Alba Berlin blasts Zalgiris in final home game
In its last home game of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season, Alba Berlin gave its fans something more to cheer about by crushing visiting Zalgiris Kaunas 77-55 on Friday night at o2 World in the German capital. The win improved Berlin to 3-10 in seventh place of Top 16 Group E, while Zalgirs dropped to 5-8 and sits in sixth place. In a clash of two teams already eliminated from the playoff hunt, Alba made a huge 27-3 run over a span of almost 10 minutes that bridged the first and second quarters and led 41-21 at halftime. The hosts cruised to victory in the second half, led by Deon Thompson who finished with 16 points. Derrick Byars netted 12, while Nihad Djedovic, DaShaun Wood and Ali Traore scored 8 apiece. For the visitors, Ksistof Lavrinovic had 15 points, Mario Delas added 8, while Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored 7 in defeat.
First quarter: 14-0 run puts Alba in control
After Darjus Lavrinovic opened the scoring with a layup, Zalgiris's lead increased to 0-6 with baskets inside from Mario Delas and Mindaugas Kuzminskas. The visitors did not allow any points for four and a half minutes at the start of the game, before a jump shot from Deon Thompson opened Berliners' account. That basket, however, started a big run from Alba as the hosts held Zalgiris scoreless for the final seven minutes of the quarter. Nihad Djedovic hit a jumper and Thompson dunked before Heiko Schaffartzik and Je’Kel Foster each nailed a triple for 14-6 score that stood at the end of the first 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Thompson, barrage of triples open up 24-point lead
Alba’s run continued with Derrick Byars hitting from downtown and Ali Traore scoring from close range at the start of the second quarter, before a fast break layup from Djedovic made it 21-6. Ksistof Lavrinovic hit a three-pointer that ended the visitors’ nine-minute scoring drought, but Thompson strung together 6 straight points, including couple of fast break dunks after his own steals, extending it to 27-9. McGrath and Byars traded three-pointers, before Foster and DaShaun Wood each added a triple for 36-12. Zalgiris cut into the deficit with a layup from Rimantas Kaukenas and a three-pointer from Delas, but Wood nailed another triple, giving Alba 41-21 halftime advantage.
Third quarter: Berliners keep the margin safe
Darjus Lavrinovic made a layup to open the third quarter, and after Traore and Thompson scored for Alba, Oliver Lafayette answered with a triple and a 45-26 advantage. Kuzminskas added a basket-plus-foul to the visitors’ tally, but Zach Morley and Traore each scored from close range, keeping the margin at 20. After a long baseline jumper from Delas, Alba put together a 10-0 run, with two baskets apiece from Djedovic and Byars, and a layup from Yassin Idbihi extended it to 59-31. Before the quarter’s end, Kuzminskas and Ksistof Lavrinovic combined to make 5 of 6 free throws and Byars hit a long jumper, making it 61-36 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Hosts march to victory
The fourth quarter scoring started with a fastbreak layup from Vytenis Lipkevicius, and after Thompson hit a jump shot, Ksistof Lavrinovic nailed a three and made a put-back cutting it to 63-45. But Idbihi immediately answered with a triple of his own, and another shot from Thompson made it 70-48. Alba kept the intensity with a driving layup from Wood and a basket-plus-foul from Albert Miralles. After McGrath and Morley traded baskets, Adas Juskevicius made a layup of his own to round out the scoring.
Friday, March 29, 2013