Khimki pulls away early to keep share of first place
Khimki Moscow Region downed Szolonoki Olaj 98-84 to remain tied atop Group D with a 3-1. A 25-13 third quarter made the difference for the home team, which featured six scorers in double figures led by Egor Vyaltsev, who scored 17 on 5-for-6 shooting from downtown. James Augustine contributed 15 points, Petteri Koponen and Marko Popopvic had 13 apiece, while Tyrese Rice added 12 and Joffrey Lauvergne 10. Sergey Monya dished 7 assists and Marko Popovic 6 in victory. The visitors got 19 points from David Vojvoda, 18 from Strahinja Milosevic and 13 from Marko Brkic. Peter Lorant scored 11 with 6 rebounds and Akos Keller 10 with 6 boards.
The teams exchanged baskets and leads early in the game. Vyaltsev scored twice from downtown to give a 17-12 margin to Khimki. Keller posted a layup to make it 19-16, but Vyaltsev was on fire and hit back-to-back triples for the first consistent margin, 25-18, for the home team. Keller’s dunk made it 27-22, but Petteri Koponen fixed a 30-22 lead for Khimki by completing a three-point-play. Tyler Honeycutt hit a three for a double digit cushion, 36-25 early in the second quarter. The margin grew to 47-33 when the 2014 Euroleague Final Four MVP Rice scored another shot from beyond the arc. Lauvergne scored again for Khimki in the paint, but 8 unanswered points by the visitors made it 49-43 at halftime.
Khimki’s defensive intensity grew up back after the intermission, holding Szolnok to just 3 points in five minutes, while Augustine drained 7 points of 11 from his team to lead 60-46. The hosts kept extending the difference and late in the quarter the margin reached 74-56 with Koponen and Stanislav Ilnitsky on fire. A three-pointer by Marko Brkic brought the visitors closer, 74-62, early in the last quarter, and later to 82-71 at the midway point, but Popovic stole the ball and finished with an easy layup to re-establish an 87-71 margin and then the hosts easily managed the game till the final buzzer.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014