In what was an ugly fixture in Murcia on Wednesday night, Unicaja managed to come out on top and maintain their push for a home advantage in the playoffs with a 88-95 victory.
In a match that was plagued by individual errors, Unicaja fell behind after five minutes with Brooks weak in his defensive play (14-11). However, such is the depth on his side’s bench, that coach Joan Plaza could shake up his personnel to bring immediate dividends. The changes saw enormous defensive improvements and his side finished the quarter in the lead (20-28).
However, the visitors took their foot off the gas a little too much and with the introduction of the veteran Pedro Llompart, Murcia were quickly back in the game with a 13-1 run to level the scores at the break (46-46).
After the flurry of points, the game took a turn for the worse in the third quarter with several fouls in quick succession slowing the game. But with the introduction of Jamar Smith who scored three three-pointers, and then his replacement, Nedovic, maintaining that scoring rhythm, Unicaja were slowly starting to edge away before Benite narrowed the deficit just before the quarter’s end (62-65).
Despite the away team defending well, they had an issue with rebounds, claiming 13 fewer than their counterparts. However, this wouldn’t be the decisive factor, but rather the amount of free throws which came Unicaja’s way and enabled them to seal the result they needed.