| Eurocup stalwart Gran Canaria 2014 outdueled Lokomotiv Kuban 84-76 at home to join Banvit for an early tie at the top of Group E. Taurean Green led the hosts with 18 points, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, Marquez Haynes hit 15 points and Spencer Nelsen added 13, scoring 10 of them in the decisive fourth quarter. Lokomotiv got a game-leading 22 points from Jeremiah Massey and 13 from Maxim Grigoryev. The key for Gran Canaria was its greater productivity from three-point range, hitting 12 of 30, or 40%, from downtown, compared with 6 of 26, or 23%, for the visitors.
Lokomotiv got on the board first with a layup by Grigory Shukovtsov, but Gran Canaria scored the next 6 on consecutive three-pointers by Juan Palacios and Marquez Haynes. The visitors reclaimed the early lead, 6-7, thanks to Jeremiah Massey’s two layups and a foul shot. Palacios and Marquez scored again, then Lokomotiv’s Roderick Blakney hit a jumper plus a foul shot to tie the game, 10-10. Taurean Green converted 3 of 4 free throws and Michael Bramos hit from outside to put the hosts on top 15-10. After Massey scored on a layup, Bramos drained a three-pointer, then added two free throws to stake Gran Canaria to a 20-12 lead, prompting Lokomotiv to call a timeout with just under 3 minutes in the quarter. The visitors answered straightaway with a three-pointer by Maxim Sheleketo and a layup by Primoz Brezec, cutting the lead to 20-17. But Gran Canaria kept rolling, as Green hit from downtown and Roman Martinez hammered home a dunk, then buried a shot from outside, ending the quarter 27-17, its first double-digit lead.Lokomotiv took the initiative at the start of the second quarter, as Massey, Sergey Bykov and Brezec each scored 2 to cut the lead to 27-23. But just as the visitors looked to pull even, Martinez drained 2 three-pointers in a row, Bramos split free throws and Palacios banged in a jumper to go up 36-25. Maxim Grigoryev and Palacios exchanged baskets, then Massey caught fire, scoring 10 consecutive points on a layup, dunk and a pair of 3-pointers to put Lokomotiv right back in it, 38-37. But once more Gran Canaria held off the charge on Green’s shot from downtown and a free throw by Xavi Rey, opening a 43-37 lead. A Blakney layup and a Grigoryev dunk brought Lokomotiv close again, as the half ended 43-41.
The third quarter opened with numerous lead changes as Grigoryev nailed a three-pointer and Marquez put in a layup, then Ali Traore entered the scoring column with a two-pointer for Lokomotiv, answered by a Palacios jump shot, all of which pushed the score to 47-46. Gran Canaria looked to hold on to the lead again on a three-pointer by Haynes and free throws by Tomas Bellas, upping the score to 52-46, but Lokomotiv scored 6 in a row on a basket by Blakney and two consecutive jumpers by Traore, tying the game at 52-52. The seesaw battle continued as Haynes hit a jumper, Grigoryev and Spencer Nelson exchanged three-pointers, then Massey put in a layup, knotting the game at 57-57. A Haynes bomb from downtown and a Laurence Ekperigin layup put Gran Canaria back on top, 62-57. Lokomotiv’s Nikolay Padius answered with a two-pointer, then Green split free throws to end the quarter 63-59. Nelsen added to Gran Canaria’s lead on an outside shot, but Padius banked in a layup to keep Lokomotiv close, 65-61. After a scoring lull, the hosts widened their lead as Nelsen scored 4 more points, and Green added a basket and a three-pointer, bumping the score to 74-63. Lokomotiv got a need basket from Massey, but Green buried another from downtown and Bramos slammed home a dunk to give Gran Canaria the biggest lead of the game, 79-65. Lokomotiv answered on Brezec’s dunk, Massey’s layup and Lionel Chalmers three-pointer, to cut the lead to 80-72, but that was as far as they would get. Spencer and Brezec exchanged 4-points each down the stretch, as Gran Canaria finished off Lokomotiv 84-76.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011