Kalev Estonia defeated Tsmoki-Minsk Belarus at home, 108-83 (24-23, 33-20, 18-21, 33-19).
Kalev: Arnett Moultrie (26), Maxim Salash (17 + 6 reb), Branko Mirkovic (12 + 5 ast), Chavaughn Lewis (11 + 7 ast)
Tsmoki-Minsk: Devon Saddler (19), Zisis Sarikopoulos (16 + 10 reb), Aliaksei Trastsinetski (12), Brion Rush (11)
Kalev kept pace with Avtodor in the race for the final playoff spot, taking down Tsmoki-Minsk at home by 25. The Estonians shot 54% from beyond the arc (14-26) in the victory and dished out 30 assists, third-most by a team in the League this season.
Led by Arnett Moultrie’s game-high 26 points, the home team used an 8-0 run midway through the 2nd quarter to build its first double-digit lead and never looked back.
Minsk was plagued by awful three-point shooting, converting only eight of 33 attempts (24%), while getting outrebounded and outscored on points from turnovers.
The Belarusians did not fold entirely, but could never get closer than seven points after Kalev’s 2nd-quarter run. Devon Saddler scored 19 and Zisis Sarikopoulos recorded a double-double in the defeat, which was Tsmoki’s ninth in a row.
Kalev, on the other hand, improves to 8-10, tied with Avtodor for 8th place with eight games remaining in the regular season.
Air Moultrie ✈️ pic.twitter.com/8pJwflCjfh
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) March 3, 2019
8 – Kalev recorded its eighth win, tied for second-most in club history. The record is 13, set during the 2014-15 season when the League schedule expanded to 30 games.
Kalev head coach Donaldas Kairys: “We wanted to play well in front of our fans today and we were able to do that. We started strong and scored a lot of points, but there were some issues on defense. During the break we talked about where we needed to improve and made the right adjustments. In the end, I think we deserved to win. The players took care of the ball and stayed focused until the very end. We took a big step toward the playoffs today.”
Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Rostislav Vergun: “Kalev is a good, organized team that’s high up in the rankings. We can only feel good about the first 20 minutes of the game. That’s not enough for a win. We had stretches when we looked softer than our opponent and they took advantage over and over.”