FC Bayern Munich snapped its five-game road losing streak on Tuesday night by edging Khimki Moscow Region 93-95 in an entertaining contest. Both teams were missing some of their important players, but Bayern was happy to see others step up and contribute.
While rookie guard Nick Weiler-Babb had his best game of the season with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, Bayern won the game with its dominance inside and a vintage performance by a veteran power forward James Gist. In 28 minutes on the floor, Gist shined with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting. He also pulled down 8 rebounds, including 6 on the offensive glass, and dished 3 assists.
In a character bounce-back performance for Bayern, after suffering a thrashing last week in Milan, it was the perfect timing for what Gist displayed.
"We realized that they were down on bigs and we had to use offensive rebounding as a strategy for the game," Gist said after the game. "Take shots, but also crash the boards hard. That was one of the tactics that Coach talked about before the game."
A mid-season addition to Coach Andrea Trinchieri's side, Gist scored a combined 28 points in his first six appearances on 36.4% two-point shooting, but on Tuesday night Gist dominated. Using his size, confidence and experience, the 33-year old Gist turned himself back into a dominant force.
He gave Bayern just what it needed. Gist's 6 offensive rebounds were just 1 shy of his career-high and his PIR of 29 tied for the fourth-best of his career. His 19 points were one of the best 10 scoring performances of his 253-game EuroLeague career. His 6 offensive boards gave him 404 for his career - making him one of just 11 players to reach that milestone. Gist now trails Kerem Gonlum by 17 to reach the career top 10.
For a veteran playing in his 11th season in the competition, Gist showed what he brings to the table and why Bayern was eager to bring him aboard this season. He helped the team win the rebounding battle 42-28 and earned praise from his coach.
"We didn't play a great game, but we won a great game", Trinchieri told the TV cameras after the victory before adding "I believe that Gist and Babb were amazing in the difficult moments."