Nizhny rallies to steal 89-85 win from Laboral
After playing for 37 minutes without the lead, Nizhny Novgorod kept its hat in the ring for a playoff spot by rallying to defeat visiting Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 89-85 on Thursday. Nizhny improves to 3-7 in Group E, while Laboral dropped to 4-6 despite having matched the game's highest lead at 66-74 with 7 minutes left. After that, Nizhny used a spark from substitute Evgeny Baburin to get close while Trey Thompkins hit the go-ahead shot during a late 11-0 run that decided the game. Thompkins paced the winners with 22 points and 10 rebounds, marking his fifth double-double of the Top 16. Gal Mekel came off the bench with 20 points, while Taylor Rochestie had 14 and 9 assists for Nizhny, which played without injured Tarence Kinsey. Artsiom Parakhouski added 13 points and Baburin 12. For Laboral, Davis Bertans had 21 points to lead five double-figure scorers. Fabien Causeur added 13, Tornike Shengelia and Mike James 11 each, and Darius Adams 10, but the visitors just ran out of steam at the finish.
First Quarter: Laboral shoots its way ahead
Within seconds of tipoff, Rochestie found Thompkins open for a three-pointer and Bertans answered for Laboral with a running hook shot. Adams pulled up for the visitors' first triple and then Bertans did the same to quickly put Laboral in front 3-8. Rochestie fed Semen Antonov for another three from the corner, while Causeur scored on a layup and 1 of 2 free throws to make it 6-11. Parakhouski scored inside for Nizhny before Shengelia struck from the arc. After Rochestie added his name Nizhny's scoring column, Causeur became his team's fourth player to make a three-pointer already, for a 10-17 lead. After a timeout, Nizhny got a free throw from Mekel and a tip-in from Vladimir Ivlev. Mekel then fed Thompkins for a layup, but free throws from Colton Iverson and Adams made it 15-21. Rochestie knocked a basket off the difference before Mirza Begic added a free throw for the visitors on what was Ivlev's fourth foul in less than 3 minutes on the floor. Adams finished the quarter as he started it, from downtown, restoring a six-point lead, 19-25, for Laboral.
Second Quarter: Nizhny keeps coming back
Begic backed down and upped the lead to 19-27 with a hook shot but Mekel got those 2 points back with a layup for Nizhny. Rochestie bettered Begic's single free throw with a back-door layup and 2 free throws of his own to make it 25-28. Begic made another layup in the post before Antonov appeared on the three-point line to cut the deficit to 28-30. Thompkins took the honor of tying the game from the foul line, but it only lasted until Iverson slammed a miss and James downed a fastbreak layup to make it 30-34. Thompkins and Shengelia exchanged strong inside baskets next. Bertans stepped up with a big three-pointer off a broken play, but after a timeout, Thompkins matched him. Adams and Mekel traded near-identical runners from either lane. Bertans drained free throws for a 37-43 difference but goal-tended a shot by Parakhouski at the other end. Laboral turned over what would have been the half's last possession, without a shot, allowing Rochestie to race downcourt and feed Baburin for a buzzer-beating layup and a 41-43 scoreboard at the break.
Third Quarter: Visitors refuse to be passed
Bertans fed Begic inside to start the second half, but Laboral left Thompkins alone on the arc to hit his third three-pointer and close the gap to 44-45. Begic and Mekel traded baskets and Shengelia added his own on a hook off the glass at 46-49. Dueling three-pointers by Baburin and then Causeur tied and untied the score, then Thompkins fed Baburin for an open back-door layup at 51-52. Out of a timeout, Begic hit 1 of 2 free throws, which allowed Rochestie to tie it up 53-53 with a nifty stop-and-pop jumper. James answered with a floater for Laboral that Rochestie copied at the other end. Bertans buried his third three-pointer and then fed Causeur on the break for a sudden 55-60 advantage for the visitors. Causeur and Mekel traded two-pointers in close, and this time Laboral finished the quarter in style as James blasted his team's ninth three-pointer over the buzzer to put Laboral up 57-65 after 30 minutes.
Fourth Quarter: Never-say-die Nizhny steals it
Parakhouski got back those 3 points with a basket-plus-free throw to start the fourth quarter. Laboral answered with a fastbreak finished by Bertans. Mekel's put-back and a free throw by Parakhouski again cut the distance, to 63-67. That's when Iverson took over, rocking the rim for consecutive put-back dunks forcing a Nizhny timeout at 63-71. Thompkins climbed off the bench and drilled a three-pointer, but Bertans went the other way and matched it. Mekel lined up his own shot from the arc, however, to make it 69-74. Shengelia's 2 free throws for Laboral were bettered by Mekel's 3 of 3 for Nizhny, after which he fed Baburin for a huge triple that made it 75-76. Bertans fed James for a layup and Shengelia got to the free throw line on an offensive rebound to lift the visitors' lead to 75-80. Rochestie made a great backdoor pass to Baburin for a reverse layup that got the Nizhny crowd excited. After the hosts won a jump ball that led to Roshestie hitting a runner at 79-80, Dimitry Khvostov forced a Laboral turnover and Thompkins scored from the baseline for Nizhny's first lead, 81-80, since 3-2 in the game's first minute. Another jump ball won by Parakhouski saw him put back a miss at 83-80 with 1 minute left. The referees used instant replay to award Nizhny an offensive rebound that Parakhouski turned into 3 points to make it 86-80, the end of an 11-0 run for the hosts. Bertans went 3 for 3 at the free throw line with 16 seconds left. Mekel made 1 of 2 at 87-83. James shot a perfect 2 of 2 free throws with 10.8 seconds left, making it 87-85. After a timeout, Thompkins was fouled and made his 2 shots, as well, keeping it a two-possession game at 89-85 with 9.6 seconds left, which is where the scoring ended with Nizhny's great 32-20 final quarter spelling the difference for the victors.
Thursday, March 12, 2015