Bayern edges Zenits with a big fourth-quarter rally
In a battle of Group F co-leaders that went down to the wire, FC Bayern Munich rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to edge Zenit St. Petersburg 78-80 on Wednesday. It was Bayern’s second win over Zenit in eight days and gave it sole possession of first place in the group with a 3-1 record. Zenit dropped to 2-2, in a share of the second place. The hosts led for majority of the night and were up 66-52 early in the fourth quarter, but Stefan Jovic and Reggie Redding orchestrated a Bayern comeback, and Devin Booker scored 9 of his 17 points during the rally. Redding hit wat proved to be the game-winning jumper with 34 seconds to go and Bayern made two defensive stands in the remaining time to hold on to victory. Redding finished with 18 points, Booker collected 17 points plus 12 rebounds, Jovic had 14 points and 7 assists, while Jared Cunningham also scored 14 for Bayern, which appeared to have lost Milan Macvan to a serious knee injury in the third quarter. Zenit, which was without its big man Drew Gordon, saw Evgeny Voronov score 17 points. Kyle Kuric netted 13, Demonte Harper added 12 and Sergey Karasev tallied 11 points and 5 assists.
Macvan had a three-pointer and a three-point play early for Bayern, but Voronov scored twice inside and once from the outside to help Zenit open an 11-6 lead. Macvan hit another three to spark a 0-7 run, before Redding’s triple made it 13-17. But the hosts did not allow another field goal for the final 3:30 of the first quarter, while Voronov and Harper helped the hosts regain the advantage. Zenit led 22-19 after 10 minutes and went on to increase the margin to 30-21 with triples from Voronov and Marko Simonovic. However, Bayern quickly erased the deficit with a 0-9 run of its own, as Cunningham hit a triple, Redding knocked down a jumper and Jovic set up Danilo Barthel’s alley-oop dunk. Back-to-back triples from Jovic put Bayern up and the visitors went into the break in front 37-38.
Karasev scored Zenit’s first 7 points in the third quarter, but Booker had 6 for Bayern. With the score tied at 46-46, the hosts went on a big run, sparked by a triple from Kuric, before Artem Vikhrov and Ivan Lazarev combined for 10 points, including a pair of Lazerev alley-oop dunks, as Zenit pulled away to 57-48. Kuric’s three-pointer extended the margin to 60-49 late in the third, and Voronov’s steal and an easy fastbreak dunk opened a 66-52 margin in the fourth. However, Bayern answered with a big run of its own, which Booker started with a dunk, before Redding continued with a three-point play and Jovic with a jumper. Booker’s three-point play cut the deficit to 66-64. Kuric snapped a 0-12 run with a three, but Cunningham and Jovic got the visitors within 69-68. Bayern finally tied the game in the penultimate minute and went in front 76-78 with a Redding to Booker alley-oop dunk 55 seconds before the final buzzer. In the ensuing 19 seconds, Kuric and Redding traded jumpers, before Cunningham made a key steal to help Bayern hold on.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018