A full house of almost 10,000 fans at Martin Carpena Arena in Malaga, Spain, got what they came for on Tuesday -- drama and entertainment in equal doses -- as host Unicaja defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 102-99 in the third of four NBA Europe Live games involving Euroeague teams.
It was a thriller full of shift changes from start to finish. Unicaja shook off an early double-digit deficit to take over with defense in the second quarter. Unicaja led by a high of 15 points, 69-54, midway through the third quarter, but Memphis erased all of that deficit before the start of the last one. By the time its 8-29 run was over, Memphis was up 73-82, but not even that lead was safe as Unicaja roared back thanks to back-to-back triples from Davor Kus and 6 points in crunch time by Boniface Ndong to hold on for the victory.
Kus, who was a perfect 4-for-4 at the foul-line in the last 13 seconds, led Unicaja with 20 points. Marcus Haislip had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Ndong had one of 16 and 12. Daniel Santiago followed with 14 points, while Berni Rodriguez and German Gabriel had 13 each.
Players trained in the Euroleague led the way for Memphis, too, as Juan Carlos Navarro debuted with 21 points on 5-for-8 three-point shooting, while Pau Gasol had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Mike Miller followes with 17, while Rudy Gay added 14 and Hakeem Warick 11. Unicaja's domination of the boards, where it took 59 rebounds to 37 for Memphis, proved crucial. Read more at the Euroleague website.