After starting the Lithuanian League (LKL) Finals with a win at home in Kaunas, Zalgiris followed up the successful performance with an 86-76 (14-10, 34-25, 18-17, 20-24) victory against Lietuvos Rytas on the road in Vilnius on Thursday evening.
Leading the series 2-0, the club from Kaunas now needs just one more victory to finish of the series and they will have the chance to do that in Zalgiris Arena on Sunday.
Although the beginning of the game seemed to be promising a much more intense battle than the first game, Zalgiris went on a 15-5 run, inspired by former Lietuvos Rytas player Tomas Delininkaitis, to go ahead by 14 points.
The lead had reached 22 points after Marko Popovic hit a long three-pointer, when Lietuvos Rytas started mounting a comeback, allowing Zalgiris to score only five points in the next ten minutes.
However, even though the home side did manage to cut the deficit to seven points, Popovic drained another three to restore a double-digit lead for Zalgiris, silencing the rowdy home fans.
Tomas Delininkaitis had a spectacular performance for the Greens, scoring 22 points, Mantas Kalnietis had an impressive double-double of 17 points and 11 assists, while Marko Popovic collected 12 points.
American point guard Tyrese Rice, who played only 22 minutes, was the top-scorer for Lietuvos Rytas with 17 points, Renaldas Seibutis had 15 and the team’s captain Stepas Babrauskas finished the game with 13.