A Happy Birthday to Sue Bird, who turns 28 today. It happened to fall on the same day as Spartak’s Euroleague opener, and Bird’s birthday wish for a victory came through as Spartak defeated Famila Schio 88-63 at home. Bird was a big reason why, finishing with 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds and no turnovers in a terrific all-around effort.
Lauren Jackson had hoped to return to action today after missing the last seven weeks after ankle surgery. However, she did not play. Spartak has enough All-Stars on the roster to bring Jackson back slowly and not lose any ground.
Famlia Schio did put up a good fight today, taking an early lead and down just 10 late in the third quarter. A 9-0 Spartak run pushed the advantage to 19 early in the fourth and all but sealed the game.
It was the Russians who stepped up for Spartak today, with Tatiana Shchegoleva scoring a game-high 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting and Marina Karpunina adding 17, including three triples. Diana Taurasi added 12 points.