Jenkins helps Crvena Zvezda advance with dramatic overtime win
Charles Jenkins scored 21 points in the last five minutes of regulation as Crvena Zvezda Telekom rallied to beat Budivelnik Kiev 79-70 after overtime for a 158-152 aggregate win and a spot in the Eurocup Semifinals. Zvezda will play Unics Kazan in the next stage for a spot in the championship series. Kiev had won Game 1 by 3 points and led for much of the return leg. Jenkins scored the last 3 points of regulation – the last 2 coming on a drive with 3.9 seconds remaining – to put Zvezda ahead 63-60 in the game and knotting the series at 142-142. After Darjus Lavrinovic’s jumper to win the series fell short at the buzzer, Jenkins scored the first 8 points of the extra session as the record-setting crowd in Kombank Arena erupted and the hosts never looked back. Jenkins finished with 29 points, which marked the most ever by a player off the bench in the Eurocup Quarterfinals. Ivan Radenovic added 11 points and 11 rebounds and Jaka Blazic totaled 10 points and 7 boards for the winners, who outrebounded Kiev 55-37. Lavrinovic led Budivelnik with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. Dajuan Summers added 13 points, Janis Strelnieks scored 11 and Ricky Minard and Blake Ahearn 10 each in defeat.
Backed by a roaring crowd, Blazic scored the game’s first two baskets, while the hosts held Kiev scoreless for more than four minutes. DeMarcus Nelson made it 6-0 (85-82) before Summers got Budivelnik on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws. Lavrinovic drained a three-pointer before a Summers tip-in and Lavrinovic basket inside put the visitors ahead 8-9 (87-91). Jenkins connected from downtown to even the score, but free throws by Lavrinovic and Minard left Budivelnik up 11-15 (90-97) after 10 minutes. Blazic’s steal sparked the hosts, who narrowed the gap to 1. Boban Marjanovic tied things at 17-17 (96-99) from the line before Summers’s slam put Kiev back in front. Nelson shined with a rejection of Lavrinovic at the rim and Branko Lazic hit back with a jumper from the corner. Lavrinovic continued to lead with a three-pointer and an assist to Summers for a three-point play. The difference reached 19-29 (98-111) on an Ahearn layup. Nelson ended Kiev’s run at 10 straight points. Radenovic sparked Zvezda with 6 straight points over four possessions – including drawing Summers’s third personal foul. Blazic’s steal and slam brought the home team within 29-31 (108-113) at halftime.
Marko Simonovic tied the game on the offensive glass to open the half, but Strelnieks put Kiev back in front from downtown. The two-man game between Strelnieks and Lavrinovic resulted in a slam for the latter and a 31-36 (110-118) advantage. Radenovic scored at one end, but committed his fourth personal foul at the other. The visitors also lost a big gun – at least temporarily – when Summers was called for his fourth foul. After Blazic and Ahearn traded layups, Jenkins pulled up for a triple to make it a 2-point game. Lazic drew the hosts within 41-42 (120-124) to start the fourth quarter. Sergiy Gorbinko hit a three to keep Budivelnik in front. Katic helped keep the hosts close; his basket-plus-foul made it 48-49 (127-131). Minard countered with a floater, but Tadija Dragicevic got the arena dancing with a triple to make it 51-51 (130-133). Zvezda missed a chance to go ahead when Simonovic missed twice from the charity stripe. Zvezda grabbed the momentum with a Jenkins triple to tie the game followed by Nelson’s steal that led to a Jenkins layup and a 58-53 lead in the game and 137-135 in the series. Ahearn tied the series with a pair of free throws. Nelson and Strelnieks each scored to keep things even. Lavrinovic split free throws to give Budivelnik a 1-point aggregate lead. After Nelson missed from downtown, Zvezda put Aheard on the line with 19.2 seconds left. His free throws tied that game at 60-60 and made it 139-142 on aggregate. After a timeout, Jenkins went for a three, but was rejected by Lavrinovic. However Jenkins came away with the loose ball and was fouled. He split free throws with 11.8 remaining. On the inbounds play, Strelnieks lost the ball out of bounds. Jenkins went hard to the rim for a layup to make it 63-60 and tie the series at 142-142 with 3.9 seconds left in regulation. Lavrinovic missed a turnaround jumper at the buzzer and teams headed to overtime.
Jenkins kept the arena on its feet with a three to open the extra session. A second Jenkins triple brought the crowd to a state of ecstasy. Jenkins tipped in his own miss to cap an 8-0 start to overtime. Strelnieks tried to ignite the visitors with a pair of free throws, but Jenkins beat the 24-second clock with a triple to make it 74-62 (153-144). Summers scored for Kiev, however Radenovic came through with 3 points over two possessions to keep the hosts cruising. Aheard netted free throws inside of a minute to go, but a Radenovic offensive rebound helped Zvezda milk the clock and hold on for a series-clinching win.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014