|Peter Lorant has been once more Szolnok's driving force, recording a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double|
Szolnoki Olaj forced a deciding Game Three in their EuroChallenge quarter-final against Tartu Rock as they held on for an 80-73 victory on home turf.
Tartu brought a 15-point deficit down to five inside the fourth quarter but Szolnok did enough to level the series after seeing a fourth-quarter rally of their own come up short in Game One.
Peter Lorant collected 16 points and 14 rebounds while Marton Bader scored 11 to carry Szolnok over the line.
Although Tartu got off to the better start, leading 15-7 when Tanel Kurbas made a lay-up with 4:14 left in the first quarter, Szolnok had brought the game level by the end of the period and led 32-24 when Justin Holiday sank a three midway through the second.
They continued to edge away throughout the rest of the second and third quarters, and an 8-0 run - capped by Radenko Pilcevic's three-pointer - made it 72-57 to the hosts with six and a half minutes left on the clock.
Vincent Simpson sparked Tartu into life, scoring eight - including two three-pointers - in a 10-1 run that got them within six, and when Kurbas nailed a three with 67 seconds left, the score was 75-70.
David Vojvoda's lay-up eased Szolnok's nerves and Lorant then stripped the ball away from Joosep Toome and drew a foul.
He could only split his free throws, but Tartu had lost momentum heading into the final 30 seconds as Simpson missed a three.
Holiday split a pair, and although Janar Talts did hit from deep with 18 seconds left, the gap was still six, and Lorant did enough to salt it away from the line.
Kurbas led Tartu with 18 points, with Simpson adding 12, Vilmantas Dilys 11 and Gert Dorbek 10.
Szolnok Head Coach Dragan Aleksic
"It was a very important game for us. We were a little bit uptight at the beginning, but when we could improve our defence and use our chances, we kept the whole game under control. We were very good at attacking rebounds tonight."
Szolnok Player Peter Lorant
"It was a good game. We were nervous in the first quarter. In the second quarter we could improve on both defence and offence. We could keep our advantage until the end, and we could accomplish our plan, what we discussed in the dressing room."
Tartu Head Coach Gert Kullamäe
"First of all I congratulate the home team. They deserved the win tonight. There were two main things which led to our loss tonight. The first is, that we were very bad at attacking rebounds, and the second is the lost balls. The score is 1-1, I hope we‘ll play much better and can win the game on Tuesday."
Tartu Player Tanel Kurbas
"It was a tough game. We know that it‘s always hard to win a game away, and with the way we played tonight, losing 17 balls, it‘s impossible to win a game. Szolnok started very aggressive, and they forced us to make mistakes, lose balls."