Lokomotiv clinches first in Group F; Buducnost loses, but advances
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar edged Buducnost VOLI Podgorica79-76 in an exciting contest that came down to the final seconds. The victory kept Lokomotiv undefeated and it clinched first place in Group F at 9-0. Buducnost dropped to 3-6, but it secured a Last 32 berth when Ventspils lost at PAOK Thessaloniki. The Montenegrin champs finished the second half on a 0-11 run, led 31-41 at halftime and extended it to 35-49 in the third quarter. Lokomotiv turned things around after that and used a 13-1 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to take the lead for good. Still a late J.R. Reynolds three kept Buducnost in it, but Lokomotiv made its free throws at first and when it missed to open up a last-ditch opportunity for Buducnost, the visitors failed to take advantage. Derrick Brown scored 15 for Lokomotiv, Richard Hendrix totaled 14 points and 11 rebounds, Eugeny Voronov also scored 14 Malcolm Delaney added 13. Reynolds pacd Buducnost with 21 points, Darko Milicic added 14 and Robert Rikic 11.
Brown scored Lokomotiv’s first 8 points before an Anthony Randolph slam made it 10-5. Planinic scored twice to keep Buducnost close, but a Delaney triple made it 15-9. Rikic scored on the offensive glass, Omar Cook connected from downtown and made a layup as the visitors finished the quarter on a 0-8 run to lead 17-19. Rikic scored again to start the second quarter and after Andrey Zubkov netted 2 points for Lokomotiv, Aleksa Popovic scored twice to make it 19-25. A pair of baskets by Voronov tied the game. Reynolds nailed a three to put the visitors back on top, but before long Nikita Kurbanov’s three made it 31-30. Buducnost finished the half on a 0-11 tear, with Reynolds hitting another three and Rikic scoring twice for a 31-41 halftime advantage.
Planinic put the visitors up 12 with the first basket of the second half and back-to-back threes by Reynolds and Suad Sehovic made it 35-49. Hendrix scored the next 5 points to revive Lokomotiv and a Delaney triple made it 45-51. Brown connected on a three and Delaney hit a jumper as the deficit closed to 2. Rikic helped Buducnost hold on to its lead, but Randolph heated up, sank the go-ahead three and Brown capped a 7-0 run for a 4-point cushion. Vladimir Dasic split free throws to make it 60-57 through three quarters. Voronov hit back-to-back threes to open the fourth quarter. Planinic kept Buducnost in it and Dasic added a three, however Lokomotiv managed to hold on to a slim lead. Brown made it 74-67, but the visitors fought their way to within 2 with 30 seconds left. Kurbanov made 2 critical free throws and after Cedomir Vitkovac missed from downtown, Brown added 2 more from the line. Lokomotiv almost blew it when – after a Reynolds triple made it 78-75– Voronov and Brown combined to miss 4 free throws. But Reynolds was fouled, split free throws and the visitors ran out of chances.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014