Nizhny, Holon and Tenerife make big strides - Play-Offs Week 4 Tuesday roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - NIzhny Novgorod, Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon and Lenovo Tenerife became on Tuesday the first teams to reach three wins in their respective Play-Offs groups, making significant progress towards booking a trip to the Final 8.
Here's a closer look at what happened in all five Tuesday games of Week 4 in the Basketball Champions League Play-Offs.
Nizhny Novgorod 96-82 Turk Telekom -- Group K
Nizhny Novgorod put one foot in the Final 8 on Tuesday as Kasey Shepherd caught fire from downtown and the hosts cruised past Turk Telekom, 96-82.
The Russian team improved to 3-0 in the Group K standings and need only one more win, in any of their three remaining games, to secure their trip to May's season-ending tournament.
Shepherd knocked down 8 of his 9 three-point attempts and poured in a BCL career-high 32 points and registering an efficiency rating of 32, which is also his new personal best in the competition.
Nizhny raced to a 10-0 lead and never looked back, as each of their 10 players who stepped out on the court wrote his name on the scoresheet and five of them scored in double digits.
The last time Turk Telekom came within single-digit distance was 33-25, shortly before the six-minute mark in the second frame, but a Shepherd free-throw sparked a Nizhny mini-burst and the hosts stretched the lead back to 16 points by halftime.
Shepherd scored 16 of Nizhny's 22 third-quarter points to ensure Turk Telekom would not even entertain thoughts of a comeback attempt, and the Russian team's cushion ballooned to 22 points, 81-59, early in the final frame.
Shepherd added 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 1 steal to round off his performance and Ivan Strebkov chipped in with 14 points and 2 boards. Muhammed Baygül had 18 points and 4 rebounds for Turk Telekom in a losing effort.
A Tyrus McGee free-throw six tenths of a second from the final buzzer earned Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon a 77-76 comeback win at Pinar Karsiyaka in an eventful game that went down to the wire.
Karsiyaka appeared to be gaining a firm grip on the game midway through the second stanza, when Amath M`Baye drilled a triple and Tony Taylor followed up by sinking three free-throws on the next possession to give the Turkish team a 14-point lead, 38-24 with 4:36 left to halftime.
Holon however started clawing their way back late in the third frame and a Chris Johnson jumper 3:59 from the final buzzer tied the scores at 66.
Guy Pnini knocked down what appeared to be a dagger three 10 seconds from time to give Holon what appeared a 74-71 lead, but on the other end of the floor Sek Henry rebounded his own missed free-throw, stepped back behind the arc and hit a triple to tie the scores at 76, with six tenths of a second left on the clock.
The game looked destined for overtime but Semih Erden was called for a technical foul as Holon were trying to inbound the ball, and McGee won the game for his team from the line.
C.J. Harris paced the Israeli side with 21 points and Isaiah Miles added 20 points and 6 rebounds, while M`Baye finished with 17 points and 8 boards for Karsiyaka in a losing effort.
Lenovo Tenerife 80-75 Igokea -- Group J
Lenovo Tenerife used a 13-3 burst late in the third quarter to jump ahead of Igokea and managed to hold off their tenacious visitors down the stretch to clinch a 80-75 win at home.
With Igokea leading 50-48 and 4:10 remaining to the end of the third frame, Bruno Fitipaldo sunk two free-throws to tie the scores. The visitors turned the ball over on the other end and the Uruguayan point guard knocked down a triple to push Tenerife in front.
The hosts stretched the gap to as many as 12 points midway through the final stanza but the excellent on the night Jackie Carmichael reduced the gap to 70-66 with a spectacular three-point play 2:49 from the final buzzer.
Sasu Salin however drilled a triple to deal a blow on the visitor's hopes and the vastly experienced Spanish side slowed down the game in the final minutes to avoid another Igokea surge.
Giorgi Shermadini paved the way for Tenerife with 21 points and 3 rebounds and Fitipaldo finished with 16 points and 4 assists. For Igokea, Carmichael had 26 points and 7 rebounds in defeat.
Tenerife have now improved to 3-1 on the Group J table and have also gained the head-to-head advantage over Igokea, who slide to 1-2 with one game in hand.
Brose Bamberg 117-76 Casademont Zaragoza -- Group L
Brose Bamberg ended a two-game losing streak in the most convincing way as they rolled over previously unbeaten in Group L Casademont Zaragoza 117-76 at home, breaking two offensive records in the process.
The German team hit 21 triples, establishing a new record for the most made threes in a single BCL game (the previous was 20) and they also registered their highest ever offensive output in the competition.
Michele Vitali scored with a layup 7:34 from the end of the second quarter and Chase Fieler drilled a three-pointer on the next possesion to give Bamberg their first double-digit lead of the night, 36-26.
Bamberg held their visitors to just 5 points in the opening five minutes of the third quarter and stretched the gap to 66-45, effectively sealing the win with time to spare.
Vitali had 23 points to lead six Bamberg players in double digits while Fieler and Shevon Thompson finished with 17 points apiece, the latter also adding 9 rebounds in a near double-double performance.
The German side have not only ticked the win column in the Play-Offs but they also have now the tiebreaker against Zaragoza, since the Spanish team had won by 12 points in the reverse fixture.
SIG Strasbourg 91-73 AEK -- Group K
SIG Strasbourg staved off elimination from the race for a berth in the Final 8 by registering a comfy 91-73 wire-to-wire win over AEK, their first success in Group K after three straight losses.
The French team are now tied with Turk Telekom in third place, at 1-3, and have gained the tiebreaker against AEK, who slide to 2-1 in the standings.
The hosts raced to their first double-digit lead, 22-12, shortly before the three-minute mark in the opening quarter but the Greek team reduced the deficit to 38-35 late in the second frame.
With Strasbourg leading 52-47 right before the nine-minute mark in the third stanza, Brandon Jefferson sunk a pair of free-throws to spark an 11-0 run which he capped off himself, again from the stripe, 5:43 from the third buzzer.
AEK; who were playing without Yanick Moreira, Nikos Zisis, Vlado Jankovic and Dimitris Mavroeidis, never managed to mount a comeback attempt and Strasbourg stretched the gap to as many as 25 points in the final frame.
Jefferson and Bonzie Colson scored 18 points each for the winners with the latter also adding 9 rebounds, while AEK's Keith Langford finished with a team-high 18 points.