In a showdown between two previously unbeaten Russian clubs, host Unics Kazan downed Dynamo Moscow 80-71 on Tuesday to earn first place in Group B, which it will try to defend in another match between these two teams in Moscow next week. Terrell Lyday opened the night by scoring 12 points in the first five minutes to fuel a 20-0 Unics run, that would be too much for Dynamo to overcome. Lyday and Vladimir Veremeenko led a balanced Unics offense with 14 points apiece, while Tariq Kirksay, Dmitry Sokolov and Kresimir Loncar scored 13 points each for the winners. Kirksay also led his team in rebounds (9), assists (4) and steals (4), and Veremeenko grabbed 8 boards to help Unics win the rebounding battle 38-29. Robertas Javtokas played arguably his best offensive game of the season, shooting 10 for 10 from the field to finish with 24 points and help Dynamo stay in the game. Bostjan Nachbar scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, Jannero Pargo added 13 and Hollis Price 10 for the visitors.
Though Lyday opened the scoring with a basket on the hosts' first attempt, both teams started strong on defense as Travis Hansen evened the score for Dynamo two minutes into the game. But then hell broke loose for the visitors and it was Lyday, who made it happen. On Unics's next three possessions, he dished to Sokolov for a dunk, connected on a jumper and made a three-point-play to put his team in front at 9-2. Dynamo head coach David Blatt didn't hesitate to take a timeout, but Lyday wasn't finished yet, as he assisted to Veremeenko, hit 2 free throws and then nailed the game's first triple. The guests didn't seem to have any answers, while Kirksay, Sokolov and Veremeenko completed the amazing 20-0 run to make it 22-2. Substitutes Javtokas and Hollis Price finally gave Dynamo some points, but the Kazan crowd couldn't be anything but excited with a 28-7 lead after the first 10 minutes. Javtokas and Nachbar took some of that excitement away, outscoring Unics 0-11 to start the second quarter. Then Pargo hit Dynamo's fist three of the night to cut the lead to 30-21. The teams were equal now with Loncar and Price being the go-to guys. Price scored 5 straight for Dynamo, but Loncar hit from downtown for his seventh point in three minutes to give Unics a 39-26 advantage at the halftime.
Pargo kick started the second half with a layup for the guests, but Veremeenko made a jumper on the other end. Javtokas continued to be determined, overpowering Unics for 5 points inside. But the hosts had a determined big man of their own in Loncar, who scored three buckets to keep Dynamo at a distance. Then Veremeenko connected from downtown, and after Nachbar scored 2 from the line on the other end, Petr Samoylenko hit another triple for Unics and Kirksay stole the ball to dunk and expand the lead to 57-38. Nachbar and Javtokas continued to lead Dynamo, but Kirksay was hot now, too. Sokolov's layup put the Unics lead back to 19 points, before Javtokas made it 63-46 with 10 minutes to go. After Price opened the fourth quarter with his second triple of the night, Javtokas matched Veremeenko and Sokolov with 4 points inside. Though Marko Popovic scored 5 points for the hosts, Nachbar and Javtokas managed to help Dynamo get closer, and Travis Hansen split free throws to cut it to 72-61. Sokolov hit one from the charity stripe on the other end, but Nachbar was determined with 5 straight points. But Dynamo wasn't making enough stops on the defensive end, as Sokolov and Kirksay gave Unics 2 more buckets. Pargo hit layups to bring the margin down to 77-69 and 79-71, but time was working against Dynamo now, with only 90 seconds left in the game. After Hansen and Pargo missed the next two shots for the guests, Unics could celebrate the victory and the first place in Group B.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008