Monroe leads Bayern in St Petersburg
FC Bayern Munich snapped a four-game losing streak by scoring the game's final 9 points to down Zenit St Petersburg 68-77 on the road on Thursday. Bayern improved to an 8-18 record, leaving Zenit alone at the bottom of the standings at 7-19. Zenit led for the majority of the first half, but did not hold any lead in the second half as Bayern ran its advantage up to 8 points. Zenit was able to tie at 68-68 with 3:30 to play, but Bayern did not allow another basket after that and kept riding the dominant Greg Monroe to a game-ending 0-9 run to secure the victory. Monroe finished with 26 points – the personal best of his first EuroLeague season so far – to go with 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Paul Zipser added 13 points and Vladimir Lucic 10 for Bayern. Austin Hollins netted 18 and Gustavo Ayon 17 points in defeat for Zenit.
Ayon and Hollins scored all Zenit's points early, with the latter's triple opening a 9-5 lead. Monroe dominated inside with 7 points for Bayern, while Zenit's Andrew Albicy assisted Tim Abromaitis and scored his own layup-plus-free throw to open an 18-11 lead. T.J. Bray hit from long range and Mathias Lessort from inside as Bayern drew within 20-19 after 10 minutes. A jumper from Zipser gave Bayern its first lead, 20-21, at the start of the second quarter, but Ayon and Albicy quickly restored Zenit's advantage with 6 straight points before Andrey Zubkov and Maodo Lo traded triples. The teams kept trading baskets as Zenit held a slim lead, but in the final 30 seconds of the half Zipser nailed a triple then Danilo Barthel beat the buzzer with a half-court shot to put Bayern up 36-40 at the break. A pair of inside baskets from Monroe and fastbreak baskets from Lo and Lucic let Bayern surge ahead 41-50 early in the third quarter. Zenit recovered behind 5 points, including a three-pointer, from Hollins. The teams exchanged close-range baskets the rest of the quarter, with Bayern still leading 54-60 headed into the fourth. Both teams kept looking it inside as baskets from Zenit big men Zubkov, Ayon and Abromaitis cut the difference to 62-64. Barthel scored twice inside, but Hollins strung together 6 points, including another three-pointer, tying the game at 68-68 with 3:30 to go. Monroe answered inside, then dished to Lucic for a layup that made it 68-74. After a timeout, Monroe scored a three-point deal that sealed the deal as Zenit did not find the basket again
Greg Monroe dominated inside for each of the 28 minutes he spent on the floor, setting a new Bayern record by scoring 12 of 18 two-point shots. Those 12 two-pointers are also tied for the EuroLeague season high. Monroe took it another step and decided the game by scoring 5 points and dishing an assist in Bayern's game-ending 0-9 run.
This was just the second road win of the season for Bayern, and its first on non-German soil, since the previous one came against ALBA Berlin. With this win Bayern also ended its four-game losing streak, which came as a part of 10 losses in the previous 11 contests. It is also a first EuroLeague road win for coach Oliver Kostic in five tries.
Bayern tied its club record with 7 blocked shots. Paul Zipser and Josh Huestis each delivered a pair, while Monroe, Vladimir Lucic and Danilo Barthel had 1 apiece. Despite those efforts, Zenit still shot 62.2% (23 for 37) from two-point range.
Zenit had 10 offensive boards compared to Bayern's 4, and the hosts had 19 assists and 8 turnovers against Bayern's 21 and 12, respectively. But Zenit finished with a nine-point loss mostly because of its 5-for-30 three-point shooting. Bayern attempted 18 fewer triples, going 4-for-12 from long range.
Zenit will be back in action again next Tuesday to open Round 27 with an all-Russian affair on the road against CSKA Moscow. Bayern will host KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz a day later.
Thursday, February 27, 2020