Despite falling behind early in the game, Zalgiris raced back into the game behind great three-point shooting to take an 86-81(12-24, 24-24, 26-17, 24-16) victory in a thrilling game in Kaunas on Thursday evening.
Having trailed by 18 points at one point in the game (12-30), but Zalgiris didn’t collapse and got back within five points (34-39) after three long-range shots by Mantas Kalnietis.
Although Zalgiris managed to tie the game at 58-58, Lietuvos Rytas spurted back ahead and held a four point lead in the fourth quarter when Kalnietis initiated a 9-0 run, which decided the outcome of the game.
Mantas Kalnietis had an impressive game for Zalgiris, scoring 22 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, adding five rebounds and five assists.
Dainius Salenga and Marko Popovic both scored 17 points, with the latter also adding eight assists for the hosts while Milovan Rakovic chipped in with 13.
Tyrese Rice was the top-scorer for Lietuvos Rytas with 22 points, Mindaugas Katelynas scored 14 points, while Jonas Valanciunas added 12 points and six assists.