Strong play down the stretch lifts Aris to its second straight road win.
Aris shocks Buducnost in Podgorica, 63-65
Aris Midea Thessaloniki escaped from Moraca with a valuable 63-65 win over host Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on Wednesday. Aris trailed by as many as 16 points before halftime, but never gave up, stuck to a zone defense that collapsed Buducnost's offense and managed to come back with a 0-12 run in the last period before Dimitris Katsivelis hit the winning free throw with 2 seconds to go.
Roberto Gallinat paced Aris with 15 points, Kristeon Bankston posted 14 points and 6 boards, Surtan Sanogo had 11 and 8, and Silvio de Sousa provided 10 and 9. The win improved Aris's record to 3-3.
Buducnost was led by Yoan Makoundou, who chipped in 20 points - 14 in the first half, and Jacorey Williams, who tallied 10 points and 6 rebounds in the losing effort as Buducnost slipped to 2-4.
Makoundou and Williams rule in the beginning
Buducnost had a strong start relying on Makoundou and Williams, who combined for 8 points and ruled the paint to grant the hosts an early 8-2 lead. Aris struggled in offense, unable to hit shots from the outside and finding problems moving the ball. Bankston tried to help Aris with some energy that turned into a couple of buckets that reduced the gap to 12-9 after a timeout, but Williams and Makoundou showed up again to help Buducnost finish the first period ahead 20-11.
Buducnost escapes, Aris reacts
Marvin Jones established a double-digit advantage for the home team early in the second quarter and Makoundou later extended it to 26-11. A free throw by Andrija Grbovic set a game-high margin, 32-16, soon after, with the guests again struggling to find their offensive momentum. Lefteris Bochoridis finished the drought with the first triple for Aris after 15 minutes, waking his team up. Sanogo followed with another of his own, and Bochoridis hit again from downtown to make it 35-27. Despite Buducnost finding Fletcher Magee as a new scoring weapon, the visitors continued pushing through Gallinat and Bankston to reach halftime trailing 37-32.
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Magic Moment: Jones explodes for the slam!
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Magic Moment: Williams throws it down!
Magic Moment: Bankston starts strong!
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Magic Moments: De Sousa with the ferocious dunk!
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Magic Moment: Big dunk by Makoundou!
Magic Moment: Williams's alley-oop dunk!
Magic Moment: Popovic finds Jones!
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Magic Moment: Harrell's put-back blast!
Magic Moment: Toliopoulos beats the buzzer!
Magic Moment: Makoundou for the baseline slam!
Magic Moment: Jones flies high!
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Magic Moment: Miller-McIntyre wins it!
Magic Moment: Papanikolaou's huge block!
Magic Moment: Moneke's put-back slam!
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Magic Moment Sanogo destroys it with both hands
Magic Moment: Bankston makes it up in style
Magic Moment: Makoundou denies Gallinat!
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Magic Moment: A monstruous dunk by Makoundou!
Magic Moment: Williams dunks from an alley-oop!
Magic Moment: Bankston posterizes Emanuel Cate with monster dunk!,
Magic Moment of the Night: Gallinat super-block!
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Magic Moment: Kolenda goes for a dunk, but Gallinat stops him at the rim!
Magic Moment: De Sousa with a monster dunk!
Magic Moment: Jacorey Williams with the one-hand flush!
Magic Moment: Yoan Makoundou rocks the rim!
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Magic Moment: Makoundou goes all the way
Magic Moment: Monster put-back by Makoundou
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Magic Moment: McKinley Wright beats the halftime buzzer!
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Magic Moment: Sirvydis goes all the way!
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Aris make it a new game
The Aris rally didn’t stop after the intermission, as Gallinat came up with another bomb from downtown and Sanogo continued scoring to make it 42-41 after 23 minutes. Buducnost prevented the visitors from capping the comeback going back to the weapon that had worked better so far; Makoundou. The French forward contributed 5 quick points in a 9-0 spark that restored a double-digit margin, 51-41, for the home side. Far from waiving the white flag, Aris didn’t step back thanks to De Sousa, who showed up with his first 8 points of the night to close the third quarter with a 56-51 edge for the hosts.
Aris uses zone, completes the comeback
An unsportsmanlike foul on Ronnie Harrell slowed down Aris entering the last quarter and allowed Buducnost to rebuild a safe margin, 60-51. Nevertheless, the visitors kept trusting their zone defense, which ended up collapsing the home team’s offense. Aris kept Buducnost scoreless for the next 6 minutes, good to make up for its scoring problems and complete the rally. Sanogo lit the fire with a couple of buckets and Katsivelis followed with another two of his own to cap a 0-12 run that gave Aris the first lead of the night, 60-63, entering crunch time.
The game entered in a free-throw exchange at that moment, with Makoundou missing a three-pointer that could have returned the lead to the home team when it was 62-63, and McKinley Wright missing from the line when it was 63-64 entering the last minute. Even though Aris was unable to find the net in the last possession, Wright missed a short jumper right after that and Katsivelis sealed the outcome with a free throw with 2 seconds to go.