The EuroLeague closed out action before Christmas with Brock Motum and his side Žalgiris Kaunas playing two games this week as they looked to close in on the top eight.
Žalgiris traveled to Turkey to take on Anadolou Efes Istanbul in Round 14 action and were able to come away with just their second road win of the competition. Right from the outset, it was Žalgiris who took control of the contest. The Lithuanian side was extremely efficient on offense, converting a sensational 17-of-20 two-point field goals in the first half (85%) while also outrebounding Efes 7-18. An amazing 10 of their players scored in the first half, with the 28-17 second period providing the difference. Brock Motum ensured he was in the thick of the action, delivering 11 points (4-of-7 FG) with 5 rebounds in 25 minutes.
Despite Žalgiris turning the ball over 16 times, they would hold onto their lead through to the end to register a very important 84-71 road win.
Back at home, Žalgiris were seemingly in control of their match-up against Russian side Unics Kazan. With an 11 point lead heading into the final term, it was the visitors who finished stronger. With a blistering 30-11 final term, Unics surged into the lead to record a come-from-behind 8 point victory, 88-80. Motum was again at his consistent best, adding 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting with 5 rebounds in 26 minutes.
It was a disappointing loss for Žalgiris as they had positioned themselves well for the win and a chance to edge closer to the EuroLeague top 8. Instead, Unics has now matched their 5-9 record, with both sides now two games behind eighth and a lot of work to do.
Motum has been a model of consistency in the EuroLeague this season, and is now averaging an impressive 13.1 points while shooting a sizzling-hot 64.8% from inside the arc and 44.7% from beyond it. He has also been good for 3.8 rebounds in almost 24 minutes a contest.