Antonov lifts Nizhny Novgorod to first place in Group L
In a direct fight to finish first in Group L, Nizhny Novgorod defeated Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 74-78 on the road on Wednesday. Both teams had already qualified last week. NN finished first in Group L with a 5-1 record, with Zvezda right behind at 4-2. Semen Antonov paced the winners with 20 points and the go-ahead shot with 1.3 seconds left. Taylor Rochestie and Primoz Brezec each added 14 while Vadim Panin had 10 for NN. Charles Jenkins led Zvezda with 25 points. DeMarcus Nelson added 19 for the hosts. Panin and Brezec shined early to give NN a 16-23 lead after 10 minutes. Jenkins took over in the second quarter, getting help from Bojan Marjanovic to make Zvezda get the lead, 41-40, at halftime. A three-pointer by Marko Simonovic boosted the hosts' lead to 58-55 after 30 minutes. A step-back three-pointer by Nelson gave Zvezda its last lead, 71-69. Antonov followed free throws with a jumper and even when Jenkins still managed to tie it at 74-74, Antonov buried a critical jumper to seal the outcome with 1.3 seconds left, as Zvezda picked up a turnover in its final possession.
Panin got NN going with a layup but free throws by Nelson and Jaka Blazic gave Zvezda its first lead, 4-2. Antonov downed a catch-and-shoot triple and a layup by Dimitriy Khvostov allowed NN to regain the lead, 6-7. Brezec shined with a layup-plus-foul and a triple by Panin boosted the guests' lead to 8-13. Marjanovic followed a four-meter shot with free throws but Brezec and Panin made Zvezda call timeout at 12-17. Blazic and Rasko Katic tried to change things but Brezec and Rochestie boosted NN's lead to 16-23 after 10 minutes. Jenkins took over with back-to-back baskets early in the second quarter. Free throws by Rochestie and Khvostov, however, restored a 22-27 NN lead. Jenkins struck from downtown and Katic tied it at 27-27. Panin hit free throws and Antonov buried a jumper but Jenkins and Nelson put Zvezda back ahead, 33-31. Antonov and Brezec scored again but a red hot Jenkins did better with a triple. Marjanovic followed foul shots with a layup-plus-foul but Antonov and Petr Gubanov kept NN within 41-40 at halftime.
Brezec swished a six-meter jumper right after the break. Branko Lazic made free throws, Antonov nailed a triple and a jumper by Nelson tied it at 45-45. Vladimir Ivlev and Brezec combined for all points in a 0-6 run that made Zvezda call timeout at 45-51. Jenkins struck from downtown and free throws by Katic and Simonovic tied the game again, 51-51. Khvostov hit 4-of-4 foul shots but Nelson hit consecutive jumpers for a 55-55 score. A wide open triple by Simonovic gave Zvezda a 58-55 edge after 30 minutes. Ivlev dunked again and Gubanov put NN back ahead, 58-59, early in the fourth quarter. Antonov made free throws and a three-point play by Jenkins put Zvezda back ahead, 62-61, with under 6 minutes left. Rochestie slashed for an uncontested layup and Panin split foul shots but Jenkins and a dunk by Nelson gave Zvezda a 66-64 edge. Evgeny Babutin and Nelson traded baskets and a three-pointer by Rochestie turned the game into a thriller, 68-69, with 2 minutes left. Jenkins sank a step-back triple but Antonov followed free throws with a jumper for a 70-73 NN edge with 38 seconds left. Jenkins followed free throws with a jumper to tie it at 74-74 but Antonov hit the game-winning jumper with 1.3 seconds left - and Zvezda could not get a shot up in its final possession.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014