It shouldn’t have been a surprise if some of Partizan NIS Belgrade’s players were having a bout of deja-vu in their game with Joventut Badalona. But this time, things worked out for the home team's best in the Round 6 makeup game. Partizan saw a 14-point fourth-quarter lead deteriorate to just 2 points inside the final 80 seconds, but the Serbian side held its nerves just enough to pull out a 78-75 win over Joventut for its second straight win to improve to 4-3 in Group A’s fight for the Top 16.
Nemanja Gordic scored 16 points with 4 assists while Codi Miler-McIntyre picked up 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists for Partizan. But the win had a special meaning for Partizan, especially because it was able to hold on this time around. Back in Round 1, Partizan was up 46-61 late in the third quarter before Nenad Dimitrijevic and Conor Morgan fueled Joventut’s comeback and Pau Ribas gave the Spanish side the 85-82 win.
The scoreline wasn’t that much different in the Round 6 makeup game as Partizan was up 63-49 after three quarters and then 66-52 early in the final frame. Instead of Dimitrijevic and Morgan, it was Shawn Dawson and Morgan who carried Joventut back into the game. Dawson scored the visitors' first 10 points of the fourth quarter, Ferran Basses hit a three-pointer and a Morgan triple trimmed the deficit to just 74-72 with 79 seconds left to play. Bassas even missed a three-pointer which would have given Joventut the lead. Miller-McIntyre rebounded that miss and raced in for the layup and a 76-72 advantage with 28 seconds left. Marcus Paige ended up hitting two free throws with 9.9 seconds to play to secure the win.
"We said a couple of times during the game when we were up (14) points, we knew that they are the kind of team that never gives us, and they can come back in 2 or 3 minutes, which they did. They showed us that they are a great team, but we are the team which won this game," Gordic said.
Even though it sure looked like Partizan might give up another big lead.