Bayern outguns Unicaja 91-82 in opener
FC Bayern Munich extended its 7DAYS EuroCup winning streak to 10 games with a solid 91-82 over Unicaja Malaga in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series at home in the Audi Dome on Tuesday. A relatively even game statistically didn't seem that way as Bayern led for all but one possesion early not long after tipoff, but still had to fight off a late rush by Unicaja. Led by Maik Zirbes with 15 points, Bayern has six double-digit scorers in a balanced attack that yielded its third-highest non-overtime point total this season. Reggie Redding added 13 points on perfect shooting, Devin Booker 12, Vladimir Lucic and Gavel Anton 11 each and Max Kleber 10. Nick Johnson had 9 points and 5 assists, as well. Unicaja got 15 points from Dejan Musli, 14 from Jeff Brooks, and 12 each from Carlos Suarez and Jamar Smith but didn't get closer than 5 points after halftime in its first EuroCup playoff game. Unicaja's top scorer this season, Kyle Fogg, was on the bench for almost 25 minutes before coming in to get 9 points and 4 assists.
Gavel's aggressiveness and 8 early points gave Bayern a 13-8 start. Brooks put up 5 of his own to keep Unicaja close enough for Suarez to tie 13-13 on a running hook. Soon Redding came off the bench to hit Bayern's third and fourth three-pointers, but Smith beat the first-quarter buzzer for Unicaja to make it 21-18. Redding upped his total to 8 points with free throws to restore a five-point lead that Lucic maintained at 29-24 with a ferocious baseline dunk. Kleber fed Zirbes inside and then drove for his own three-point play as Bayern used a 7-0 run to take over the scoreboard at 38-27. Unicaja's defense stiffened while Adam Waczynski struck from deep and Brooks buried free throws to cut the difference to 42-36 at halftime. Lucic reappeared after the break with a triple that extended the lead before Kleber dropped his own to make it 50-38. Redding and Zirbes pushed the difference to its highest yet, 55-42. That's when Fogg finally entered the game and started dishing as Unicaja, despite Redding responding from deep, trimmed the deficit to 58-50. Dueling triples by Smith and Johnson highlighted the end of the third quarter, after which Bayern held strong at 66-56. Zirbes hit 2 layups around a triple from Alex King as Bayern pushed the difference to 73-58 early in the fourth. A Unicaja timeout didn't help much as Bryce Taylor fed Booker and then scored himelf at 77-60. Fogg's triple and layup around a fastbreak dunk by Musli gave Unicaja a boost to within 77-67. Kleber restored an 81-68 difference for Bayern with less than 4 minutes left, but suddenly Fogg and Alberto Diaz were hitting free throws, while Suarez and Smith dropped two-pointers in an 8-0 run to make it 81-76 with 2 minutes left. Johnson beat the shot-clock buzzer with a runner, but Smith got free throws for Unicaja. Duelling three-point plays by Booker and Brooks left an 86-81 score with 48 seconds left, but free throws by Johnson, Lucic and Taylor down the stretch made sure of the win for Bayern, which can take the series with a victory in Game 2 on Friday in Malaga.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017