STRASBOURG (France) - SIG Strasbourg fought back after trailing by as many as 20 points, but their comeback fell short, as a game-winning three-pointer lifted Rytas Vilnius to a 73-71 victory on the road.
Turning point: Strasbourg struggled in the first half and trailed 38-23 at halftime and that continued into the second half, as Strasbourg fell behind by as many as 20 points. Strasbourg eventually managed to cut their deficit to single digits (44-51) with a little over a minute left in the third quarter, but Rytas went on an 8-0 run to close out the quarter up 59-44.
A big 27-14 fourth quarter by Strasbourg put them back into the game and they even grabbed their first lead (71-70) since they were ahead 10-8 in the first quarter, but a last second three-pointer by Mindaugas Girdziunas gave Rytas the win.
Game hero: Arnas Butkevicius had a steady game for Rytas, finishing with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists while shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from three-point.
Stats don't lie: Rytas outscored Strasbourg by 15 points beyond the arc, knocking down 13 threes compared to eight for Strasbourg.
Free throws proved to be key in this close game that ended up coming down to the wire, as Strasbourg only shot 5-of-11 from the line.
Rytas got 24 points from their bench, with Butkevicius (11 points), Jarvis Williams (8 points) and Girdziunas (5 points) combining to score all of those points.
Rytas are now 2-2 in the group and despite getting the win, Strasbourg remains ahead of them. They had a chance to secure the tiebreaker over Strasbourg, as they needed to win by at least six points after losing the first matchup 71-76. The Lithuanian club will host Lenovo Tenerife in their next game on Tuesday March 15.