Avtodor Saratov defeated PARMA Perm on the road, 105-93 (28-40, 23-23, 24-14, 30-16).
PARMA: Eigirdas Zukauskas (18 + 6 reb), Janis Blums (18), Ivan Lazarev (14), Ken Brown (11 + 8 ast)
Avtodor: Perrin Buford (30 + 9 reb), Trae Golden (19 + 5 reb + 15 ast), D.J. Newbill (15 + 5 reb), David Kravish (12 + 11 reb), Boris Savovic (12)
Avtodor picked up a crucial win in the race for the final playoff spot, storming back from a double-digit deficit at halftime to defeat PARMA on the road.
Perrin Buford poured in 30 points, while Trae Golden dished out a season-high 15 assists to charge Saratov’s high-octane offense.
The game was a story of two halves. Despite losing Michael Humphrey and Kodi Justice earlier in the week, PARMA erupted for 40 points in the opening quarter, only one point shy of the all-time record. The home team knocked down a ridiculous eight 3-pointers during the period.
Aleksandr Platunov with 2+1 as PARMA scored 40 in 1st Q vs Avtodor 💥 pic.twitter.com/aj5ZuWXdWG
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) March 2, 2019
The home team led by as much as 17 in the frame, though Avtodor was able to trim its deficit to 12, 40-28, thanks to a 5-0 run.
PARMA continued to score in the 2nd quarter, piling up 63 first-half points and taking a 12-point advantage into halftime.
Avtodor, at risk of dropping its fifth game in six outings, found the answer on the defensive end in the second half.
PARMA scored a measly 30 points over the final 20 minutes and watched its lead quickly evaporate in the face of an Avtodor onslaught. The visitors finished the game with 27 assists while shooting 50% from beyond the arc (10-20).
With PARMA clinging to a one-possession lead much of the 3rd quarter, the turning point came early in the 4th. Avtodor scored nine unanswered to take an 84-79 lead and never trailed again.
The victory gives Saratov a half-game lead on Kalev for 8th place and a spot in the postseason. PARMA, meanwhile, has likely been eliminated from postseason contention, falling to 3-15.
17 – Avtodor’s biggest deficit in Perm.
Trae Golden. The playmaker struggled shooting the ball (8-21), but made up for it with his distribution. Golden finished with 19 points, five rebounds and 15 assists, second-best in the League this season (Ken Brown had 16 in a game).
PARMA interim head coach Viacheslav Shushakov: “This is the second game where our team has had the right approach for only two quarters. We started believing too early that Avtodor would give up and lost our focus. Mistakes on defense also affected the course of the game. We were forced to play up-tempo basketball and at the end we ran out of steam, which has been an issue because of the busy schedule. The overall accumulation of fatigue had an effect on today’s result.”
Avtodor head coach Evgeny Pashutin: “First of all, I want to congratulate my team. This was a tough game. Like everyone else, we were rusty because of the schedule. It should be noted that PARMA got rolling today and scored a lot of points even without the foreign players who recently left the team. We expected a tough game over the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to maintain the tempo set by our opponent. It felt like we were wearing lead shoes. We gave up 62 points and 13 3-pointers in a half. Our opponent was quicker and more aggressive. After halftime and talking to the team, we started playing better defense. We started controlling their snipers and the glass. In the second half, leaders emerged who helped us score second-chance points. When PARMA made mistakes, we rebounded or put shots back, which allowed us to steadily reduce the deficit and ultimately secure the win.”