Jerusalem sits in first place in Group G with a 4-1 record and will win the group and have the home-court advantage in the next phase if it wins next week at Nizhny Novgorod or if Rytas wins its Round 6 game. Rytas fell to 2-3, but can still advance if it beats Zenit St. Petersburg by more than 9 at home next week. Tarence Kinsey paced the Jerusalem attack with 23 points, Lior Eliyahu scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting plus 3 steals, Travis Peterson made 3 of 5 three-pointers for 13 points, Amar’e Stoudemire amassed 12 points and 11 rebounds and Curtis Jerrells tallied 12 points and 8 assists. Clevin Hannah led Rytas with 14 points, 5 assists and 4 steals, Rokas Giedraitis added 12 points and Corey Fisher and David Logan added 10 points each.
The teams traded points for the first six minutes until back-to-back triples from Peterson gave the hosts an 18-11 lead. Peterson’s floater gave Jerusalem a 9-point edge, but Fisher started and finished a 0-8 Rytas run to close the gap. Kinsey’s jumper made it 22-19 after 10 minutes. Drew Gordon gave Rytas a 22-23 edge early in the second quarter and the teams started to traded points and leads, with big men Shawn Jones of Jerusalem and Julius Jucikas of Rytas playing key roles.
Eliyahu and Yotam Halperin took charge in the closing minutes of the half, the former with 3 steals, a block and three dunks, and the latter with 4 steals and 4 free throws as Jerusalem built a 47-39 halftime lead. Kinsey connected from deep to put Jerusalem up 9 early in the third quarter, but Rytas came back with 10 unanswered points – of which Arturas Jomantas scored half – to regain the lead, 50-51.
Stoudemire sparked the hosts with a basket-plus-foul and Jerrells added a three. Rytas scored the next 8 points, a run that Gordon capped with a put-back slam, to take a 3-point lead. Kinsey’s pull-up jumper made it 61-62 through three quarters. Jerrells found Eliyahu for the first two baskets of the fourth quarter. The lead went back and forth until Kinsey and Jerrells stepped up and gave the hosts some breathing room. Jerrells made it 75-68 and after a three-point play by Fisher, Kinsey brought the crowd to its feet with a triple. Rytas refused to throw in the towel, but Stoudemire free throws that made it 84-77 with 26.1 seconds to go all but clinched the win.