Kalev Gets Revenge In Baltic Derby

Kalev defeated VEF on the road, 84-75, on Friday evening. The visitors took an early lead and played better throughout, earning their 6th win of the season. In the process, Kalev earns revenge for a January defeat in Tallinn, evening the season series between the two rivals.

Wednesday's Baltic derby featured two teams that were neighbors in the standings: VEF entered with a 5-14 record and hoped to escape second-last with a win, while Kalev (5-13) looked to create some separation from its rival.

Kalev guard Morris Curry looked a bit like Golden State's Steph Curry in the opening minutes, helping the visitors to a 16-3 lead.

Forced to call several timeouts, VEF coach Janis Gailitis eventually got through to his men, who cut the deficit to eight at the end of the 1st quarter (20-12).

The home team crept a bit closer in the 2nd quarter, even briefly leading late in the period. Kalev, however, finished the half on a 10-2 run, heading into the break with a 36-30 advantage.

After halftime, VEF struggled with turnovers and failed to threaten in the 3rd quarter. Seven points from Curry gave the visitors a 14-point lead. Entering the final quarter, Kalev enjoyed an 11-point advantage (63-52).

Turning Point
VEF cut the deficit to five with four minutes to play as Mareks Mejeris connected on back-to-back jumpers to make it a 68-63. After Curry hit a free throw at the other end, Kalev had several chances to make it even closer, but Ingus Jakovics and Josh Harrellson both missed jumpers.

The home team never got closer. Gregor Arbet and Rolands Freimanis slammed the door shut from beyond the arc and Kalev picked up an important road win, improving to 6-13.

Star Player
Morris Curry. Shawn King and Freimanis also played a role in Kalev's win, but Curry was spectacular, finishing with 20 points, eight assists, three rebounds and two steals.

Stat of the Game
33 - Francisco Cruz's field-goal percentage (as well as 50% from the line). The VEF leader did not have his best game, helping the Estonians steal a win on the road.