Khimki outlasts Besiktas to take over top spot in Group D
Khimki Moscow Region edged Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul 82-78 to earn a berth in the Last 32 and take over first place in Group D. Both teams have 6-2 records, but Khimki now owns the points difference in games between them; Besiktas beat Khimki 66-64 when they met in Istanbul. Khimki used a 17-0 run that bridged the first two quarters to get a comfortable 32-13 margin and never trailed again. The margin was 66-45 cushion early in the last quarter. Besiktas rallied late through an amazing shooting performance from Chris Lofton, but it was not enough to win the game. Marko Popovic amassed 11 points with 7 assists to lead a balanced offense where 11 players scored at least 2 points. Petteri Koponen added 12 points, Joffrey Lauvergne had 11, Sergey Monia 9 and Tyler Honeycutt pulled down 10 rebounds and chipped in 8 points. Lofton was the top scorer in the game with 19 points, 12 of them in the last 70 seconds. Jajuan Johnson added 14 points and 9 boards and Engin Atsur netted 11.
Hilton Armstrong tied the score at 7-7 for the visitors, then 5 unanswered points from the home team gave them an early margin. Lauvergne extended it to 16-9 assisted by Tyrese Rice, but Johnson scored three consecutive baskets to keep Besiktas close, 16-13, before James Augustine fixed the score at 20-13 for Khimki after 10 minutes. Honeycutt’s dunk and a free throw nailed by Lauvergne capped a 17-0 run of the hosts bridging the two quarters for a 32-13 advantage. Johnson and Kerem Tunceri pushed the visitors within 37-26, but Paul Davis scored underneath for a 42-28 Khimki lead at halftime.
John Holland made it 42-32 early in the second half. Petteri Koponen bagged 4 points in a row to put Khimki up 48-32.Kenan Bajramovic, with a dunk and a pair of free throws, pushed Besiktas to 50-41. Popovic fueled Khimki up to 55-41 and delivered an assist to Egor Vyaltsev for a long distance shot to make it 58-43, before Lauvergne beat the buzzer to lead 60-43 at the last break. Popovic was on fire and hit back-to-back threes for the biggest margin of the night, 66-45. Tunceri and Engin Atsur tried to rally Besiktas, 68-54, but Sergey Monia hit from downtown and stopped their hopes at 71-54 at the midway point of the quarter. Besiktas countered with a big effort and 8 unanswered points. Lauvergne and Monia scored to restore a double-digit difference. Lofton’s back-to-back triples silenced the crowd, with Besiktas closer, 75-68, with a minute left in the game. Lofton with a quick three made it 82-78 with three seconds remaining.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014