Neptunas defeat Valencia at home
Neptunas Klaipeda led from tip to buzzer, hitting 11 three-pointers in downing Valencia Basket 94-87 on Thursday. Th win improved Neptunas to 2-3 in Group D, while Valencia dropped to 1-4. The hosts opened the game and took control with a 13-3 lead and never relinquished the advantage. Behind Deividas Gailius and Donatas Zavackas, Neptunas built a 53-42 halftime lead, and Arnas Butkevicius scored timely three-pointers in the third to keep Neptunas with a double-digit lead. Pau Ribas led Valencia, which tried to melt the lead, but closest it got was 88-83 with less than two minutes to go. However, the hosts hung on as Gailius finished with 19 points. Zavackas added 15, Butkevicius 14, and Valdas Vasylius scored 12 in victory. Ribas had a game-high 22 points for Valencia, Bojan Dubljevic scored 18, Vladimir Lucic contributed with 12, and Sam Van Rossom chipped in 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Neptunas takes control with a strong start
Neptunas stormed out of the gate. On the first trip down the floor, Shakur scored 5 points – a layup, and after he missed the additional free throw, Zavackas pulled down the offensive board and Shakur drove for a layup-plus-free throw. Gailius scored on a fast break to make it 7-0, before Dubljevic opened the visitors' account with a three-pointer. But Simas Galdikas got a steal and raced for a dunk, and Gailius fed Zavackas for a layup on another fastbreak, causing Coach Velimir Perasovic to call a timeout at 11-3. Another layup from Galdikas made it a 10-point affair as Valencia was crashing the offensive glass, but had not points to show for it. Van Rossom and Vasylius traded three-pointers before Lucic scored inside to make it 16-8. Neptunas extended it with a triple on a fast break from Martynas Mazeika, but Van Rossom hit another one from downtown, and Lucic had a steal and a fastbreak dunk to cut the deficit to 19-15. Zavackas knocked down another dagger from outside the 6.75-meter arc, but Kresimir Loncar answered with a short jumper as the hosts held a 24-17 lead after the first quarter.
Second quarter: Triples rain in Klaipeda, hosts stay in front
Justas Sinica connected from deep, but Pau Ribas buried a pair of three-pointers for Valencia to get within 28-23. Threes continued to rain, as Zavackas and Luke Harangody traded shots from downtown. A short-range basket from Egidijus Dimsa, with four minutes gone in the quarter, was the first field goal from either team that was not a three-pointer. Dubljevic also scored inside to make it 34-30, Arnas Butkevicius scored a fastbreak layup and Zavackas nailed his third triple to go ahead 39-31. Van Rossom drove to the hoop for Valencia, and after Gailius made 3 from the foul line, Dubljevic again scored a layup. But Zavackas made a pair of free throws, then fed Butkevicius for a reverse layup and a 46-35 advantage. After a timeout, Dubljevic again scored from close range, but Butkevicius answered from long range for a 12-point margin. Galdikas added a layup to the hosts’ tally, and after Ribas buried his third three of the quarter – and the eighth triple of the quarter – Gailius made both free throws in the final second of the half for a 53-42 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Butkevicius and Gailius keep hosts ahead
Valencia had a better start to the second half, with Ribas sinking a pair of jumpers in the opening 0-6 run. But Butkevicius nailed a three-pointer for the hosts, before Gailius drove for a layup and then sank a corner triple to make it 61-50. Neither team managed another field goal for almost three minutes until Dimsa had a layup-plus free throw for a 64-52 advantage. Pablo Aguilar scored a put-back for the visitors, and Guillem Vives drove for a layup. After Butkevicius and Aguilar traded triples, it was 69-61. Dimsa scored a layup and Sato answered with a tip-in, but Vasylius nailed a mid-range jumper to end the quarter with Neptunas up 73-63.
Fourth quarter: Neptunas holds on
Galdikas made a layup for Neptunas, before Romain Sato and Vasylius traded three-pointers. Ribas drove for a layup, and after Gailius scored a driving layup for the hosts, Sato buried a triple to make it 81-72. Free throws from Lucic and Dubljevic cut the margin to 7 points, and after Valencia forced three consecutive turnovers, Ribas drove coast-to-coast for a layup and an 82-76 deficit. Gailius ended Neptunas’s drought with a steal and a two-handed slam, and after Dubljevic scored from close range, Gailius finished another fast break with a dunk for an 86-78 edge with less than two minutes to go. After a timeout, Dubljevic and Zavackas traded layups, before Ribas and Shakur each made a pair of foul shots, making it 90-83 with 58 seconds to go. Van Rossom drove for a quick layup, but Neptunas was not letting the lead slip away and closed out the game from the free throw line.
Thursday, November 13, 2014