2019-20Top 16Round 2
January 14, 2020 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALACIO DE DEPORTES JOSE MARIA MARTIN CARPENA

Unicaja fends off Joventut comeback for first win

Unicaja Malaga captured its first victory in the Top 16 by fending off a Joventut Badalona comeback attempt for a 90-84 win. Deon Thompson scored all 23 of his points in the first three quarters while Dario Brizuela had 14 points, Adam Waczynski and Carlos Suarez both picked up 10 points and Jaime Fernandez collected 10 points and 10 assists for his first double-double as Unicaja improved to 1-1 in Group H. Nenad Dimitrijevic tallied 16 points and 4 assists to lead Joventut, which lost to fall to 1-1 despite cutting a 22-point third-quarter deficit down to 5 points in the closing minutes. Alen Omic scored 13 points, Klemen Prepelic was held to 12 points and Kerem Kanter added 10 points in defeat.

Thompson had a huge start to the game with a three-pointer, put-back dunk and a baseline dunk in scoring 11 points in the first 5 minutes as the lead grew to 17-7. Luke Harangody knocked down a three-pointer and Dimitrijevic scored a tough layup for Joventut, but Unicaja led 22-12 after 10 minutes. Prepelic opened the second quarter with a layup for his first points, but Unicaja surged further ahead with an 11-3 run as Suarez nailed a triple and Brizuela had a three-point play and a three for a 33-17 advantage. Joventut punched back with a 3-12 spurt including 6 straight points from Kanter as Joventut pulled to within 36-29. The home side finished the first half strong with the final 6 points, including a Thompson three just before the final buzzer and a 44-31 advantage.

Joventut came out of the break with the first 6 points to cut the gap to 44-37. Unicaja was not impressed in answering with a 17-2 run - thanks to Thompson scoring 9 points, including a three-pointer and a four-point play for a 61-39 cushion. Joventut would not go down without a fight with Nikos Zisis and Dimitrijevic both converting three-point plays and Prepelic hitting a three for Joventut in a 1-13 surge to make it 62-52. Unicaja got back into rhythm and led 66-54 after 30 minutes. Arturs Zagars and Prepelic started the fourth quarter with scores to get Joventut within 66-58. Unicaja shrugged off the challenge with a 7-0 run including 5 straight points from Axel Toupane for a 73-58 advantage. Zisis drained a triple at the other end and then Dimitrijevic worked to get Joventut close with 10 points. Conor Morgan’s free throws cut the deficit to 84-79. Suarez, however, provided the dagger with 48 seconds on a dunk to make it 88-81.

Pivotal performer

While Deon Thompson did not play the fourth quarter, Jaime Fernandez was fantastic all game with 10 points to go along with 2 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals in keeping the Unicaja offense moving along.

More production from Brizuela

Dario Brizuela continues to be a great addition to Unicaja since his arrival from Estudiantes. He came into the game averaging 11 points and the 25-year-old guard collected 14 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal against Joventut.

Telling numbers

Unicaja connected on 22-of-35 two-pointers while fouling out both of Joventut’s main playmakers Nikos Zisis and Arturs Zagars and forcing 18 Joventut turnovers.

Next games

Unicaja takes on its next team from the Spanish ACB in facing MoraBanc Andorra on the road on January 21. Joventut returns home and will host Tofas Bursa on January 22.

Deon Thompson - Unicaja Malaga - EB19
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: PAPAPETROU, PETROS; KOLJENSIC, MILOS ; NIKOLIC, UROS
Attendance: 5519
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga22222224
Joventut Badalona12192330
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga22446690
Joventut Badalona12315484
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 THOMPSON, DEON 18:12 23 4/6 4/4 3/3 2 2 4   1 1       2 27
3 FERNANDEZ, JAIME 26:21 10 3/6 0/3 4/6   2 2 10 3 4     4 8 17
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 19:03 7 2/2 1/4 0/1 1 1 2       1   3   3
8 BRIZUELA, DARIO 22:39 14 3/5 1/5 5/5   1 1   1         4 14
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 14:12 1 0/1   1/2 1   1 3         5 2  
14 ADAMS, JOSH 20:11 8 3/5 0/3 2/2   1 1 1 2 3 1   4 1 2
15 ELEGAR, FRANK 2:36           1 1               1
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 17:34 10 2/2 1/2 3/4   3 3   1 1     2 3 12
28 TAMBA, ISMAEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 GUERRERO, RUBEN 14:54 2 1/3               1     3 1 -3
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 21:48 10 3/3 1/2 1/2 2 4 6 2 1 1     1 1 16
52 GERUN, VOLODYMYR 22:30 5 1/2   3/4   3 3     1 1   4 3 5
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 90 22/35 8/23 22/29 7 19 26 16 9 12 3 0 26 25 96
        62.9% 34.8% 75.9%
Head coach: CASIMIRO, LUIS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Joventut Badalona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DIMITRIJEVIC, NENAD 21:41 16 6/8 0/1 4/4       4   2       4 19
4 PARRA, JOEL 1:40                              
6 LOPEZ-AROSTEGUI, XABI 24:31 7 2/4 1/2   1 4 5 1 2     1 1 2 12
9 MORGAN, CONOR 21:54 9 1/1 1/1 4/4 4   4   1 4     3 2 9
10 PREPELIC, KLEMEN 28:03 12 3/5 1/7 3/4   3 3 5 1 5   2 3 5 7
11 KANTER, KEREM 16:26 10 3/6 1/2 1/2 3 5 8           3 3 13
14 VENTURA, ALBERT 19:16   0/1 0/2     1 1 3   1     2   -2
16 ZISIS, NIKOS 11:05 8 1/3 1/1 3/3           3     5 3 1
23 OMIC, ALEN 23:04 13 6/12   1/5 3 2 5 1   1     2 5 11
32 ZAGARS, ARTURS 14:14 4 2/2 0/1     2 2 3   1     5 1 3
55 PARRADO, ARNAU DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
81 HARANGODY, LUKE 18:06 5 1/2 1/2   2 3 5   1 1     1   7
Team           3 1 4               4
Totals 200:00 84 25/44 6/19 16/22 16 21 37 17 5 18 0 3 25 25 84
        56.8% 31.6% 72.7%
Head coach: DURAN, CARLES

Head Coaches

CASIMIRO, LUIS
Unicaja Malaga
"We controlled the rhythm of the game, but it’s a long game. We led by 22 points and it was 6 points in the end. Dimitrijevic was the key for the Joventut comeback but I am happy with the victory. It was very important. The Top 16 is a short competition, but I think it was a good game for us. We controlled the rhythm and the game so I want to congratulate my players."
DURAN, CARLES
Joventut Badalona
"Congratulations to Unicaja. They were better than us tonight. In the first quarter, Unicaja understood how to play a EuroCup game at this level. They demanded a lot from us physically and we turned the ball over a lot. We gave up easy points and probably didn’t foul them enough. In the second quarter, we played a bit better but we were afraid that Deon Thompson might hurt us on the inside and he ended up hurting us with his outside game. In the third quarter, we continued not fouling enough, but we passed the ball better and we found holes in their defense. Then in the worst moment in the game we started playing more competitively and we did a good job to come back. It’s not easy to come back when you are about 20 points down and there were a few details: we lost some rebounds and we couldn’t catch up to them. Even though we lost, we only lost by 6 points and it’s a long way until the end of the EuroCup competition and hopefully, these 6 points will not amount to too much."

Players

THOMPSON, DEON
Unicaja Malaga
"Most important is to get a win. We understand that every win and every point is important in the Top 16. We just have to continue to work and prepare for Andorra next week. The ball was going in for me… when it’s going in, it’s always a good feeling. But the most important thing is that we won tonight."
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