Tonight the regular season winner of Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) was decided in Vilnius. Reigning champions Lietuvos Rytas hosted arch rivals Zalgiris in Siemens Arena. The hosts had three important players missing the game due to injuries. Arturas Jomantas, Aron Baynes and Milko Bjelica couldn't help their team but their absence didn't make Rytas less dangerous.
The first half of the game was rather close with the hosts having a small lead against Zalgiris. The Greens struggled to take advantage of having more players under the basket. Because of that Rytas managed to control the game for large periods.
However, after the third quarter Zalgiris was up by three points. They managed to increase their lead to seven points in the final period. But the game was not over yet. Rytas tightened the defence. As a result of that Zalgiris scored just one point against sixteen points of Rytas. Vilnius side won the game 90-81.
Serbian point guard with Greek passport, Igor Milosevic, who was signed as a replacement for Bojan Popovic, had his best game for Rytas so far with 20 points and 9 assists.
The winner of LKL regular season will have a home court advantage throughout the play-offs which could be very important in the finals where Rytas and Zalgiris are expected to meet for the 10th season in a row.
According to LKL's official website, only 5,200 fans attended the game. This is a significant decrease compared to the meetings of these two teams a couple of seasons ago. Siemens Arena used to be sold out or close to that during the Lithuanian derby.
90 – (24+20+20+26) – Lietuvos Rytas: Igor Milosevic 20, Martynas Gecevicius 17, Donatas Zavackas 13, Stepas Babrauskas 11, Jonas Valanciunas 10, Vidas Ginevicius 4, Simas Buterlevicius 2.
81 – (18+25+24+14) – Zalgiris: Dainius Salenga 20, Marcus Brown 11, Travis Watson 11, Aleksandar Capin 10, Tadas Klimavicius 9, Mantas Kalnietis 9, Martynas Pocius 4, Mirza Begic 4, Arturas Milaknis 3.
The final regular season standings:
Lietuvos Rytas vs. Perlas
algiris vs. Rūdupis
Šiauliai vs. Techasas
Juventus vs. Neptūnas