Zvezda holds on to beat ASVEL
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade grabbed its second consecutive win by downing LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 73-67 in the Serbian capital on Thursday. Zvezda improved to 4-5 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, while ASVEL dropped to 6-3. Nikola Kalinic led the winners with 22 points and Nikola Ivanovic added 14. Elie Okobo paced ASVEL with 16 points, Chris Jones scored 14 and Youssoupha Fall 11. Kalinic stepped up early, getting help from Ognjen Dobric and Austin Hollins to give Zvezda an 18-9 lead after 10 minutes. William Howard and Dylan Ostekowski rescued ASVEL, bring the visitors within 33-32 at halftime. Kalinic and Dobric combined for all the points in a 10-0 run which allowed Zvezda to get a 50-45 lead at the end of the third quarter. Ivanovic buried back-to-back three-pointers to break the game open, 63-48, and Zvezda held on late despite a last-ditch ASVEL comeback.
Kalinic got Zvezda going with a driving layup that Jones bettered with a three-point play. Dobric sank a mid-range jumper and Kalinic followed a driving basket with a layup off a steal for an 8-3 Zvezda lead. Fall scored down low and Jones downed a mid-range jumper, but Nate Wolters answered with a floater and Ivanovic struck from downtown to boost the hosts' lead to 14-7. Ognjen Kuzmic hit a jump hook and Hollins beat the first-quarter buzzer with an acrobatic reverse layup for an 18-9 Zvezda lead after 10 minutes.
Branko Lazic took over with a tip-in early in the second quarter and Luka Mitrovic added a jump hook that made it 22-9. After Paul Lacombe hit a floater, Osetkowski bettered Lazic's layup with a three-point play and Howard struck from way beyond the arc, which caused the hosts to stop the game at 24-17. Marko Simonovic answered from downtown, but Howard and Osetkowski got ASVEL even closer, 27-21. Jones buried a floater, Howard dunked and Fall scored in the paint. Kalinic responded to keep Zvezda ahead, 31-27. Fall took over with a put-back basket and Jones followed that with a layup-plus-foul, bringing ASVEL within 33-32 at halftime.
Okobo stuck from downtown after the break, giving ASVEL its first lead, 33-35. Kalinic rescued Zvezda with 5 quick points, but Jones nailed a step-back jumper for a 38-37 score. After Kuzmic dunked, Okobo and Lacombe gave ASVEL a 40-41 edge. Kalinic buried a turnaround jumper and Dobric followed a fastbreak slam with a triple for a 47-41 Zvezda lead. Kalinic capped a 10-0 run with a shot from beyond the arc. Osetkowski and Lacombe brought the guests closer, 50-45, after 30 minutes.
Ivanovic scored in penetration early in the fourth quarter. Hollins added a fastbreak dunk and Simonovic buried his second three-pointer to break the game open, 57-45. Charles Kahudi hit a triple, but Ivanovic did better with back-to-back bombs from downtown to boost his team's margin to 63-48. Okobo banked in a floater and Kahudi bettered Mitrovic's layup with a dunk-and-foul, getting ASVEL a bit closer, 67-53. Fall dunked and Okobo gave the visitors hope at 67-59 with under 2 minutes left. Fall took over with a layup-plus-foul and Okobo managed to bring ASVEL within 70-67 with 10.8 seconds remaining. Kalinic drew a foul and calmly made free throws to put the game on ice.
Ivanovic returns, makes the difference
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade guard Nikola Ivanovic missed four games due to COVID-19, but returned to action in his team's home game against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Ivanovic came off the bench and had a stellar performance in front of almost 7,000 fans at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall. He buried back-to-back three-pointers that ignited the crowd and sealed the outcome, 63-48, midway through the fourth quarter. Ivanovic finished the game with 14 points on 3-of-5 shooting from downtown plus 5 assists, 2 steals and 5 fouls drawn for a PIR of 18.
Kalinic plays leading role
Nikola Kalinic returned to Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade this season to play a leading role in his second stint with the club and that is exactly what he did in his team's Round 9 victory against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Kalinic scored 6 of his team's opening 8 points and also had 5 points in a 10-0 run that boosted Zvezda's margin to 50-41. He rounded his solid performance with the free throws with 8.8 seconds left that iced the game. Kalinic helped in many ways, finishing the game with a season-high 22 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 8 fouls drawn for a PIR of 27.
Three-point defense leads Zvezda
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne led the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague in three-point accuracy (39.6% 3FG) before its Round 9 game against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Zvezda, however, managed to stop ASVEL's shooters and that led to a 73-67 victory. ASVEL only made 4 of 19 three-point shots (21.1%), and Zvezda did much better, burying 8 of 22 shots from downtown (36.4%). Zvezda also took much better care of the ball and that was also a big key to this game. Zvezda finished the game with 20 assists, 9 steals and just 7 turnovers. ASVEL had 15 assists, 4 steals and 14 turnovers.
Thursday, November 11, 2021