ABA league champions, Crvena Zvezda, had a 20 game winning streak which was ended tonight in a game of the week against their fierce rivals after 86-81 win for Partizan. Match was played in “Aleksandar Nikolic” hall in front of 7,000 loud fans in a fantastic atmosphere and it was marked by flagrant and technical fouls on the both sides of the court. Lazic, Mitrovic and Simonovic were fouled out during third and fourth quarter and Crvena Zvezda had to confront vigorous Partizan without their help.
Black and white team made many fouls and forced Crvena Zvezda to earn each point from the free-throw line. That game plan resulted with 44 FT (13 misses) for Crvena Zvezda. While Partizan had only 4 misses out of 26 FT attempts, and also Partizan made 10 successful three-point shots, while Crvena Zvezda controlled offensive and defensive rebounding.
Partizan was in front of their arch rivals during the most of the game. Though, Crvena Zvezda made a comeback during third quarter and when everyone expected them to knock out confused rivals, Partizan started to play with more energy and drive and managed to defeat big rivals and fortify their position on the ABA league table.
Match top scorer was William Hatcher from Partizan with 20 points and 5 assists, Stefan Bircevic added 16 points and 9 rebounds, Vanja Marinkovic scored 13, including few very important three pointers.
On the other side of the court, Luka Mitrovic was most efficient with 14 point and 11 rebounds, Bjelica added 11, Jenkins 10.
This game didn`t change much on the ABA league table, Crvena Zvezda is still dominant, Partizan now have an opportunity to finish regular season as second placed, but this win for Partizan maybe showed them the path how to confront Crvena Zvezda in the matches yet to come.