Brose Baskets beat Unicaja 79-90
Brose Baskets took revenge on Unicaja and managed to pull a valuable road win on Thursday night in Malaga, Spain by 79-90. The win allows Brose Baskets to stay very much alive for the Top 16 race in Group B with a 3-5 record, the same as Unicaja, but also with the point differential in favor of the German team. Brose Baskets managed to build a 17-point lead, 25-42, thanks to a 2-20 run in the second quarter and a huge Julius Jenkins. In the third quarter, Joel Freeland appeared for Unicaja to cut the deficit down, but Casey Jacobsen and his three threes in the last period helped the guests maintain a safe lead for good. Jenkins led the winners with his 23 points, Marcus Slaughter added 14, Anton Gavel had 12, Jacobsen chipped in with 11 and PJ Tucker had a double-double of 11 points and 13 boards. For Unicaja, Freeland and EJ Rowland had 17 points apiece, Gerald Fitch posted 15 and Luka Zoric 11.
The game started with a fast pace on both sides. Hrvoje Peric put the first points on Unicaja's column with a three-point play right away, but Anton Gavel
had a long jumper for Brose Baskets to get the guests going. A mini-run by the guests capped by Marcus Slaughter made it 4-8. Unicaja tried to look inside
while Brose had the most of his guards as Julius Jenkins blasted two threes for Brose Baskets, but Gerald Fitch did the same for Unicaja as the score
escalated to 13-13 first and 16-16 later with constant ties. EJ Rowland had a new three for Unicaja after timeout, but the guests kept up with no problems as
Jenkins fed PJ Tucker for a monster alley-oop that made it 21-22. In the last plays of the quarter, Berni Rodriguez and Joel Freeland had free throws for the
hosts but Jenkins tipped in a ball for his 12th point in the quarter and a 23-24 Brose Baskets edge after 10 minutes.
Brose Baskets stormed on court at the start of the second period with a 0-8 run including a four-point play by Jenkins. On the other end, the guests' defense
forced a couple of three-second violation situations for Unicaja and then Tucker hit a clean jumper that forced the Unicaja timeout with a 23-32 score.
Kristaps Valters hit two free throws for Unicaja with 6:05 to go in the quarter but the scoring run went up to 2-20 with three-pointers by Gavel and Karsten
Tadda for 25-42. Freeland finally scored Unicaja's first filed goal with 3:40 to go in the period and he soon added a running alley-oop that ignited the
Martin Carpena stands for 31-42. That was indeed Unicaja's comeback as the scoring run of the hosts went up to 9-0 when Fitch lifted a layup. Gavel gave
Brose some air but Zoric and Saul Blanco cut it down to single digits in the last minute, 38-44, after a 13-2 run. Rowland had a steal and slam to send the
stands into a frenzy but then Slaughter also slammed to make it 40-46 before the last play of the quarter, but the score would stay like that for the break.
Freeland kept on with his momentum to start the second half for Unicaja, but Slaughter and Brian Roberts soon stepped up for Brose Baskets to keep the gal
wide enough for the guests to breathe, 42-50. Roberts and Freeland traded threes in a quarter that did not see as much offensive actionas the first two. The
Unicaja defense adjusted to stop the guests' offense especially in the paint and on the other end, Zoric slammed for 51-59. Brose Baskets tried to keep the
valuable gap through Slaughter and Jenkins, who was back on court, but Jorge Garbajosa blasted a three that sparked a new Unicaja reaction and then Freeland
copied him for his sceond triple to make it 61-67 after 30 minutes.
An unannounced Casey Jacobsen appeared at the start of the decisive period with two straight threes around a Garbajosa bucket that made it a double-digit lead again for Brose Baskets, 63-73. Rowland was fed by Zoric to launch Unicaja but a third triple by Jacobsen kept Brose Baskets in a safe place as the clock advanced. Zoric and Rowland connected twice to score for Unicaja but the guests were playing with patience as Slaughter ound the back door for Jenkins to hit a three-point play, 69-80. With less than four minutes to go, Garbajosa emerged for a three-point play that set one of Unicaja's last chances to finally come back, but Slaugher hit both attempts from the line in the following play to keep the guests safe once more. Defenses proved to be the key in the last plays as neither team managed to score consistently and when Roberts hit it for 73-85 with 85 seconds to go, it was clear that Brose Baskets was keeping this valuable road win to stay alive for the Top 16, despite the free-throw parade of the last plays.
Thursday, December 8, 2011