Jalen Riley, Ron Curry lead VEF Riga to first win
RIGA (Latvia) - After losing their first two games of the Basketball Champions League season by a combined 12 points, VEF Riga finally got in the win column with an important 92-76 victory over AEK.
Riga snapped an eight-game losing streak in the BCL, while AEK have now lost six road games in the BCL in 2021, dating back to last season.
AEK was only averaging 19 points per game off the bench coming into the game, but scored 27 points tonight, with Nikos Pappas scoring 22 of them.
AEK have conceded 90+ points in consecutive BCL games only for the second time in the competition, after first doing it in January 2020.
Turning point: Riga used a big first quarter to jump out to a 27-15 lead behind Jalen Riley's 11 points in the quarter.
After being down briefly very early in the game, Riga never trailed again, as they kept their foot on the gas and led for 37:55.
Game heroes: Ron Curry and Jalen Riley combined for 26 of the team's 46 halftime points.
Curry finished with 19 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists off the bench.
Riley finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists and is only the second player this season combining for 25+ points and 5+ assists in a BCL game (25 points, 7 assists).
Riley scored the most points ever for a Riga player in a single BCL game.
The two players combined to knock down nine of the team's 14 three-pointers.
Stats don't lie: Riga shot 50% from three-point, while AEK shot 37.8%.
Both teams made the same amount of threes, but AEK attempted nine more than Riga.
Riga distributed the ball nicely, dishing out 26 assists to AEK's 15 assists.
Riga outrebounded AEK 41-28 and also dominated in points in the paint 32-20.
Bottom line: Riga are now 1-2 and currently sit in third place in Group D.
The Latvian club will travel to face AEK again next on Nov. 15.
AEK are still winless at 0-3 and currently sit in fourth place in the group.
The Greek club will host Riga next on Nov. 15.