Kalev Estonia defeated Enisey Russia on the road, 88-80 (25-19, 29-15, 23-26, 11-20).
Enisey: Alex Young (17), Artem Komissarov (15 + 5 reb), John Roberson (15 + 5 ast), D’Angelo Harrison (11)
Kalev: Chavaughn Lewis (25 + 3 stl), Branko Mirkovic (20), Arnett Moultrie (14), Janari Joesaar (10 + 11 reb)
Kalev used a dominant first-half performance to put away Enisey and move into 7th place in the standings. Despite a lengthy trip and time zone change, the Estonians were the aggressors to begin the contest, opening up a 20-11 lead in the first six minutes.
Kalev’s advantage ballooned in the 2nd quarter, thanks to a 20-4 run to end the period
After Alex Young pulled the home team within four, 34-30, on a fast-break alley-oop from D’Angelo Harrison, Kalev’s defense only allowed four points over the final five minutes of the first half.
Meanwhile, Branko Mirkovic keyed the offense, scoring 10 of his 20 points during the stretch to help the visitors pick up a commanding 54-34 advantage at halftime.
During the second half, Enisey tried to claw its way back into the contest, outscoring Kalev by 12. But the home team never got closer than seven, undone by the disastrous 2nd quarter.
Chavaughn Lewis ultimately led Kalev with 25 points, including three steals, while the home team got 17 points from Alex Young.
Kalev improves to 5-6 and jumps Avtodor for 7th place in the standings. Enisey falls to 4-8, missing an opportunity to move into 8th place with a win.
Mirkovic to Moultrie
Бранко Миркович дарит Арнетту Моултри прекрасный парашют 😍
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) December 22, 2018
Stat of the Game
1 – number of wins Kalev needs to match last season’s win total (6). Currently 5-6, Kalev will have a tough task in its next game, hosting CSKA on December 30.
Enisey head coach Oleg Okulov: “I’d say this was a pretty tough loss. We were playing a direct rival and you need to win at home. Kalev may have played well, but with all respect to our opponent, they also were not perfect. Unfortunately, the deficit we picked up in the first half was difficult to overcome. I have questions for the players with leading roles on the team. Questions about the lack of effort and the game. When you say the same thing over and over to the same players, you get the feeling that the time for talk is over. We kept trying to come back, but our mistakes resulted in the deficit growing.”
Kalev head coach Donaldas Kairys: “The guys knew how important this game was for making the playoffs. As long as we executed the plan, we were able to control the game. But in the second half, we lost control because of mistakes and technical fouls almost cost our team the win. Our guards need to do a better job. Nonetheless, we overcame all of our problems and got a win. Congratulations to the team!”