Mavrokefalidis, Baron fuel Rytas to victory in Belgrade
Loukas Mavrokefalidis and Jimmy Baron combined for all the points in a 0-11 run late in the fourth quarter that lifted Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius to an 80-91 come-from-behind victory over Partizan NIS Belgrade on Wednesday at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall. Rokas Giedraitis scored a career-high 28 points - 12 more than his previous best – on 5-of-8 three-point shooting to pace Rytas, which improved to 1-1 in the EuroCup this season, while sending Partizan to 0-2 and the Group C basement. Mavrokefalidis finished with 26 points, Jimmy Baron scored 11 and Travis Peterson posted 9 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Patrick Miller led Partizan with 24 points and Nigel Williams-Goss added 11 points and 6 assists. Partizan which led with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter, was plagued by poor three-point shooting (3 of 23, 13.0%).
Partizan took control from the start by going inside often and scoring the game’s first 8 points. Marc Carter got Rytas on the scoreboard, but Partizan kept rocking with a Mihajlo Andric three-pointer. However Marc Carter continued to push the visitors forward and Marynas Echodas’s layup brought Rytas to within 12-11. Partizan remained ahead, 17-15, after 10 minutes. Rytas tied the score through Mavrokefalidis before Giedraitis drained a three for Rytas’s first lead, 17-20. Giedraitis hit twice more from downtown, but Partizan stayed close and Marko Pecarski’s layup evened the score at 28-28 midway through the second quarter. Vanja Marinkovic put the hosts back ahead, but soon Giedraitis took charge with 7 points in a 0-9 Rytas run to make it 32-37. However, Williams-Goss scored 4 points in an 8-0 Partizan run that Patrick Miller capped with a floater on the buzzer for a 43-39 halftime advantage.
Mavrokefalidis was the focal point of the
Rtyas attack as the visitors drew within 48-47, but Williams-Goss heated up for Partizan, too. The hosts remained in control, but Rytas refused to let Partizan pull away and back-to-back threes by Peterson and Giedraitis tied the game in the final minute of the third quarter. Miller’s jumper put Partizan back up, 62-60, through three quarters. Mavrokefalidis pieced together 7 straight points to give Rytas a 64-67 edge. Rytas was unable to stop Miller, who kept the hosts on Rytas’s tail and twice tied the score. Pecarski eventually restored a slim Partizan margin with a put back. Back-to-back threes by Baron and Mavrokefalidis made it 74-79 with two and a half minutes to go and prompted a Partizan timeout. Mavrokefalidis added a layup and Baron nailed an open three to cap a 0-11 run that put the game out of reach.
Rytas will look to keep the momentum going next week when it welcomes Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar to the Lithuanian capital, while Partizan heads to Spain to face RETAbet Bilbao Basket.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017