Lukosiunas-led Zalgiris wins Game 1 over Neptunas 19
Zalgiris Kaunas opened up the Lithuanian Basketball League playoffs victoriously, despite wasting a huge lead. The Greens prevailed over the visiting Neptunas Klaipeda 92-88 (22-17, 26-23, 28-14, 16-34).
The reigning Lithuanian champions took a lead against their opponents in the best-of-five series.
Karolis Lukosiunas made 5 three-pointers for 17 points and Zalgiris were leading 48-40 over Neptunas at halftime.
Tyler Cavanaugh took over the flag from Lukosiunas, scoring 9 points in the third quarter. EuroLeague’s squad began the second half, organizing a 7-0 run and running away by 15 (55-40).
Eventually, Zalgiris’ advantage marked 20 points margin. Kazys Maksvytis’ men were up by 22 points (76-54) before the last 10 minutes of the game.
However, Neptunas showed their character, cutting their deficit to 7 points (71-78), after a 17-2 push. Josh Nebo and Karolis Lukosiunas seemed to get the job done for Zalgiris (85-71) but Neptunas rose up once more. They arranged a 12-0 spurt and were down by only 2 points (83-85) with 1:20 to go.
Lukas Lekavicius scored a duo on another end (87-83) and let the team’s fans breathe easier. Both clubs exchanged with efficient attacks, Lekavicius poured in a free throw and Zalgiris got a 3-point lead (90-87) with 9 seconds to play.
Deividas Gailius responded with a one-point bucket on the other side (88-90), while Edgaras Ulanovas fortified the W (92-88).
Lukosiunas led the scoring race for the winners. He had his career night, finishing the duel with 23 points (0/2 2PT, 7/10 3PT, 2/2 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 21 PIR.
Zalgiris: Karolis Lukosiunas 23, Tyler Cavanaugh 14 (7 REB), Edgaras Ulanovas 14 (9 REB), Josh Nebo 12, Lukas Lekavicius 10 (6 AST), Arturas Milaknis 10.
Neptunas: Deividas Gailius 23, Julius Jucikas 14, Zygimantas Janavicius 12 (11 AST), Nojus Mineikis 12.