Rytas picks up second win over Lokomotiv
Rytas Vilnius picked up its second victory over Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar this season - and second overall in the 7DAYS EuroCup - with an 82-87 triumph in Russia on Tuesday. Rytas overcame a 14-0 Lokomotiv fourth-quarter run, finishing with a 2-9 spurt to improve to 2-4 in Group B. Evaldas Kairys scored a career-high 16 points by hitting all eight of his field-goal attempts along with 6 rebounds for Rytas, which also saw Eimantas Bendzius tally 12 points, Pako Cruz 11 and Arnas Butkevicius collect 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists for a performance index rating of 26. Lokomotiv has now dropped three straight games in falling to 2-4. Dmitry Kulagin picked up 18 points and 6 assists, Sam Dekker scored 16 points, Johnny O’Bryant had 13 points and 6 rebounds and Dragan Apic added 12 points in the defeat.
Will Cummings started the scoring for the hosts with a three-point play and 6 points each by Apic and Kulagin put Lokomotiv ahead 15-8. A Rytas timeout calmed down the road team with Dovis Bickauskis twice putting back offensive rebounds for 5 points and Mindaugas Girdziunas adding 4 points in a 3-17 run for an 18-25 lead, which was 20-25 after 10 minutes. Bickauskis’s next basket made it 20-27 and his three-point play and a Bendzius triple put Rytas up 28-35 with Dekker tallying 7 points at the other end. Three scores from Apic put Lokomotiv back ahead 39-38 only to see Kairys strike three times under the basket to make it 43-44 at the break. A Cummings triple evened it early in the third quarter, but Cruz answered with a three and a pair of Cameron Bairstow baskets had Rytas ahead 49-55. O’Bryant would not let Rytas pull away and tied the score at 55-55. Rytas missed some chances to open some space by four times only splitting free throws, though Bendzius made it 60-63 after three quarters. Rytas pushed the advantage to 61-67 before the hosts took over. Dekker used his athleticism to convert twice and Vitaly Fridzon scored 6 straight points in a 14-0 run for a 75-67 lead. Cruz would not let the visitors go down without a fight with 2 assists and 2 three-pointers to cut the gap to 79-78. Kulagin pushed the margin to 3 points, but Rytas was better at execution down the stretch with Butkevicius and Bendzius both hitting free throws and then the team grabbing 2 offensive rebounds in the final minute with an 82-84 lead. Terrell Holloway followed with a free throw with 13 seconds left and Kulagin missed a three-point attempt with 4 seconds left to give Rytas the win.
Lokomotiv big man Alan Williams was a non-factor due to foul trouble all game. Williams came into the game as the league’s co-leading rebounder at 9.2 boards a game plus 12.6 points. Against Rytas, he had 2 points on 2 shots with 3 rebounds and 2 assists before fouling out in 18:31 minutes.
Pako Cruz hit 2 of his 3 three-pointers and dished out both of his assists in the fourth quarter as he scored 11 points and had 1 steal for the winners.
Rytas held Lokomotiv to just 28.6 percent on three-pointers and the guests made 19 of 26 free throws compared to 12 of 17 for Lokomotiv.
Lokomotiv will head to Umana Reyer Venezia on Wednesday, November 13 aiming to get its season back on track after three straight losses. Rytas meanwhile welcomes Limoges CSP in hopes of making it two wins in a row.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019