Jamar Smith is closing in on becoming the 7DAYS EuroCup’s all-time leading three-point shot maker. But it was his floater in the lane that saved the day for UNICS Kazan on Tuesday.
After knocking down 7 of 8 three-pointers to lead a near record-breaking UNICS attack from the outside, Smith knifed towards the basket, jumped and hung before throwing in the game-winner for an 89-88 victory over Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul.
"I wanted to shoot the last shot. I was just trying to keep myself calm and get the best shot that I could," said Smith, who finished with 25 points in helping UNICS avoid a two-game losing streak to start the EuroCup campaign.
Smith came off the bench and made big plays all game - especially in the fourth quarter. UNICS wasted a 12-point lead in giving up a 0-12 run. After a timeout, Smith re-entered the game and nailed a triple. He added another three-pointer a couple of possessions later and assisted on John Holland's three for an 87-81 advantage. UNICS once again gave up the lead and fell behind, setting up Smith’s heroics.
Smith's 7 three-pointers gave him 217 in his EuroCup career, spanning 90 games. He is just 6 three-pointers shy of Rafa Martinez’s all-time mark of 223 threes in 144 games.
But Smith wasn’t the only UNICS player on target from long range against Bahcesehir. The team collectively made 19 of 31 three-point attempts for a blistering 61.3%. John Holland, Isaiah Canaan and Pavel Antipov all buried 3 three-pointers and Pavel Sergeev sank a pair of threes. The 19 triples were just 1 shy of the single-game EuroCup record - 20 three-pointers being made by two teams - UNICS in 2009 and ASVEL Villeurbanne in 2017.
"For UNICS Kazan it was an amazing three-point shooting performance. It was unbelievable," added Bahcesehir coach Zafer Aktas.
But the main man was 33-year-old Jamar Smith, who came up big again - as he has done so many times in the past.