Zalgiris celebrates seventh straight Lithuanian crown 14
Zalgiris Kaunas claimed its seventh consecutive Lithuanian League championship after holding off Lietkabelis Panevezys 73:68 on Friday in Game 5 at Zalgirio Arena to win their best-of-seven series 4-1.
Lukas Lekavicius led the way with 23 points and Paulius Jankunas posted 16 points and 9 rebounds, including the key basket with 11 seconds remaining. Edgaras Ulanovas added 12 points and 7 boards and Leo Westermann had 8 points and 8 assists.
Zalgiris outrebounded Lietkabelis 37:28 and scored 14 second-chance points in one of the keys to victory.
Ksistof Lavrinovic and Zygimantas Skucas paced Lietkabelis with 12 points apiece and Zygimantas Janavicius and Gintaras Leonavicius had 11 each.
The teams traded blows throughout the first quarter, which ended with the score knotted 15:15. Ksistof Lavrinovic and Janavicius pushed the visitors to a 5-point advantage early in the second quarter, but Lekavicius scored 8 points in a 13:2 tear that saw Zalgiris soar to a 40:29 advantage. Darjus Lavrinovic closed the gap to 42:33 at the break.
The hosts padded the lead, which reached 57:43 on Brock Motum’s put-back slam. The visitors scored the final 7 points of the third quarter, last 3 of which came from a shot from downtown by Leonavicius, to make it 58:52.
Janavicius made free throws to make it a 4-point game at the start of the fourth quarter. Lekavicius drained a triple to give the hosts a 70:63 cushion with three minutes remaining. Lietkabelis came back and got within 3 on Ksistof Lavrinovic free throws with 95 seconds remaining. However, Jankunas beat the shot clock with 11 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and all but seal the victory and championship.