Baskonia wins the opener in Kaunas 29
Zalgiris Kaunas started the new EuroLeague campaign with a 79-87 loss to Baskonia Vitoria in front of more than 15,000 fans at Zalgirio arena on Friday.
Jayson Granger paced the winners with 15 points on 5-of-7 three-point shots. Shavon Shields added 14, Toko Shengelia had 12 while Marcelinho Huertas and Matt Janning each got 11 for Baskonia.
Nate Wolters had 19 points for Zalgiris while Arturas Milaknis added 12.
Back-to-back floaters by Wolters gave Zalgiris a 10-9 lead. Granger and Matt Janning each struck from downtown for a 10-15 Baskonia edge but Wolters and Laurynas Birutis helped Zalgiris restore a 24-22 lead after 10 minutes.
Huertas and Darrun Hilliard took over early in the second quarter and a tip-in by Ilimane Diop made it a four-point game, 30-34. Three-pointers by Granger and Hilliard kept Baskonia in charge, 39-42, at halftime.
Janning and Shields kept pacing Baskonia, keeping the guests ahead, 46-51, midway through the third quarter. Huertas stepped up with five quick points and an alleyoop dunk by Vincent Poirier made it a double-digit game, 49-59. The guests kept a 53-63 margin after 30 minutes, extended it to 59-76 behind an unstoppable Granger and cruised to a road win.
Before the game the minute of silence was kept to honor Grigorij Khizhnyak, the best per-minute shot blocker in EuroLeague history, who passed away earlier this month.