It proved to be a roller-coaster contest against Crvena Zvezda at Stark Arena.
Zalgiris won a 'complicated game' to keep win streak alive
In one of the closest games of this thrilling Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season, Zalgiris Kaunas edged out Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet Belgrade 91-93 on Friday night.
During the 40-minute contest that went down to the wire, no team had a lead bigger than 6 points. The battle featured 20 lead changes and nine ties.
"It was a very complicated game, with a lot of small things impacting the momentum, the result and the rotations of the players," Zalgiris head coach Andrea Trinchieri said after the game.
His team spent the majority of the game in the lead, but had a really good response in the fourth quarter.
After Zvezda opened the final stanza with a 7-0 run to get to its biggest lead of the night, 72-68, Zalgiris answered with a 0-7 run of its own to retake the lead and never trail again.
Zvezda did tie the game once again at 80-80 and had a possession where it could have taken the lead, but Zalgiris made a defensive stand and Tomas Dimsa hit a transition triple that gave the visitors the lead for good.
Evans caught fire from deep
That was the last of Zalgiris's 13 triples on the night, and the best three-point shooting team in the league made them on 43.3% shooting in this contest. Keenan Evans made 5-of-9 and finished the night with 25 points.
Three-point shooting was one of the major differences in the game, as Zvezda was just 7-of-19 from long range.
For Zalgiris, which survived being outrebounded 33-25 and had a hard time slowing down Yago Dos Santos, who had 21 points and 14 rebounds, it is its sixth win in nine games since Coach Trinchieri took over.
"I had a total of eight practices with the team so far, so I cannot say what we can do, but I can say that the team is following me," Trinchieri pointed out.
Zalgiris has now won four of its last five games, including three in a row, and improved to an 11-15 record, just two wins away from the play-in places.