Astana Overpowers Kalev

Astana defeated Kalev on the road, 86-80. Thanks to a strong start, the visitors led by nine at halftime. Though Kalev cut the deficit to three in the final minute, Astana held on at the free-throw line, picking up a second straight win.

Kalev and Astana still have playoff hopes, but needed a win today to stay within striking distance of 8th place.

Kalev head coach Alar Varrak made several surprise changes to the starting lineup, leaving Sten Sokk and Rolands Freimanis on the bench. His unconventional approach met with limited success. Astana's Kenneth Hayes and Nik Caner-Medley combined for 21 points in the first half to help the visitors secure a 47-38 lead.

Kalev got going in the 3rd quarter. Rolands Freimanis and recent signing Morris Curry worked well together on offense and the home team cut the deficit to two, 65-63, entering the 4th quarter.

Looking to complete the comeback, Kalev couldn't hit a shot to start the 4th quarter, missing its first six attempts from the field. Astana led by as much as 12 in the period. Though the home team cut the deficit to three in the final minute, it was too little too late. Astana made several key free throws to secure the 86-80 victory. With the win, the Kazakhs improve to 9th in the league.

Star Player
Nik Caner-Medley. The American forward played like a leader, recording his fourth double-double of the season. He finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and went 11-11 from the free-throw line.

Stat of the Game
51-27 - Astana completely dominated the rebounding battle.