Zalgiris doubles LKL semis lead in Panevezys 8
Zalgiris Kaunas showed character and came back from Panevezys with a victory after eliminating a 17-point deficit. In the second Betsafe-LKL semi-final match Zalgiris defeated 7bet-Lietkabelis 86-83 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The third game of the series will be played at Zalgirio Arena on Friday, 26 May at 18:30.
Rolands Smits opened the game with a three-pointer, while Edgaras Ulanovas and Kevarrius Hayes scored after offensive rebounds to make it 8-7. The unproductive first quarter was closed by Ulanovas floater and 4 free throws from Isaiah Taylor, 14-14.
The second period started with points from Hayes and Dovydas Giedraitis, 18-16. After the home team took the lead, their enthusiasm was quelled by Laurynas Birutis dunk and layup by Tomas Dimsa, 22-25. After a basket by Ulanovas, a three-pointer by Lukas Lekavicius and eight more points by Dimsa, Zalgiris took a 35-29 lead. Ignas Brazdeikis broke through under the basket, Birutis added a free throw, but 7bet-Lietkabelis ended the quarter with 4 accurate long-range shots, 38-41.
Within 70 seconds after the break, Zalgiris was already trailing by double digits, 38-48. Smits and Ulanovas scored, but a 16-5 spurt by the opponents increased the deficit to 17 points, 47-64. Zalgiris didn’t give up and after a block by Hayes and a quick 2+1 by Tyler Cavanaugh, as well as three-pointers by Giedraitis and Dimsa, it was 59-67 at the end of the third quarter.
Soon after, 4 points by Ulanovas cut the difference in half, but 7bet-Lietkabelis responded with the same, 63-71. Shots by Birutis and Smits, 5 points by Lekavicius and an impressive breakthrough by Taylor brought the visitors to the minimum, 74-75. The game continued to be point-to-point, with points by Lekavicius and Smits, until finally, with 22 seconds left to play, Birutis rebounded the ball and scored with a foul to make it 84-81. The victory was sealed by Ulanovas’ free throws, 86-83.
Dimsa was the best scorer for Zalgiris with 15 points. Ulanovas scored 14, while Lekavicius and Birutis added 12 and 10 points respectively.