Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and Valencia Basket came into their game in Serbia going in different directions. But Zvezda used its peculiar historic advantage against Valencia – and a heroic effort by Jordan Loyd, who was on Valencia's roster last season – to snap its five-game losing streak.
Zvezda had never lost to Valencia in five Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games, and Loyd and Co. made it a perfect six-for-six with a 76-73 victory to end their losing skid. Valencia, meanwhile, winner of five of its last seven games, couldn't overcome fate. The losing streak to Zvezda is all the more fascinating considering that Valencia is 4-0 against the Serbian side when they have faced each other in the 7DAYS EuroCup.
Loyd, who led the way with 20 points and 6 assists, didn't care about any history. He only cared about finally getting another W.
Really emotional. We had a lot of close games in the last...forever, so it really feels good to pull one out and get a victory, he said. "We played together as a team, shared the ball. Everybody that stepped on the court did a helluva job."
Loyd opened the second half with a three-pointer to give Zvezda a 12-point lead. Not only was that cushion gone by the fourth quarter, but Valencia had even pulled ahead 65-67 with more than 6 minutes left in the game.
Loyd took the load on his shoulders and carried his team to the win. He hit a runner in the lane and followed that with a three-pointer. He added a baseline jumper and fall-away jumper. By the time Dejan Davidovac canned a jumper of his own, the hosts led 76-71 with 78 seconds left. And that proved enough.
It's about damn time we got a win, Loyd added.
His coach Sasa Obradovic said this was exactly what the doctor ordered.
We really needed this, after all the unlucky situations we had, Obradovic said. "For a negative period of losing so many games, this is the right medicine."