Only days after defeating Lietuvos Rytas in the Lithuanian League (LKL) to clinch the first position in the regular season, Zalgiris took a swing from an emotional high to losing 44-72 (15-12, 8-20, 14-22, 7-18) to Lokomotiv Krasnodar on the road in Russia in the VTB League playoffs.
The Greens are now trailing 0-1 in the best-of-three series and will need to win the next two games against Lokomotiv in Kaunas in order to advance to the next round.
Zalgiris started the game really well, allowing the home team to score only two points in the first seven minutes, taking an early double-digit lead at 14-4.
However, things took a dramatic swing from that point on as, as Lokomotiv picked up the defensive intensity and got back right away, taking the initiative of the game and cruising to an easy victory after a 15-0 run in the second and third quarters.
Kelvin Rivers led Lokomotiv with 21 points and 9 rebounds, Ali Traore had 13 points, while Jaremiah Massey had 9 for the home team.
No player reached double-digits for Zalgiris, with Dainius Salenga, Tomas Delininkaitis and Robertas Javtokas top-scoring the team with 7 points each.