Stronger than Astana from the first to the last minute

Basketball club "Avtodor" wins over "Astana" in a home match. Forward of the team Rade ZAGORATS became the most productive player of the Saratov team, gaining 26 points.

VTB United League. Regular Championship. Second phase. Group "B". 30th round.
Avtodor (Saratov) - Astana (Kazakhstan) - 79:70 (23:11, 20:18, 18:27, 18:14).

Avtodor: Zagorats (26 + 6 rebounds + 3 assists + 4 steals), Kolesnikov (15 + 5 rebounds), Garrett (12 + 8 rebounds + 2 blocks), Pranauskis (8), Minchenko (7 + 6 rebounds + 3 assists + 3 blocks), Nikolic (7 + 5 rebounds + 2 blocks), Petenev (2 + 3 rebounds), Mikhailovsky (2 + 6 rebounds + 4 assists).
Astana: Johnson (26 + 8 rebounds), Murzagaliev (12).

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The Saratov club approached the return match with Astana in a difficult position. The team had just suffered a painful defeat in Minsk, and in this game they were left without Newman, Machado and Armand. However, the rest of the team showed themselves perfectly in the last match, and Avtodor will approach the final two games of the second stage of the regular season with a confident look at the playoffs.

Having won the face-off at the start of the meeting, the Saratov team failed to open an account after two attempts, and the guests were already on the attack. Danilo Nikolic met them with a powerful block shot. Rade Zagorac and Yevgeny Kolesnikov scored 2 points each, which forced the Astana coach to take a timeout. However, this did not help the guests, Avtodor and its captain were too good in the first quarter. By the end of the fourth minute, the hosts were leading 9-2, seven of which were on Kolesnikov's account. Then our team continued to increase the advantage. The backlog became more and more: 9, 11, 13 points, and at the peak moment of the first period “+15”. Astana had a low sales percentage and fouled a lot. The starting quarter ended with a three-ruble note from the guests - 23:11.

The second ten-minute period began with a failed attack by the Kazakhs, to which Brandon Garrett responded with an accurate “hook”. Following was a high-speed pass by Alexander Petenev, which ended with a throw and a foul on our defender, but the ball treacherously did not want to fall into the basket. Alexander confidently converted free throws, and the advantage increased to 16 points. Guests now and then win back by 5-6 points, and then again missed the same amount. During this period of the meeting, the fans definitely remembered the “dunks” of Garrett and Mikhailovsky. The teams went on a big break with the score 43-29 in favor of the Saratov team.

From the first seconds of the second half of the match "Astana" began to recoup. At first, the guests scored 4 three-pointers and after that did not slow down, reducing Avtodor's advantage to only three points. For a long time, this backlog remained unshakable, until Rade Zagorac with his "three" and Yevhen Kolesnikov, in a quick break, returned a comfortable distance in the score. By the end of the period, Kazakhstanis still left the last word for themselves - 61:56 before the last quarter

In the final ten minutes, the limited rotation of Avtodor began to affect, but Astana, as it turned out, was no less tired. The decisive factor was Zagorac. The Serbian forward, who played the role of point guard in this match, scored 9 points in the last period, and Avtodor won a much-needed victory - 79:70.

Avtodor will play its next match away against Samara on March 21 at 19:00 (18:00 Moscow time).

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