Threes elevate Avtodor towards win in second half
Avtodor Saratov rose in the sceond half and cruised to its third win of the season thanks to a 90-68 decision at home over PAOK Thessaloniki. The first minutes of the game saw both teams fighting for the lead, but when the hosts managed to start hitting the threes, they pulled away for good. The win lifts Avtodor to a 3-1 record in Group E while PAOK drops to 1-2. Travis Peterson led the winners with 23 points, including 5 of 7 threes. Jeff Brooks added 16, Malcolm Armstead netted 13 and Denys Lukashov posted 12. Jeremy Chappell was close to the triple double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. For PAOK, Nikola Markovic was clearly the best player in the game with his 22 points and 5 boards.
Jeff Brooks got the hosts going with 4 points of his own, and he proved to be the main driving force in offense for Avtodor, but Nikola Markovic did the same shooting with no miss throughout the first period for up to 9 points. Kostas Vasiliadis hit a three to put PAOK ahead, 6-9, but neither team managed to build big leads. Avtodor had a hard time from beyond the arc during the first 10 minutes, which ended with a 18-20 edge for PAOK. The guests seemed to be in control during the first half of the second quarter when Kostas Kakaroudis scored for 26-31, but Avtodor came alive at the arc finally, and a 5-0 burst capped by Travis Peterson's three tied the game again, 31-31. Denys Lukashov fed Artem Zabelin for a slam in transition, while PAOK was struggling from the long range, 39-34. Vasileiadi's assist to Markovic for his 11th point also put an end to the first half with a 41-38 edge for Avtodor.
The second half started with Avtodor rolling over PAOK thanks to a 8-0 burst capped by Malcom Armstead's three for 49-38, forcing the timeout of the guests after the first double-digit lead of the game. Armstead's new three and Peterson's slam continued the flurry of points for the hosts, 54-38, until Markovic finally added points for PAOK. Avtodor's dominance however was not to be doubted, and when Peterson scored again for 72-51 in minute 29 it looked like it would fall on the hosts' side. Despite its 17 turnovers by minute 33, Avtodor stayed ahead safe as PAOK was stuck at 13 rebounds and a 34% from the arc, while the hosts' percentage dramatically increased to 63% after hitting 9 of 10 threes since the start of the second half. In the last minutes it was the hosts cruising to the final buzzer, for a win that lifts them to a 3-1 in Group E.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015