, December 13, 2019