Zvezda thrashes Bayern at home
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade confirmed its outstanding momentum at the start of a new year by overwhelming FC Bayern Munich 93-63 at home in the Serbian capital on Thursday. Zvezda improved to 8-9 in the standings and extended its winning streak to three games. Bayern dropped to 6-11 with its third consecutive loss. Lorenzo Brown and Kevin Punter led the winners with 15 points apiece. Vladimir Stimac and Dejan Davidovac each added 13 while Billy Baron had 10 for Zvezda. Greg Monroe led Bayern with 20 points and Vladimir Lucic added 11 for the guests. Monroe had 8 quick points to give Bayern an early 4-9 lead but Brown and Ognjen Kuzmic fueled a 12-0 run for a 16-9 Zvezda lead. An outstanding Stimac boosted the hosts' lead to double digits, 25-13, after 10 minutes. Davidovac and Punter sparked Zvezda to a 43-24 margin midway through the second quarter. Zvezda boosted the difference to 53-31 at halftime and then again to 71-46 after 30 minutes, enough to seal a no-doubt-about-it win.
Monroe got Bayern going with a layup, a mid-range jumper and a jump hook for a 0-6 lead. Borisa Simanic stepped up with a floater for Zvezda and Kuzmic dunked but Monroe and Maodo Lo kept Bayern in charge, 4-9. Kuzmic kept pacing Zvezda with a layup and a tip-in to which Brown added 4 points in a 12-0 run highlighted by Branko Lazic's dunk off a steal. Mathias Lessort rescued the guests with a tip-in but Davidovac erased it with a power layup and Stimac added a jumper for a 20-11 lead. A red-hot Stimac scored again and Brown made it a double-digit game, 25-13, after 10 minutes. Davidovac took over with 7 quick points early in the second quarter but Lucic kept Bayern within 32-17. Stimac scored twice in the paint and Marko Jagodic Kuridza added a huge dunk, making the guests call timeout at 38-22. Monroe and Lo tried to change things for Bayern but Punter and Davidovac kept Zvezda way ahead, 44-27. Monroe downed a mid-range jumper and Leon Radosevic added a jump hook but Brown and an unstoppable Jagodic Kuridza helped Zvezda break the game open, 53-31, at halftime. Baron, who had been scoreless until then, nailed a triple right after the break. Lo scored around the basket and Radosevic swished a jumper for a 57-35 Bayern deficit. Brown scored in penetration and Lazic added a layup off a steal to make it a 25-point game, 61-36. Kuzmic scored again but even when Bayern improved its defense, the guests kept struggling to score. Baron found answers with a driving layup but Lucic and Diego Flaccadori brought the guests a bit closer, 65-44. Baron and Charles Jenkins each sank a triple for a 71-46 Zvezda margin after 30 minutes. A reverse layup by Stimac and a three-point play by Punter sealed the outcome, 76-46, early in the fourth quarter. Bayern only managed to trade baskets after that, giving Zvezda fans plenty of time to celebrate an outstanding home win.
Stimac came off the bench and did everything right to make sure his team won this game. He finished the game with 13 points on 6-of-7 two-point shooting, adding 6 rebounds, a block and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 18 in just 21 minutes.
Bayern had a strong start and led 4-9 early but Zvezda adjusted its defense and found a go-to guy in Kuzmic, who banked in a close shot and added a tip-in. Lazic added a dunk off a steal, Lorenzo Brown had 4 points and Stimac capped a 12-0 run with a layup, good for a 16-9 margin. Zvezda didn't lose momentum after that, getting a 22-point lead at halftime.
Zvezda did everything right in the first half, hitting 17 of 24 two-point shots (70.8%), outrebounding Bayern by 19-10, getting 4 blocks and dishing 14 assists against just 3 turnovers. The PIR difference at halftime said it all: Zvezda led 74-19!
Did you notice?
Zvezda remains undefeated against Bayern -- three games, three wins. They had only faced each other in the 2015-16 EuroLeague, when Zvezda beat Bayern twice, 79-90 in Munich and 85-76 in Belgrade. Stefan Jovic had 19 assists in Munich -- still the EuroLeague's all-time record -- and 13 in Belgrade. Unsurprisingly, he went on to play for Bayern two years later.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action on Friday, January 10. Bayern hosts CSKA Moscow at 20:30 CET and Zvezda visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at 20:45 CET.
Thursday, January 2, 2020