Khimki rolls in Gran Canaria
Khimki Moscow Region snapped its three-game road losing streak in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by overwhelming Herbalife Gran Canaria 70-99 on Thursday. Both teams now have 6-10 records and sit two wins outside of the playoff zone. Dee Bost led the winners with 20 points. Charles Jenkins added 18, Jordan Mickey had 16 and Garlon Green 11 for Khimki. Marcus Eriksson paced Gran Canaria with 14 points, D.J. Strawberry added 13 and Siim-Sander Vene 12 for the hosts.
Strawberry got Gran Canaria going with a floater and free throws. Kim Tillie soon added a triple for a 7-2 lead. Sergey Monia answered from downtown, but a layup by Ondrej Balvin and a fast break slam by Xavi Rabaseda boosted the hosts' lead to 11-5. Jenkins and Monia each hit a three-pointer, but a red-hot Tillie struck twice from beyond the arc and Strawberry soon added another to make it a double-digit game, 22-12. Monia scored again and Malcolm Thomas added a three-point play before a triple by Jenkins gave Khimki hope at 25-20. Jenkins insisted from downtown, but Vene made free throws and Josh Magette hit a nine-meter bomb for a 30-23 Gran Canaria lead after 10 minutes. Stefan Markovic joined the three-point shootout early in the second quarter. Eriksson followed a floater with foul shots, but Bost and Mickey brought Khimki within 34-32. Bost scored again and Jenkins capped a 0-13 run with a bomb from downtown for a 34-39 Khimki lead. Mickey kept pacing the guests and Bost downed a triple that prompted Gran Canaria to call timeout at 36-47. Tony Crocker sank a triple to fix the halftime score at 36-50. Thomas sank a jumper and a three-pointer by Bost capped a mammoth 2-29 run that gave Khimki a 36-55 lead. Eriksson hit a three-pointer, but Bost followed a backdoor layup with a bomb from downtown that broke the game open at 39-62. Eriksson and Oriol Pauli tried to change things for Gran Canaria, forcing the guests to call timeout at 45-62. Jenkins and Bost insisted from downtown, Green found his first points and a dunk by Thomas set a 50-73 Khimki lead after 30 minutes. Mickey stayed on fire early in the fourth quarter and a layup by Jenkins sealed the outcome, 53-81, with 8 minutes left. Nothing changed after that, as Khimki cruised to an impressive road win.
Dee Bost shined at the right time, scoring 11 points in the critical run that sealed the outcome. He finished the game with career highs in scoring (20) and performance index rating (20).
Gran Canaria led 34-26 midway through the second quarter, but Khimki used a 2-29 run to get full control of the game for good. Bost and Mickey, who had been scoreless until that moment, combined for 17 points in that run. By the time Bost struck from downtown, Khimki led 36-55 early in the second half and it didn't take long for the guests to seal the outcome.
Khimki made 25 of 36 two-point shots (69.4%), while limiting Gran Canaria to 11 of 23 shots inside the arc (47.8%). Khimki had 29 assists, one shy of the club's EuroLeague record, and committed just 12 turnovers.
Did you notice?
It was Khimki's second trip to Gran Canaria Arena. In 2015, Khimki thrashed Gran Canaria 66-91 in Game 1 of the two-way EuroCup Finals. That was Gran Canaria's biggest home loss in European competition. Khimki came back and broke that record again.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on Tuesday; Khimki hosts Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and Gran Canaria welcomes Real Madrid.
Thursday, January 3, 2019