Astana Kazakhstan defeated Zielona Gora Poland on the road, 91-82 (23-14, 20-21, 26-18, 22-29).
Zielona Gora: Boris Savovic (16 + 11 reb), Lukasz Koszarek (16 + 5 ast), Michal Sokolowski (11)
Astana: J.J. O’Brien (23), Anthony Clemmons (18 + 5 reb + 7 ast), Geoffrey Grosselle (14), Ken Horton (10 + 5 reb), Malcolm Jenkins (10 + 6 ast)
Astana made it three in a row with a win in Poland to spoil Zielona Gora’s home debut. The visitors raced out to a 19-8 lead in the 1st quarter and never trailed in an impressive road victory.
J.J. O’Brien led the way with 23 points for Astana, which dished out 23 assists in the victory.
The turning point came late in the 3rd quarter. Leading by six points, 59-53, after Lukasz Koszarek knocked down a 3 for the home team, Astana closed the period on a 10-0 run, highlighted by six straight points from Maxim Marchuk.
The visitors added six more to open the 4th quarter–courtesy of O’Brien and guard Anthony Clemmons–to put the game away for good. Clemmons had the best all-around performance, putting up 18 points, five rebounds and seven assists. The Astana guard now ranks 4th in scoring in the League (19.5) and 5th in efficiency rating (19.8).
Zielona Gora was led by Boris Savovic and Lukasz Koszarek with 16 points each, but never managed to dig out of its early hole, dropping its third consecutive game following the big win in Nizhny Novgorod to open the season.
Astana improves to 3-1 and now boasts two road wins, plus the dramatic comeback vs. Zenit last week at home.
16 – number of unanswered points from Astana to end the 3rd quarter and begin the 4th, which decided the outcome for good.
Zielona Gora head coach Igor Jovovic: “Congratulations to our opponent. Astana was better today. I think we lost because we lost our opponent get in a rhythm in the first half. We kept trying to catch the opposition and spent a lot of energy doing so. Plus, we made a lot of mistakes and committed stupid fouls on three-point attempts.”
Astana head coach Emil Rajkovic: “I’m happy to return to this wonderful arena and see the Zielona Gora fans again. I want to congratulate my players on competing and doing what we agreed on before the game. We had the advantage today for 39 minutes.”