Bayern beats Zalgiris to snap losing streak
FC Bayern Munich snapped its three-game losing streak by fighting off Zalgiris Kaunas 74-65 at home on Tuesday. Zalgiris was first to open a bit of daylight, leading by 8 points in the second quarter. Bayern started to take control and built an 11-point lead in the third quarter. The hosts held on and improved to 8-10 as Ognjen Jaramaz scored 16 points to lead the way. Vladimir Lucic added 12 points, Augustine Rubit had 11 points and 7 rebounds and Andi Obst chipped in 11 points with 3 three-pointers. Zalgiris saw its losing streak extend to four games to fall to 3-14, including a 0-9 record in road games. Josh Nebo collected 14 points and 9 rebounds and Tai Webster and Lukas Lekavicius both added 10 points for Zalgiris, which was playing its first game since Round 16 on December 17.
Nebo’s layup started the scoring for the visitors and Jaramaz’s three-pointer was Bayern’s first basket. After a Tyler Cavanaugh triple for Zalgiris, Corey Walden had a four-point play and layup in an 8-0 run for an 11-5 Bayern lead. Webster’s three-pointer snapped a scoreless drought of more than 4 minutes and Marek Blazevic added 5 points as Zalgiris went ahead 11-13. KC Rivers countered with a three-point play and Bayern led 16-15 after 10 minutes.
After Walden started the second quarter with a free throw, Nebo hammered home a putback dunk. Nebo added another putback off an offensive rebound and a hook shot and Webster scored 5 points as Zalgiris pushed ahead 19-26. Rubit followed with Bayern’s first points in more than 4 minutes to snap a 0-9 run only to have Niels Giffey convert a three-point play to make it 21-29. Lucic countered with back-to-back three-pointers and Obst also drained a triple as Bayern led 34-33 at the break.
Jaramaz opened the second half with 2 free throws and Rubit added a three-point play for the hosts. The advantage swelled to 45-37 thanks to two Deshaun Thomas baskets. Paulius Jankunas managed a three-point play to slow the run, but Lucic drained a triple and Obst hit twice from deep as Bayern lead reached double figures, 55-44. Mantas Kalnietis answered with a three-pointer and Blazevic connected on 2 free throws to trim it to 57-51. Othello Hunter’s three-point play for Bayern was canceled out by an Arturas Milaknis three-pointer and Bayern led 61-54 after 30 minutes.
Lekavicius got Zalgiris on the board first in the final stanza, but Jaramaz knocked down 2 three-pointers and Nick Weiler-Babb also hit a triple as Bayern surged to 72-58 with less than 6 minutes to play. Zalgiris was not yet ready to give up as Edgaras Ulanovas scored back-to-back baskets and Nebo free throws trimmed the deficit to 74-65 with just more than 2 minutes remaining. But neither team scored the rest of the way.
Career-highs for Jaramaz and Obst
Tuesday marked a career night for two FC Bayern Munich players as both Ognjen Jaramaz and Andi Obst set personal bests in the game. Jaramaz continued his excellent run of play with 16 points - 5 more than his previous best. He scored 11 points in Round 16 and 10 points in Round 17. Jaramaz’s performance index rating of 20 blew away his previous best of 8. Obst scored a career-high 11 points - 3 more than his previous top showing. Obst nailed 3 three-pointers as he did all his scoring in just 6:55 minutes of action.
Nebo continues solid play
One of the few bright spots for Zalgiris in the loss was Josh Nebo, who continued his excellent play from before the break in action. The center collected 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with 9 rebounds and an index rating of 22. It was the fourth time in the last five games that Nebo scored in double figures; he has averaged 10.5 points in that stretch. He has also made 24-of-33 two-pointers for an outstanding 72.7% accuracy. Nebo’s rebounding numbers have also been strong in the last five games with 7.6 boards per contest.
Three-pointers make the difference - as expected
The stats coming into the game indicated that three-pointers could play a major role in deciding the winner in this one. Bayern came into the game allowing opponents to shoot just 33.8% from long range - the sixth-best value in the league. And the hosts did a good job holding down Zalgiris, which made just 4 of 19 threes (21.1%). Zalgiris had seen teams make 37.3% of their three-pointers, which was fourth-worst defensively. And Bayern used the long ball well in the win, making 11 of 28 threes (39.3%).
Tuesday, January 11, 2022