2020-21Regular SeasonRound 32
March 30, 2021 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 ZALGIRIO ARENA

Zalgiris eliminated despite win over ALBA

Zalgiris Kaunas did its part to remain alive in the race for the playoffs with a come-from-behind 96-86 victory at home over ALBA Berlin but still was eliminated later when TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz bested Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 82-97. Lukas Lekavicius scored a season-high 21 points on his 27th birthday for Zalgiris, which put together a 44-13 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to snap a four-game losing streak and improve its record to 16-16. Nigel Hayes and Thomas Walkup both scored 15 points and Karolis Lukosiunas and Martinas Geben chipped in 12 points each in the win. ALBA dropped to 11-21 as Marcus Eriksson scored just 2 of his 19 points in the second half. Peyton Siva had 16 points, Jayson Granger scored 15 and Niels Giffey finished with 10 points.

Christ Koumadje started the game with an inside score and Luke Sikma followed with a three-pointer for the visitors before Walkup got Zalgiris on the board. Siva added a three-pointer and layup and Koumadje continued his good start with a block and another basket as ALBA raced ahead 5-12. Eriksson scored 5 points of his own as the ALBA gap grew to 9-17. Zalgiris countered with 5 points and then Patricio Garino hit 2 free throws for his first points of the season for the Lithuanian champs. Lekavicius drained a triple as Zalgiris got within 21-23 after 10 minutes. Lukosiunas's three-pointer early in the second quarter made it 24-25, but Eriksson remained hot with his second and third triples and a floater for a 26-33 advantage. Zalgiris was able to get close thanks to the long ball with triples from Hayes, Lekavicius and Walkup trimming the deficit to 39-41. Ben Lammers countered with a three-point play to start a 2-10 surge at the end of the first half to lead 41-51 at the break. Joffrey Lauvergne opened the scoring in the second half, but ALBA was still up 10 points on Giffey's basket for a 45-55 lead. Zalgiris did a better job on defense and Rokas Jokubaitis's 5 points started a 17-3 run over 6 minutes that included a Hayes three-point play and a Lekavicius triple for a 62-58 cushion. Simone Fontecchio stopped the drought with a three-pointer, but Lukosiunas answered twice from long range and Zalgiris was up 68-61 after 30 minutes. The momentum continued in the final frame with Lekavicius opening it with a jumper before he and Walkup knocked down triples as the advantage swelled to 76-63. Siva connected from deep, but the Zalgiris bombers remained on fire with Walkup, Levavicius and Marius Grigonis all hitting three-pointers in a 13-2 run for an 89-68 lead with 5 minutes to play. Granger tried to give ALBA some hope with three triples and a long jumper for 11 points in a 5-13 run to pull within 94-81 with under 2 minutes to play. But ALBA would not get closer the rest of the way.

Bombs away for Zalgiris

Zalgiris was lights out from long range in connecting on 16 of 24 three-pointers. The 16 made triples were the third-most for Zalgiris in the EuroLeague - 3 fewer than the 19 the club made in February 2020 against Anadolu Efes Istanbul. And the 66.7% also ranks third; the club record is 72.2% against Peristeri in December 2000.

No Grigonis or Lauvergne needed

The offensive spectacle was all the more impressive considering Marius Grigonis and Joffrey Lauvergne were held to just 6 and 4 points, respectively - both well below their season averages of 14.2 points and 10.9 points, respectively. Lukas Lekavicius scored a season-high 21 points, while Martinas Geben evened his career-best showing with 12 points and Karolis Lukosiunas totaled 12 points – 2 points fewer than he scored in a combined 52 minutes in his other 13 EuroLeague appearances this season.

Telling numbers

Zalgiris forced 17 ALBA turnovers and turned them into 18 points compared to 7 points for ALBA from 11 Zalgiris turnovers. Zalgiris's reserves also outscored the starters 56-40.

Next games

Zalgiris will head to Germany for its next game against FC Bayern Munich on Thursday, April 1. ALBA will play its penultimate game the next night when it hosts Valencia Basket.

Thomas Walkup - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB20
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Euroleague.net
Referees: JAVOR, DAMIR; SHEMMESH, SEFFI; HALLIKO, AARE
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas21202728
ALBA Berlin23281025
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas21416896
ALBA Berlin23516186
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 23:50 15 3/8 3/5     1 1 5 1 1   1 4 5 14
1 BLAZEVIC, MAREK 1:58   0/1                         -1
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 21:26 21 3/7 5/5     3 3 5   2     3 2 22
7 GARINO, PATRICIO 7:21 4 1/1   2/2   1 1             1 6
10 HAYES, NIGEL 29:58 15 4/7 2/7 1/1 1 1 2         2 1 3 9
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 21:14   0/2       8 8 4 1 1       1 11
16 LUKOSIUNAS, KAROLIS 13:47 12 0/1 4/4         1   1   1 2   8
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS 16:26 12 5/5   2/3   4 4 3 2         3 23
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 18:39 5 1/6 1/1   3   3 4   2     2 1 4
32 VASTURIA, STEVE 4:38 2   0/1 2/2                   1 2
40 GRIGONIS, MARIUS 19:07 6   1/1 3/4       1 1 2     5 3 3
77 LAUVERGNE, JOFFREY 21:36 4 2/6     2 1 3 3   2   2 3   -1
Team           3 3 6               6
Totals 200:00 96 19/44 16/24 10/12 9 22 31 26 5 11 0 6 20 20 106
        43.2% 66.7% 83.3%
Head coach: SCHILLER, MARTIN
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
ALBA Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 SIVA, PEYTON 17:23 16 3/3 3/5 1/1   4 4 6   3     1 1 21
5 GIFFEY, NIELS 22:48 10 5/7       1 1 1   3     4 3 6
6 DELOW, MALTE 20:53 4 2/3 0/1         1 2       2 1 4
8 ERIKSSON, MARCUS 17:37 19 4/5 3/5 2/2   1 1     1     1 3 18
9 MATTISSECK, JONAS 7:24               1           1 2
10 SCHNEIDER, TIM 9:23     0/3         2     1        
19 OLINDE, LOUIS 13:00 5 1/2 1/2   1 2 3   1           7
20 FONTECCHIO, SIMONE 11:51 3 0/1 1/2   1 3 4 1   2 1   3 1 3
21 KOUMADJE, CHRIST 19:30 4 2/3   0/1 1 4 5       1   2 1 7
33 GRANGER, JAYSON 22:04 15 3/6 3/6     2 2 2   3     2 3 11
43 SIKMA, LUKE 22:26 3   1/3     3 3 5   4     2 2 5
50 LAMMERS, BEN 15:41 7 2/3 0/1 3/3   3 3 2 1 1 3   3 3 13
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 86 22/33 12/28 6/7 4 25 29 21 4 17 6 0 20 19 100
        66.7% 42.9% 85.7%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO

Head Coaches

SCHILLER, MARTIN
Zalgiris Kaunas
"We put together 14 stops in the first half and then put together 16 stops in the third quarter. That was the story of the game. Getting a grip on them defensively, which was also stopping Eriksson, who had 2 points in the second half. That to me was the story of the game. The offensive end throughout the game was not a big issue. We had an interesting challenge to face with Christ Koumadje. We still scored the basketball. That was not the issue today. The challenge was the defensive end and I’m happy that the guys got a grip on it defensively and I congratulate the guys. Congratulations to Lukas [Lekavicius] on his birthday. I thought Lukas's game was made to attack those drop coverages with Christ Koumadaje in the hole because he has the floater and the mid-range. And then if he starts hitting threes, it gets very difficult. I’m very happy he made them. I want to mention Marty Geben, who had a very good game for us. Well deserved. He works hard, he practices hard. He’s a good player. He stepped out of the shadow today and did a very good job."
GARCIA RENESES, AITO
ALBA Berlin
"Congratulations to Zalgiris. They played a very good game with very good energy, defense and a high percentage on three-pointers. We started playing well, but afterward, we didn’t play well on offense against their defense."

Players

LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS
Zalgiris Kaunas
"It feels good. Usually, I have bad games on my birthday. I’ve had some games before, so I’m happy with the win. We played really well, especially the second half. We fixed our defense and that was the key. We didn’t change anything tactically, we just were more aggressive with more energy. [The win] was important for our psychology. It’s always better to win than to lose."
GEBEN, MARTINAS
Zalgiris Kaunas
"It feels great. The most important thing is that we finally got a victory. We were able to play a good defensive game in the second half especially. The personal performance is a cherry on top. The coach definitely had something to say [at halftime], but we understand ourselves that allowing any team to score 51 points in the first half against us is unacceptable. We were very unhappy with our defensive performance and so we knew that was going to be our focus in the second half.”