Zalgiris has a game to forget vs Crvena Zvezda in Kaunas 58
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade cruised to a convincing 61:77 victory over Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday at Zalgirio Arena. The victory was Zvezda’s third in a row and boosted the Serbian champs’ record to 8-8 and a tie for seventh place in the standings. Zalgiris lost its third straight home game in falling to 6-10.
Ognjen Kuzmic scored all of his 8 points in a 2:14 first-quarter run that put Zvezda in control early and Zalgiris never seemed to recover. Marko Simonovic drained 4 of 8 three-pointers en route to 16 point for the visitors, Branko Lazic added a career-high 15 points plus 4 steals and Charles Jenkins added 13 for the winners. Zvezda set a club record with 14 steals and forced Zalgiris into 20 turnovers. Paulius Jankunas led the Lithuanian champs with 10 points.
After Leo Westermann opened the scoring with a three-pointer, Kuzmic scored four times in a 2:14 Zvezda charge. Then Lazic took the torch and scored the last 7 points of the first quarter to make it 7:21.
Zvezda remained in control as Marko Guduric connected from downtown to cap a 0:12 run that gave the visitors a 19-point advantage. Lukas Lekavicius ended the Zalgiris drought with a jumper. Zalgiris pieced together a 7:0 run, however a Simonovic jumper left Zvezda sitting pretty at 14:30 midway through the second quarter. Nemanja Dangubic heated up with a three-pointer, a steal and a fastbreak dunk in a span of 15 seconds before Simonovic extended the difference to 19:44. Simonovic added a deep triple for a 27-point margin before Brock Motum’s jumper set the halftime scoreboard to 22:47.
The lead peaked at 28 on a Dangubic triple to open the third quarter. Zalgiris teenager Isaiah Hartenstein made his first EuroLeague basket a memorable one with a two-handed jam and a Kevin Pangos floater narrowed the gap to 37:56, but Lazic responded with a triple and later his steal and layup ended the third quarter at 39:61.
Jenkins drilled back-to-back threes to make it 46:72 with six minutes to go and Zvezda coasted the rest of the way.