Loyd leads Zenit past ALBA
Zenit St Petersburg grabbed its fourth consecutive win by downing ALBA Berlin 75-66 at Sibur Arena on Wednesday. Zenit improved to 7-3 in the standings and dropped ALBA to 3-7. Jordan Loyd led the winners with 25 points, Jordan Mickey added 12 and Conner Frankamp scored 10 for Zenit. Marcus Eriksson paced ALBA with 20 points, Johannes Thiemann had 11 and Maodo Lo 10 for the visitors. Loyd, Arturas Gudaitis and Mickey helped Zenit to a 20-14 lead after 10 minutes. Loyd kept pushing Zenit after that and Mickey, Frankamp and Billy Baron each buried a three-pointer to make it a double-digit game, 42-30, at halftime. Eriksson scored 14 points in the third quarter, but Loyd made sure the hosts held a 59-50 margin after 30 minutes. Little changed after that, as Zenit kept a safe margin all the way until the final buzzer.
Lo got ALBA going with a layup and a three-pointer. Gudaitis dunked and Mickey scored down low, igniting an 8-0 run that Denis Zakharov capped with a layup. Lo answered from downtown and Luke Sikma put ALBA back in charge, 8-10. Loyd took over with a high-flying put-back basket and erased Sikma's reverse layup with an off-balance jumper for a 12-12 tie. Mickey and Frankamp each struck from beyond the arc and Mindaugas Kuzminskas capped a 10-0 Zenit run with a jump hook. Thiemann brought the guests within 20-14 after 10 minutes.
Eriksson hit a floater early in the second quarter and Jaleen Smith added a put-back layup for a 20-18 ALBA deficit. Ben Lammers bettered Andrey Zubkov's layup with a three-point play, but Mickey buried a corner triple that gave Zenit a 25-21 lead. Lammers took over with an alley-oop slam, but Loyd followed a running jumper with a dunk off a steal in a 6-0 run that made ALBA call timeout at 31-23. Christ Koumadje dunked before Frankamp and Yovel Zoosman traded three-pointers. Mateusz Ponitka made it 36-28. Loyd and Baron each hit one from downtown to make it a double-digit game, 42-30, at halftime.
Eriksson struck twice from downtown right after the break and soon added a running jumper to get ALBA closer, 45-38. Alex Poythress stepped up with a reverse layup and Ponitka added a put-back slam, but Smith and a red-hot Eriksson brought ALBA within 49-41. Loyd and Eriksson exchanged three-pointers and Mickey added a layup for a 54-44 Zenit cushion. Eriksson buried a floater and Zoosman took over with a three-point play but Loyd followed a stop-and-pop jumper with a bomb from beyond the arc for a 59-50 Zenit lead after 30 minutes.
Loyd hit an acrobatic shot off a steal early in the fourth quarter. Thiemann did better with consecutive three-point plays, giving ALBA hope at 63-55. Frankamp banked in a floater and Mickey erased Thiemann's put-back basket with a jumper, giving Zenit fresh air at 67-57. Frankamp beat the shot clock with a one-handed jumper in the lane, but Sikma answered from downtown. Eriksson and Lo hit free throws to make it 69-64 in the next-to-last minute. Loyd hit a pair from the foul line and added a jumper that sealed the outcome, 73-66, as ALBA did not recover.
Loyd shines at both ends
Jordan Loyd led Zenit to its seventh win in the current Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season, scoring a season-high 25 points against ALBA Berlin. He made 7 of 11 two-pointers and 3 of 6 shots from downtown plus 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 33. He also played a key role on defense. Loyd finished the game with 5 steals, the second-best mark for a Zenit player in EuroLeague action. His teammate Mateusz Ponitka holds the record with 7 steals against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on April 12, 2021.
Defense makes Zenit strong
As always, defense came first for Zenit St Petersburg in its 75-66 home victory over ALBA Berlin. Zenit forced ALBA to shoot the ball with low percentages. The German champs made only 15 of 37 shots inside the arc (40.5%) and 7 of 22 three-pointers (31.8%). Zenit shot the ball much better (51.2% 2FG, 34.8% 3FG) and took better care of the ball, too. Zenit finished the game with 10 steals, matching its season-high, and committed only 8 turnovers. ALBA only had 3 steals and finished the game with 18 turnovers, in what was the biggest key to this game.
Eriksson puts on a second-half exhibition
Marcus Eriksson of ALBA Berlin was struggling in his team's Round 10 road game against Zenit St Petersburg. At halftime, Eriksson had 4 points on 1-of-3 shooting, 2 rebounds and a PIR of 4. Eriksson opened the third quarter with a different mindset, burying a three-pointer, downing a running jumper and scoring against from downtown. He kept going and even though ALBA ended up losing the game, Eriksson had a very different second half en route to a season-high 20 points. He made 3 of 4 two-pointers, 3 of 4 threes and 5 of 6 free throws for the game.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021