A wild shootout for first place in Group F ended with visiting Dynamo Moscow not only winning 98-104 over Red Star in Belgrade, Serbia, but sealing its ticket to the elimination rounds as well. Dynamo, the 2006 ULEB Cup champion, raised its record to 6-2, while Red Star fell to 5-3 and tied with CEZ Nymburk for third place. Red Star would lose any head-to-head tie between them, too. Meanwhile, its next victory or another Red Star loss will clinch first place for Dynamo, which used 72.2% two-point shooting (26 of 36) to leave no doubt about its deservedness to win Tuesday's showdown. Henry Domercant made 10 of 11 free throws on his way to 28 points for the winners. Milos Vujanic followed him with 22 points, Robertas Javtokas with 17, Travis Hansen with 14 and Sergey Bykov with 11. Red Star got 23 points from Mladen Sljivancanin, 22 from Omar Cook, 13 from Tadija Dragicevic and 11 from Nenad Misanovic.
Javtokas answered Misanovic's opening shot for Red star with 4 straight points, showing at the very begining that hosts would have lot of problems under the boards. Boris Bakic pushed Red Star with 5 points in a row to a 9-4 lead, but then Vujanic cut it with a bomb from downtown. Domercant joined him with 4 points and Dynamo led after a 0-7 run. When Domercant hit from downtown soon after, Dynamo was up 16-21. Thanks to Cook's triple and free throws, Red Star tied to close the first quarter ended 26-26. Vujanic brought Dynamo back in front with 7 straight points early in the second quarter that forced a Red Star timeout at 32-39 score. Red Star answered with 8-0 run and tied again thanks to long-range shots by Cook and Sljivancanin. The streaks continued, however, as Domercant scored 9 points in a row restoring Dynamo's lead at 48-55. The same margin remained until the end fo first half, which ended 57-63 in the visitors' favor. Domercant already had 25 points and Cook 17. The scoring pace remained extremely high as both teams thought little of defense. In minute 25, Dynamo still led 67-75, but Red Star reeled off an 11-2 run to seize the lead back, at 78-77 after 29 minutes. Javtokas let Dynamo tie 80-80 after 30 minutes. Dynamo kept rolling with a 0-7 run over 3 minutes to start the final quarter. Sljivancanin scored from behind the arc to keep the hosts alive, but only until Javtokas converted a three-point play to increase Dynamo's lead to 85-92 in minute 35. When Domercant scored his next triple, Dynamo's advantage hit double figures at 85-96 and soon Hansen sealed the outcome with a bomb of his own that it was too late for Red Star to make up.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008