Kaunas “Zalgiris” basketball players suffered their first defeat in the pre-season cycle after four victories. On Tuesday, Žalgiris lost to Real Madrid 81:89 (26:20, 17:23, 18:28, 20:18) and took second place in the tournament held in the town of Antekera.
Karolis Lukošiūnas’ three-pointer, Edgars Ulanov’s half-hook and Roland Šmits’ free throws gave “Žalgiris” the lead at the beginning of the game (7:5), but the trio of Sergio Rodriguez, Džanan Musa and Walter Tavares had their own antidote – 7:13. Keenan Evans broke through under the basket and nailed a three-pointer, Kevarrius Hayes treated the opponent with a block and threw penalties, so “Žalgiris” took the lead again 14:13. Then Tomas Dimša played an impressive stretch, scoring 8 points in a row (20:16), and Liutauras Lelevičius finished the first half with a three-pointer from the corner after a pass from Mantas Kalnietis – 26:20.
Tyler Cavanaugh’s shot had increased the advantage of Kaunas to 8 points (28:20), but D.Musa’s 6 points and two S.Rodriguez three-pointers quickly turned the scales in the other direction – 30:32. The points of R. Šmitas in the fast attack and the long shots of K. Lukošiūnas and T. Dimša revived the Zalgirian attack – 38:37. Before the big break, Laurynas Birutis threw a penalty and R. Šmitas tied the score with a three-pointer at the siren – 43:43.
Real started the third quarter with a hurricane attack and scored the first 13 points. After 4 minutes, the silence was broken by K.Evans’ three-pointer, but Zalgirisians avoided rushing towards the basket, which was guarded by the 221 cm tall W.Tavares. The difference had grown to 15 points (46:61), but three-pointers by K. Lukošiūnas and T. Cavanaugh allowed us to breathe air – 52:63. T. Dimša also excelled from afar, adding a two-pointer with a foul in the next attack, and Mantas Kalnietis closed the half with a three-pointer with a siren – 61:71.
In the fourth quarter, M. Kalnietis continued the three-point show, hitting two more shots from a distance, but the opponents also scored points – 70:82. Before that, K.Evans scored 3 free throws from under the basket, R.Šmits scored 4 points, K.Hayes added a two-pointer, and K.Evans scored the 16th three-pointer for Zalgiris – 81:89.
“Zalgiris”: T.Dimša 17 (4/8 triples), K.Evansas 16 (4 assists, 3 assists), R.Šmitsas 11 (6 rebounds), M.Kalnietis 9, K.Lukošiūnas 9, T. Cavanaugh 8, K. Hayes 4 (6 rebounds), L. Lelevičius 3, E. Ulanovas 2, L. Birutis 2, M. Krivas 0.
„Real“: W.Tavaresas 19 (6 assists, 2 blocks), D.Musa 19, S.Rodriguezas 16 (11 rebounds, 3 assists), P.Cornelie 9 (11 assists). . . . .