Zenit Cracks Kalev, Catches Lokomotiv

Zenit defeated Kalev in Tallinn, 92-84. The score was close until midway through the 4th quarter, when Zenit star Ryan Toolson took over, scoring 14 points down the stretch to guide his team to victory.

Kalev was playing its last game against a top-eight opponent and desperately wanted to secure a marquee win. Zenit, however, also had plenty of motivation, needing a win to catch Lokomotiv in the race for 3rd place.

Kalev made it clear early that Zenit would not have an easy time, surging ahead thanks to an explosive, up-tempo attack. By the end of the opening period, the home team enjoyed a 26-21 lead.

Janis Timma and Omar Thomas tried to swing the momentum in Zenit's favor, but Kalev's terrific starting five kept the visitors at bay. At halftime, St. Petersburg enjoyed a slim two-point lead, 47-45.

The game remained extremely close in the 3rd quarter. Zenit couldn't gain any separation, stymied by Kalev's balanced scoring (the Estonians had five players in double digits). Trailing by one entering the 4th quarter, Zenit needed someone to step up...

Turning Point
Ryan Toolson responded to the challenge. He started by scoring eight straight, giving Zenit a six-point advantage. Kalev responded with field goals from Sten Sokk and Rolands Freimanis. But Toolson would not be denied. He added another six points, while Zabian Dowdell converted a pair of free throws, making the final minute of the game a mere formality.

Star Player
Ryan Toolson. The Zenit guard proved once again that he's one of the league's elite snipers. He finished with 33 points on 68% shooting, including 14 points in the 4th quarter. Toolson also went 5-7 from downtown in one of the best performances of the season.

Stat of the Game
10 - number of lead changes.