Rytas beats Nizhny again, Kisielius shines
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius grabbed its second consecutive Top 16 win by downing Nizhny Novgorod 99-73 in the Lithuanian capital on Wednesday. Rytas improved to 2-2 in Group G, while Nizhny dropped to 1-3. Laimonas Kisielius led the winners with 24 points on 6-of-7 two-point shooting and 4-of-5 on three-pointers. Drew Gordon added 17 points and 10 rebounds, David Logan and Corey Fisher each scored 14 points and Rokas Giedraitis 12 for Rytas. Petr Gubanov led Nizhny with 17 points, Kenneth Boynton and DeAndre Kane each netted 14 and Siim-Sander Vene and Ivan Strebkov scored 10 apiece for the visitors. Rytas dished 14 assists in the first half, shot the ball really well inside the arc (19 of 27, 70.4%) and committed just 3 turnovers. It also forced Nizhny to shoot poorly from two-point range (6-of-13, 46,2%), as Gordon and Logan helped Rytas to 51-34 lead at the break. Nothing truly changed in the second half, as Rytas kept its high percentages (69.7% 2FG, 50% 3FG) to cruise to a well-deserved win.
Julius Jucikas got Rytas going with a dunk and a layup, but Kane and Siim-Sander Vene soon gave Nizhny a 4-6 lead. Vene struck from downtown, Dmitrii Uzinskii added a jumper and Ilya Popov scored down low for an 8-13 Nizhny edge. A three-pointer by Giedraitis ignited a 9-0 run, which Fisher capped with free throws to restore a 17-13 Rytas lead. Boynton and Kisielius traded triples and a wild reverse alley-oop dunk by Gordon boosted the hosts' lead to 22-17 after 10 minutes. Boynton struck again from downtown early in the second quarter, but an unstoppable Jucikas singlehandedly gave Rytas a 27-20 lead. Gubanov and Strebkov tried to change things for Nizhny, but Logan kept his team way ahead, 36-29. A layup by Kisielius soon made it a double-digit game, 40-29. Jucikas scored again, Kisielius added a layup and Gordon followed a fast break slam with an acrobatic three-point play to break the game open, 51-34, at halftime. A triple by Logan and a dunk by Adam Lapeta made it a 20-point game right after the break. Gubanov hit back-to-back three-pointers, added 3 free throws and scored down low to give Nizhny hope at 62-51. A layup by Boynton prompted Rytas to call timeout at 64-55. Gordon and Giedraitis stepped up for Rytas and helped their team regain a 71-59 margin after 30 minutes. Fisher took over with a wild four-point play and soon struck from downtown again for an 81-62 Rytas lead early in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by Kisielius sealed the outcome, 88-65, and the Rytas fans had plenty of time to celebrate the win.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017