LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne knew it could play better than it had in the first half against Khimki Moscow Region on Friday. And T.J. Parker's team showed that in the final 20 minutes, coming back from a big deficit to extend its home winning streak to four games. ASVEL trailed by 15 points late in the second quarter and turned the game around with aggressive play to collect a 90-84 victory over Khimki.
ASVEL got strong contributions from a number of players. Guerschon Yabusele had 20 points and Norris Cole picked up 19 and 6 assists, while Moustapha Fall and David Lighty combined for 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Lighty came up with a pair of big three-point plays in the third quarter, which also featured two triples from Yabusele. In the fourth, it was a little more Fall and Cole until Lighty's layup off the glass sealed the victory.
The win was ASVEL's second this week, both coming at home after the French side downed Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 84-81 on Wednesday. That win snapped ASVEL's three-game losing streak, road games against Real Madrid, Anadolu Efes Istanbul and FC Bayern Munich. Before those games, Parker's men shocked FC Barcelona and then knocked off Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. The four straight home wins has ASVEL's record at 5-9, just three wins behind the last two playoffs teams with the season not even half over.
Parker said his men know their winning formula: "We know how we win: it's defensively. So we brought the energy and the players did a good job."
Lighty said the game was representative of the team's performance this season thus far.
The start of the season was kind of how we played in the first half. It was a little sluggish, a little slow, he said. "But we knew we had another level. In the second half, we showed that when we come out and play our brand of basketball, we're a pretty tough team to beat. We wanted to get these two wins at home to try to get a little momentum."
Next up for ASVEL is another home game, a visit from first-place CSKA Moscow on Tuesday. CSKA boasts a 10-game winning streak and a 12-3 record, but Parker's team is well aware that it already has upset one erstwhile league leader, Barcelona, at home this season.
And that's not all, Lighty said after the win over Khimki: "You know, we beat [CSKA] last year. So, we'll see what happens."