Nizhny Novgorod stays alive with win at Efes
Nizhny Novgorod kept its Top 16 chances alive with a 61-65 road win at Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Friday. After Dario Saric put Efes ahead from the line, Dimitriy Khvostov nailed a pair of clutch three-pointer to win the game for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague debutants. Nizhny improved to 4-5 in Group A and hosts Unics Kazan next week knowing a win will propel it into the next stage. Efes dropped to 6-3. It was an impressive outing for the visitors, who were without injured guard and league-leading scorer Taylor Rochestie. Khvostov and Trey Thompkins led the winners with 14 points apiece. Thompkins also grabbed 8 rebounds. Evgeny Baburin scored 13 and Tarence Kinsey added 10. Stephane Lasme paced Efes with 15 points and 7 rebounds, Saric posted 11 and 7 and Milko Bjelica finished with 10 points. Before the game Saric was honored with a small on-court ceremony in which he was presented with his trophy as bwin MVP for November.
First quarter: Efes starts strong, Kinsey + Thompkins lead Nizhny back
The big guys scored first with Lasme opening the account for Efes and Art Parakhouski doing the same for the visitors. Bjelica buried a three for the home team. Lasme blocked a shot on defense and Matt Janning banked in a runner at the other. Janning found Lasme for a slam and the big man followed that with a basket-plus foul for a 12-2 advantage midway through the first quarter. Kinsey turned things around for the visitors with a jumper, a steal and a breakaway foul drawn from Dontaye Draper. He made the resulting free throws and added a jumper to close the gap to 4. Thompkins scored inside and then got a lucky roll on a short jumper that tied that game at 12-12. Thompkins gave the visitors their first lead with a long jumper. Furkan Kurkmaz ended a four and a half minute scoring drought for Efes with a triple, but Baburin matched him at the other end. Bjelica canned his second three to make it 18-17 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Baburin’s buzzer-beater puts visitors on top
Parakhouski’s slam and foul put the visitors ahead, but Saric tied the game at 20-20 with his first basket. Khvostov pulled up for a baseline jumper to put Nizhny on top once more. Saric passed to Lasme underneath, who was credited with a basket after goaltending. Janning missed twice from the line and Khvostov capitalized with a three-point play to put Nizhny up 23-25. After free throws made – and several missed – at both ends, Okben Ulubay tied the game at 26-26 with a basket on the offensive glass. Draper beat the 24-second clock with a three and Saric blocked a shot at one end and assisted Draper for a layup to the other. Thompkins banked in a shot in the low post and tied the game at 31-31 with a three-pointer. After Ulubay split free throws, Baburin scored a three and was fouled to give the visitors a 32-35 halftime advantage.
Third quarter: Nizhny keeps making shots to keep slim lead
Donnie McGrath’s jumper provided the first basket of the second half. Bjelica went through Thompkins for a basket-plus-foul and a 2-point edge. Parakhouski tied that game at 37-37. The Nizhny center blocked another shot and the pushed his team ahead from the line. Osman split free throws to put the hosts up by 1. Khvostov connected from downtown to make it 39-41 midway through the quarter. After a timeout Baburin struck from behind the arc again. Saric kept the hosts close with a basket in the paint. Levan Patsatsia picked up a loose ball and drove for a layup plus foul. Saric remained Efes’s go-to-guy with a jumper and Deniz Kilicli did the same to bring his team within 1. A Patsatsia layup kept Nizhny ahead and Kinsey ended the quarter with a floater off the glass for a 45-50 lead.
Fourth quarter: Clutch shooting from Khvostov clinches victory
Vladimir Ivlev silenced the Efes crowd with a layup. After Lasme split free throws, Thompkins drove the lane for a layup and an 8-point lead. Janning answered with a three and Lasme drove for a layup to bring Efes within 51-54. Kinsey drove for a tough layup only to see teenager Korkmaz drain a triple to get within 2. Baburin buried a three off an inbounds play to give Efes some breathing room. Lasme scored inside off a feed from Saric, who next followed his own miss to close the gap to 58-59. Thomkins fouled out with 2:16 remaining and Saric sank the resulting free throws for a 60-59 Efes edge – its first lead of quarter. Khvostov replied with a clutch three. Saric got to the line and brought Efes within 1. Osman collided with Saric and went down in pain. Khvosotv buried a clutch three with 9 seconds left to make it a two-possession game at 61-65, essentially sealing the victory.
Friday, December 12, 2014