Karsiyaka, Nizhny get statement wins on the road - Play-Offs Week 3 Wednesday roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - Pinar Karsiyaka, who brought Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon's five-game win streak to an abrupt end in Israel and Nizhny Novgorod, who inflicted upon Turk Telekom their first home defeat in the BCL since December 2019, stole the show on Wednesday.
In the third game of the night meanwhile, Lenovo Tenerife returned to winning ways by defeating VEF Riga at home. Here's a closer look at what happened in the three Wednesday games in Week 3 of the 2020-21 BCL Play-Offs:
Pinar Karsiyaka needed more than six minutes to score their first basket of the night but rallied from a 12-point deficit to hand hosts Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon their first loss in Group I, 72-63.
There is now a three-way tie at the top of the group, as Karsiyaka, Holon and Happy Casa Brindisi are all tied at 2-1.
Holon made the most of Karsiyaka's late arrival to the game and were still leading by double digits early in the second frame but the Sek Henry-Raymar Morgan tandem made sure the visitors snapped out of their slow start and the Turkish team reduced the deficit to just three points, 30-27, by halftime.
Right before the nine-minute mark in the third quarter, Henry got fouled on a three-point attempt, sunk the first two-free-throws and scored off his miss on the third to give Karsiyaka their first lead of the night, 31-30.
The two teams traded blows until 4:19 from the final buzzer when, with Karsiyaka leading 60-59, Sek Henry knocked down a three-pointer to give them a 4-point cushion.
Holon run out of ideas on the offensive end and wasted successive possessions, and Karsiyaka held on to the lead much easier than anyone would have expected.
Morgan finished with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds and Henry had 18 points, 4 assists and 4 boards for the winners. Tyrus McGee collected 14 points for Holon in defeat.
Turk Telekom 71-84 Nizhny Novgorod -- Group K
Nizhny Novgorod snapped Turk Telekom's nine-game winning streak at home in the BCL by delivering a nearly flawless display on both ends to celebrate an 84-71 win in Turkey.
The Russian team, who have now joined AEK at the top of Group K as the only teams with two wins in as many games, jumped in the lead right from tip-off and pulled away decisively midway through the second quarter.
Turk Telekom had reduced Nizhny's early nine-point deficit down to two points, 30-28, but Anton Astapkovich hit a triple 6:09 from the end of the second frame and a Kasey Shepherd floater 1:07 from the halftime buzzer stretched the visitors' lead to 14 points, 47-33.
Everybody expected Turk Telekom to come out guns blazing after the interval, but Ivan Strebkov knocked down a triple with the start of the third quarter and Nizhny started off the period on a 12-2 run, to extend the gap to 22 points, 59-37, on a Artem Komolov triple 6:28 from the third buzzer.
Nizhny's lead ballooned to as many as 24 points and when Turk Telekom threw everything at the visitors late in the fourth and reduced the gap to 70-63 with 5:33 remaining, Komolov and Kasey Shepherd drilled back-to-back three-pointers to halt the comeback attempt.
Astapkovich had 17 points in the first half and finished with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds and Shepherd added 19 points, 4 assists and 4 boards. For Turk Telekom, whose previous defeat at home in the BCL dated back to December 4, 2019, Nick Johnson had 14 points in a losing effort.
Lenovo Tenerife 77-64 VEF Riga -- Group J
Lenovo Tenerife pulled away from VEF Riga in the opening quarter and cruised to a 77-64 win behind another dominant display in the paint by Giorgi Shermadini.
A Shermadini dunk 6:28 from the end of the first stanza put Tenerife in the lead once and for all and sparked a 16-0 run which Sasu Salin capped off with a triple three minutes from the first buzzer, stretching the hosts' lead to 23-8.
The Spanish team lead by as many as 21 points but VEF momentarily cut the deficit back to single digits, 51-42, midway through the third period.
Emir Sulejmanovic however sunk a three-pointer 5:17 from the end of the period to bring the gap back to 12 points, 54-42, and Tenerife held their visitors at arm's length the rest of the way.
Shermadini scored 17 points in the first half and finished with 25 points and added a BCL season-high 9 rebounds, while Salin chipped in with 17 points. For VEF, Isaiah Pineiro had 22 points, 5 boards and 3 assists in a losing effort.