Bourousis posts another double-double as Laboral Kutxa routs Khimki
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz took another important step towards the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs by downing Khimki Moscow Region 98-83 in front of over 12,000 fans at Fernando Buesa Arena on Thursday. Laboral improved to 7-3 in Group F, while Khimki dropped to 5-5. Ioannis Bourousis posted 16 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists for his 10th double-double of the season for Laboral, while Darius Adams and Fabien Causeur shined with 17 points apiece. Davis Bertans added 13 points and Adam Hanga 12 for Laboral. Alexey Shved led Khimki with 19 points and 6 assists. Paul Davis added 18 points, Petteri Koponen 15 and Tyrese Rice dished 10 assists for Khimki, which was without Tyler Honeycutt and James Augustine. Hanga shined early to give Laboral a 7-5 lead. Josh Boone stepped up for Khimki and three-pointers by Shved, Koponen and Egor Vyaltsev gave the guests a 21-24 lead after 10 minutes. Laboral found its regular go-to guy in Bourousis, who got help from Jaka Blazic to help the hosts regain the lead, 38-37. Boone and an unstoppable Davis allowed Khimki to get a 45-46 edge at halftime. Causeur had 12 points in the third quarter and an incredible buzzer-beating triple by Mike James made it a double-digit game through three quarters. Bertans shined at both ends early in the fourth as Laboral boosted its margin to 85-66 and never looked back.
First quarter: Three-pointers put Khimki ahead
Both teams struggled to score early until Hanga took over with a three-point play. Sergey Monya answered from downtown, but he didn't find much help around. Khimki tried a more athletic lineup with Josh Boone at center. Ilimane Diop and Boone exchanged free throws and an acrobatic basket by Adams restored a 7-5 Laboral lead. Shved struck from downtown to give Khimki its first lead, 7-8. Hanga kept pushing Laboral with a backdoor layup, but back-to-back baskets by Davis put the guests back ahead, 9-12. Petteri Koponen buried a three-pointer, but free throws by Hanga brought the hosts within 4. Adams took over with a coast-to-coast layup that Egor Vyaltsev bettered with a bomb from downtown. Davis Bertans joined the three-point shootout, but a layup by Boone gave Khimki a 16-20 lead. Adams hit a big triple and Adams erased Shved's driving basket with a backdoor layup. Boone scored down low to make it 21-24 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Davis keeps visitors in charge
Bourousis scored around the basket early in the quarter. Davis swished a jump hook and had a huge block, which allowed Zoran Dragic to score at the other end for a 23-28 lead. Hanga ignited Laboral's crowd with a coast-to-coast layup that a red-hot Davis matched with a tip-in. Bourousis hit one from beyond the arc and bettered Davis's layup with another triple that brought the hosts as close as 31-32. Jaka Blazic made free throws, which Dragic erased with a layup. Bertans and Shved traded shots from way downtown and a layup by Blazic put Laboral back ahead, 38-37. Boone kept pacing Khimki and a layup by Causeur tied it at 40-40. Bourousis hit a turnaround jumper, but Koponen matched it with free throws and a jumper by Tyrese Rice put the guests back in charge, 42-44. Blazic buried a three-pointer, but a layup by Davis fixed the halftime score at 45-46.
Third quarter: Causeur shines as Laboral takes off
Shved downed a mid-range jumper right after the break, as Laboral was held scoreless for two minutes. Davis buried his trademark mid-range jumper off the baseline, which Causeur bettered with a three-pointer to make it 48-50. Causeur insisted from downtown and Adams ignited the crowd with a huge dunk that prompted Khimki to call timeout at 53-50, after an 8-0 run. Davis tried to change things with free throws, but Causeur erased those with a backdoor layup and Hanga added a wild three-point play that gave Laboral a 6-point lead. Kim Tillie nailed a catch-and-shoot three-pointer, which Causeur followed with free throws to make it a double-digit game, 63-52. Rice drew a couple of fouls and hit all 4 free throws to give Khimki fresh air. Bourousis scored around the basket and free throws by Causeur and Blazic set a 69-57 Laboral lead. Koponen took over with a four-point play, but Mike James banked in an 11-meter, buzzer-beating shot on the third-quarter buzzer for a 72-61 Laboral lead.
Fourth quarter: Bertans takes over as hosts cruise to victory
Davis and Bourousis exchanged baskets early in the quarter and a driving layup by James gave Laboral a 13-point lead. Koponen nailed another three-pointer, but free throws by Bertans kept the hosts way ahead at 78-66 with seven minutes left. Bourousis took over with a layup and Bertans turned defense into offense with a huge block on Koponen and a put-back slam at the other end that broke the game open at 82-66. Khimki tried to speed up the game tempo without much success and Bertans buried an outstanding step-back triple for an 85-66 lead. Shved followed free throws with a driving layup to make it 85-70. Both teams fought now for point difference, since Khimki had registered an 8-point home win in Top 16 Round 3. James took over with a dunk and Causeur hit a triple, but so did Shved and Vyaltsev. Vyaltsev insisted from downtown, but Adams and Tillie capped a near-perfect win.
Thursday, March 10, 2016