Kalev Estonia defeated Zielona Gora Poland on the road, 117-100 (31-18, 38-24, 21-28, 27-30).
Zielona Gora: Darko Planinic (14 + 7 reb), Kodi Justice (13 + 5 ast), Zeljko Sakic (12 + 7 reb), Quinton Hosley (11)
Kalev: Arnett Moultrie (30 + 7 reb), Tony Wroten (26 + 7 ast + 5 stl), Chavaughn Lewis (16 + 5 reb + 8 ast), Branko Mirkovic (13 + 9 ast)
Kalev left no doubt in Poland on Thursday night, blitzing the home team for 69 points en route to a club-record 117 points and its 10th win of the season.
Arnett Moultrie and Tony Wroten led the way for the Estonians, combining for 56 points on 20-29 shooting. Kalev also dished out 32 assists, tied for second-most this season.
The game was decided in the first half. After Michal Sokolowski drained a triple to put Zielona Gora within one (16-15), Kalev went on a 13-0 run, capped by a dunk from Reggie Lynch. The visitors led by double digits the rest of the way, building the lead to 27 by halftime.
Zielona Gora got as close as 13 points early in the 4th quarter (101-88), but never seriously threatened. Kalev’s offense simply overpowered the Polish defense, shooting 56% from the field (including 12-25 from beyond the arc) to go with 29 free throws.
The win gives Kalev a 10-11 record, two games ahead of 9th-place Avtodor (8-13) and three games up on VEF (8-15). With five games to go in the regular season, the Estonians can almost taste the club’s first-ever postseason appearance.
Zielona Gora, on the other hand, continues to struggle in its debut season. The Poles are now 4-17, tied with PARMA for 12th place and only half a game out of last.
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) March 28, 2019
+20 – Kalev dished out 20 more assists (32) than turnovers (12).
Zielona Gora head coach Igor Jovovic: “I told my guys we should be embarrassed for how passive we played in the first half. If you call yourself a professional athlete, you need to show your character. Especially after how the team lost big in Nizhny Novgorod and fell in the final seconds in the Polish league. We shouldn’t give up 69 points in the first half! It’s Kalev, not Golden State.”
Kalev head coach Donaldas Kairys: “We saw two different halves today. We played good defense in the first and managed to score 69 points. After halftime, we relaxed and Zielona Gora started to play at a quicker, more physical tempo. Our lead shrank and I’m happy we were able to win in the end.”