Paige shoots Partizan past UNICS
Partizan NIS Belgrade rewrote the club's record books on three-point shooting as it outlasted UNICS Kazan 89-86 on Tuesday at Hala Sportova Ranko Zeravica in the Serbian capital. The club sank 16 three-pointers and Marcus Paige authored half of them to establish respective club records for threes by a team and a player. The thriller, which featured six lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter alone, saw Partizan capture its maiden win under new head coach Saso Filipovski to improve to 3-3. UNICS slipped to 4-3. Paige finished with a career-high 25 points on 8-of-10 three-point shooting to lead the winners. Codi Miller-McIntyre added 15 points and Rade Zagorac shined with a season-high 14 points plus 8 rebounds. Isaiah Canaan led five UNICS scorers in double figures with 19 points, John Brown scored 16, Jamar Smith tallied 14 points and 6 assists, Jordan Morgan posted 12 points and 7 rebounds and Evgeny Kolesnikov added 10 points.
Threes by Dmitrii Uzinskii and Canaan helped UNICS jump out to a 6-10 lead. Morgan amassed 7 points in the first 5 minutes and Smith connected on his first triple as the margin grew to 8-16. Miller-McIntyre kept the hosts in the game before William Mosley, fresh off the bench, shined at both ends to narrow the gap to 14-16. Jumpers by UNICS big men Okaro White and Brown stretched the difference to 17-24 and prompted a Partizan timeout. Mosley trimmed the deficit with a put-back slam before Brown made it 20-26 after 10 minutes. Paige connected from downtown twice in the second quarter before Zagorac added a layup and a fastbreak slam to give the hosts their first lead, 33-32. Three times Kolesnikov pushed UNICS ahead, but Partizan answered with a score each time to hold a 40-39 edge at the break.
Both teams came out strong for the second half with Nemanja Dangubic and Smith each hitting a pair of threes as the teams traded leads and the score stood at 51-50 midway through the third quarter. Novica Velickovic and Paige added threes as the lead reached 57-52. Brown trimmed the gap before Paige nailed his fourth and fifth threes of the night for a 63-55 cushion. Canaan revived UNICS with a three-point play and Brown made it 63-60 at the end of the quarter. Free throws by Morgan and a basket by Brown completed a 0-9 UNICS run to lead 63-64. Nikola Jankovic's put-back put the hosts back in front before Paige drained another three for a 68-64 cushion. Smith fed Morgan for a slam and then scored in transition to even things at 68-68. Rashawn Thomas's first points – a basket-plus-foul – restored a slim Partizan advantage. The lead switched hands again, first on a three by Canaan and then on a pair of baskets by Miller-McIntyre. Canaan and Thomas traded threes before Brown's put-back-and-one evened things at 78-78. Paige knocked down 2 more threes as Partizan took control. Thomas's put-back made it 86-82 with 50 seconds on the clock. Canaan responded with a triple with 36.7 to play, but Thomas's steal led to a dunk by Miller-McIntyre and UNICS ran out of time on its final possession.
Marcus Paige shined with 25 points, including 7 in the final minute. The guard hit the go-ahead triple for an 81-78 lead and knocked down another on the ensuing possession. He finished with a performance index rating of 23, which is also a personal best.
Though there were many key moments in this game, perhaps none was bigger than Rashawn Thomas's steal from Jordan Morgan with 10 seconds to go. Instead of UNICS having the ball with a shot to win it, Codi Miller-McIntyre dunked to put Partizan up 3 and the hosts used fouls and good defense at the end to hold on.
Partizan's 16 triples were its most ever in the EuroCup and the club's most in European competition since it hit 17 in a EuroLeague game against Estudiantes in January 2005. The previous club record in the EuroCup was 14 triples against Virtus Segafredo Bologna last season. The club record for threes by a player in the competition had been 5 -shared by six players – before Paige blew it up on this night.
Partizan not only set a club record with 16 threes, but it missed only 13 shots from downtown! It's 55.2% conversion rate was the second-best in club history after a 57.1% night (12 for 21) in a loss to Limoges CSP in December 2017.
Partizan will look to stay hot on Thursday when it hosts group leader Joventut Badalona in a makeup game from Round 6. UNICS also has a makeup game on Thursday. It travels to France to face JL Bourg en Bresse in a Game postponed from Round 4.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020