Nizhy Novgorod rallies to top visiting Jerusalem
Nizhny Novgorod rallied from an early double-digit deficit to beat Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 92-71 in the first Eurocup game for both teams on Wednesday. Teams were tied at 55-55 in the later stages of the third quarter, but that’s when Nizhny took control thanks to four three-pointers from Maxim Grigoryev that made it 74-61 early in the fourth, and the hosts never looked back in this Group F encounter. Nizhny finished shooting triples 12 of 24, while Jerusalem did not hit a three-pointer in six attempts. Kaspars Berzins finished with 22 points and 6 rebounds, Semen Antonov had 15, Grigoryev netted 14 on 4-for-6 from three points range. Rasid Mahalbasic posted 13 points, Evgeny Baburin scored 11, and Dimitriy Khvostov dished 10 assists in victory. D’or Fischer paced the visitors with 25 points, Lior Eliyahu scored 19, E.J. Rowland had 15 points, while Donta Smith contributed with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 12 assists in defeat.
Eliyahu got the visitors going inside, before Fischer strung together 8 points for 8-14 lead. When Rowland and Smith joined the party, Jerusalem pulled away to 12-22 to end the first quarter. But Baburin hit a three and Berzins a two-pointer to start the second quarter, halving the deficit. Fischer remained hot for Jerusalem, but Mahalbasic scored on three consecutive trips down the floor, making it 23-26. Back-to-back three-point plays from Josh Duncan and Rowland made it a 9-point game once again, and after a triple from Nizhny’s Ivan Strebkov, consecutive baskets from Eliyahu made it 30-38. However, in the final 2:40 of the half, the hosts went on an 11-0 run, started with free throws from Antonov, before a put-back from Berzins and a triple from Baburin made it 41-38 at the half.
After the break, Eliyahu, Rowland and Fischer put Jerusalem in front again, 45-49, but Baburin and Khvostov made baskets, and Antonov a triple and a basket-plus-foul from Mahalbasic put Nizhny in front 55-51. After Eliyahu answered with a three-point play of his own, Grigoryev hit back-to-back triples for the hosts, and added his third in the final 20 seconds of the quarter for 66-59 after 30 minutes. A put-back and triple from Berzins opened a double-digit lead at the start of the fourth, and Grigoryev’s fourth triple made it 74-61. A three-point play and a three-point shot from Berzins extended it to 82-64 with three-minutes left, and Nizhny continued cruising the rest of the way.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015