Partizan bests Crvena Zvezda in Adriatic League

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A third Eternal Derby clash took place this season between Serbian arch rivals BC Partizan NiS Beograd and Crvena Zvezda “Red Star” Telekom Beograd. This latest duel took place in the heat of Adriatic league action. Red Star managed to come away victorious in the first two encounters, but this time around it was Partizan that left the stadium with a victory, 77-63. Yes, Crvena Zvezda can already comfortably rest easy in the ABA with their historic 21-2 record. Yes, they have already booked their seat in the Playoffs. Nonetheless, it would be foolish to think that there would be any lack in motivation for either side to trump their cross-town rivals. The win was a critical one for Partizan. Now at 16-7 and thanks to an OT loss by Cedevita Zagreb (15-8) to Mega Leks on February 27th, Partizan has now secured solo third place in the ABA standings. They trail Montenegrin powerhouse Buducnost (17-6) by only one game.

As  expected both sides came eagerly to play for pride and legacy. Neither team was able to claim a definitive edge at the end of the first quarter. Aleksandar Pavlovic provided the initial spark for Partizan and his solid shooting kept the game close. The Red Shirts did manage to claim a slim two-point advantage after the first frame. Marcus Williams knocked down a few shots from deep to charge up Red Star’s offense in the second quarter, but Pavlovic and Milan Macvan were there answer with some buckets of their own in transition. By halftime, Partizan gained the advantage and established a 38-33 lead.

The turning point in the game took place in the third quarter. Partizan did everything right to throw off Crvena Zvezda out of sync. Milenko Tepic stepped up for the Black and White shirts as they blasted off, leaving Red Star in their dust 21-8 for the period. The once five-point lead ballooned to an 18-point gap with one quarter left to play in regulation. The final frame saw more solid play on the side of Partizan and Red Star could not do enough to recover.

Aleksandar Pavlovic ended the game with 19 points for Partizan. Milan Macvan chipped in with a double-double performance, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.  Nikola Milutinov added 13 points off the bench.

Charles Jenkins and Marcus Williams were the top performers for Crvena Zvezda. Jenkins finished with a game-high 20 points, while Williams contributed 14 points in the effort.

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