Bayern Munich shoots its way to victory in Kaunas
Bayern Munich’s long-range prowess made the difference as the Turkish Airlines Euroleague newcomers marked their Top 16 debut with a 66-84 victory at Zalgiris Kaunas. Malcolm Delaney paced the Munich attack with 14 points and 6 assists, while Heiko Schaffartzik talled 12 points and 5 assists. The visitors went up by 10 after 5 quick Robin Benzing points early in the second quarter. Schaffartzik came alive to reject a Zalgiris run as the visitors took a 36-48 lead at the break. The third quarter is where Munich broke the game open as Bryce Taylor and Lucca Staiger shined in a 0-13 charge and Zalgiris never recovered. Taylor finished with 12 points and Benzing 10 for the visitors, who made 10 of 21 threes (47.6%) compared to just 6-of-33 three-point shooting (18.2%) for the hosts. Justin Dentmon led Zalgiris with 12 points in defeat.
First quarter: Defenses set the tone early
Zalgiris won the opening tip and went ahead on a Dentmon three-pointer. Delaney drew a foul shooting a three, but made only 1 of the resulting free throws. He made up for it a minute later by going coast to coast for a layup and a 3-5 Munich lead. Paulius Jankunas’s dunk attempt bounced out as the hosts endured more than five minutes without a basket. However strong defense kept Zalgiris in the game and when Arturas Milaknis sank a three, it was 6-5. Deon Thomas returned the lead to Bayern with baskets on both sides of the TV timeout. Tomas Dimsa free throws kept Zalgiris close. Milaknis accidentally tipped in a missed Delaney three before Thompson boosted the Munich lead to 8-13. Boris Savovic added the Zalgiris pain with a basket inside. Ksistof Lavrinovic tipped in his own miss to close the gap to 10-15 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Schaffartzik threes put Munich in control
Sarunas Jasikevicius narrowed the gap with a mid-range jumper. Bayern asserted its control as Savovic scored inside before Benzing buried a three in transition and took a steal in for a layup and a double-digit lead. After a timeout, Saras buried a baseline jumper. John Bryant scored inside, but Zalgiris seemed to find some momentum as Klimavicius whipped a brilliant pass to Dimsa for a reverse layup and foul. Kaspars Vecvagars drove hard to the basket as the crowd got more involved. Saras showed his skills with a nifty dish to a cutting Klimavicius to make it 20-24. Jasikevicius and Klimavicus played the two-man game perfectly for the latter’s layup. Delaney stopped the hosts’ run at 8 unanswered points with free throws. Schaffartzik restored Munich control with a pair of threes for a 22-32 cushion. Milaknis kept Zalgiris alive with a three from the corner, but a third three from Schaffartzik followed by a Thompson layup boosted the visitors’ lead to 12. Following a timeout, a fullcourt Milaknis pass to Jankunas resulted in free throws. Vytenis Lipkavicius drained a three and Dentmon scored in the paint to counter a pair of Yassin Idbihi scores. Schaffartzik’s fourth three of the quarter kept Munich in total control. Dentmon scored before a Benzing triple left Bayern ahead 36-48 at the break.
Third quarter: Big shots by Staiger, Taylor give Bayern insurmountable lead
Lucca Staiger’s jumper further padded the Bayern lead. Milaknis fired in his third three of the contest and Dentmon weaved his way inside, but a Staiger step-back triple kept the visitors comfortably ahead, 41-55. An unsportsmanlike foul committed by Vecvagars led to Taylor free throws and a Staiger three. Taylor added a three in what amounted to a 0-13 charge and a 41-65 lead. Vecvagars free throws stemmed the run and he soon added another basket. However the lead continued to grow through a Taylor three and score inside by Benzing. Klimavicius made it 48-72 with a reverse layup just before the buzzer.
Fourth quarter: Munich strolls to comfortable victory
Hoping to shoot its way back, Zalgiris relied on three-pointers, but had little luck. After Chevon Troutman’s put-back, Saras threaded the needle for an assist to Klimavicius. Troutman scored again before Lavrinovic netted a tip-in. Lavrinovic later added 3 free throws. Dentmon stretched Zalgiris’s run to 8-0 from the line. After a Delaney jumper, Jankunas connected on a three. But with three minutes remaining, the outcome was clear and Munich strolled to a comfortable road win.
Friday, January 3, 2014