UNICS roars past Partizan
UNICS Kazan got back to its winning ways in impressive fashion by downing visiting Partizan NIS Belgrade 93-70 on Wednesday night. UNICS improved to 2-1 for second place in Group A, while Partizan dropped to 1-2. UNICS took control and a double-digit lead early behind the three-point shooting of John Holland and Isaiah Canaan. Partizan rallied late in the second quarter, but the hosts never relinquished the lead before pulling away with a strong start to the third quarter en route to a 23-point victory. Canaan finished the game with 23 points on 5-for-9 three-point shooting, while Jordan Morgan collected 22 points plus 8 rebounds. John Holland and John Brown III scored 16 points apiece, with the latter also pulling down 9 rebounds, and Jamar Smith netted 13 points with 7 assists in a victory. Nikola Jankovic scored 12 points, and Ognjen Jaramaz had 11 for Partizan. Codi Miller-McIntyre had 10 points, 7 steals, 4 assists and 4 rebounds and Stefan Jankovic also scored 10 in a losing effort.
Partizan got a jumper from Eric Mika and a triple from Ognjen Jaramaz in the early going, but UNICS was hot from long range from. Holland hit a triple before Canaan knocked down a pair. Morgan scored twice from close range, and Brown had a three-point play to open an 18-8 lead. Back-to-back jumpers from Jamar Smith helped the hosts to a 22-13 advantage after 10 minutes. Six points combined from Smith and Brown made it 28-15 early in the second. Partizan answered with a 0-7 run with all its points coming from the visitors' frontline, with Eric Mika finishing twice, including an alley-oop slam, to cut it to 28-22. Partizan's zone defense disrupted the hosts' offensive rhythm, which Codi Miller-McIntyre used for a fastbreak dunk and set Nikola Jankovic for an easy layup. The visitors cut the deficit to just 3 points before UNICS took a 37-32 lead into halftime.
The hosts had a strong start to the second half. Holland and Brown scored in the low post, with Pavel Sergeev nailing a triple in between to make it 44-34. Holland then strung together 7 more points and Canaan added a three-pointer for a 56-37 cushion midway through the third quarter. Stefan Jankovic snapped a 17-3 run with a triple, but Canaan and Smith hit back-to-back threes to open a 62-40 margin. Stefan Jankovic knocked down another triple and Nemanja Gordic added a mid-range jumper as Partizan tried to cut into the deficit. A corner three from Marcus Paige and a fastbreak dunk from Miller-McIntyre closed the visitors within 67-53 at the end of the third quarter. A triple from Paige and a three-point play from Mika helped Partizan get within 71-61, but that is as close as the visitors got. Brown and Morgan kept dominating inside, combining to score 11 points, and Canaan nailed another triple to open an 89-68 lead and ice the game.
UNICS was very efficient from long range, making 9 triples on 20 attempts. More importantly, only five different UNICS players attempted a three-point shot and four players made at least one.
UNICS outrebounded the visitors 38-28 and allowed just 3 offensive rebounds through the first three quarters as it already held a comfortable double-digit margin. UNICS also dished 19 assists to Partizan's 10.
Codi picking pockets
Partizan playmaker Codi Miller-McIntyre had 7 steals, which set the Partizan club record and was the most steals in a EuroCup single game since December 2017.
Jamar Smith watch
UNICS sharpshooter Jamar Smith entered this game just 6 three-point shots shy of the all-time EuroCup record and after making 11 of 16 in the first two games of the season, Smith went just 1 for 2 in this contest. Smith now has 218 career triples made and trails only the all-time leader Rafa Martinez, who has 223
Both teams will be on the road next week to play newcomers in Round 4. Partizan will travel to visit Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul, while UNICS will visit JL Bourg en Bresse.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020