UNICS Kazan defeated Avtodor Saratov at home, 76-63 (22-14, 20-20, 22-5, 12-24).
UNICS: Maurice Ndour (18), Artem Klimenko (10 + 7 reb)
Avtodor: Jackie Carmichael (14 + 6 reb), Perrin Buford (14 + 7 reb), Nikita Mikhailovsky (12 + 5 reb)
UNICS used lockdown defense in the 3rd quarter to blow the game wide open and enjoy a season-opening victory at home.
The home team was in control from the opening tip, jumping out to a 22-8 lead in the 1st quarter. Avtodor came back with a 10-0 run keyed by a pair of Trae Golden triples.
The visitors never took the lead, but only trailed by eight at the end of half.
Kazan added athleticism in the offseason and the team showed what it can do on defense in the 3rd quarter, limiting the visitors to a measly five points. Maurice Ndour scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the period, giving the home team a 64-39 lead to end the period.
Avtodor ultimately won the 4th quarter by 12 points, but it was too little too late as the home team cruised to victory.
15 – number of UNICS steals. Kazan forced a total of 20 turnovers in the game.
Maurice Ndour. The forward shot 9-11 from the field, scoring 18 points in less than 20 minutes.
UNICS head coach Dimitris Priftis: “This was our first home game of the season. I’m happy since we won. For most of the game, we were very focused. Of course, there were moments when we relaxed. For the most part, that was already at the end. But that is to be expected. I’m happy that everyone on the game day roster was able to play and contribute. I gave some players a chance to rest today. We don’t often have that opportunity.”
Avtodor head coach Sergei Mokin: “The 3rd quarter decided everything. Rebounds and turnovers did us in. It’s clear that UNICS has a nice roster, plays with discipline and wants to win in every competition. Our young guys were a bright spot. They played virtually without substitution in the 4th quarter and did pretty well.”
UNICS: October 14 home vs. Lokomotiv-Kuban
Avtodor: October 20 home vs. Enisey