Lokomotiv-Kuban defeated Nizhny Novgorod in Krasnodar, 88-75 (20-26, 19-21, 20-15, 29-13).
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Kevin Jones (20+6 reb), Matt Janning (12+5 ast), Dmitry Khvostov (12), Ian Vougioukas (12)
Nizhny Novgorod: Kenny Boynton (17), DeAndre Kane (13), Petr Gubanov (12+7 reb), Tomislav Zubcic (11), Dijon Thompson (11+7 reb+4 stl)
The game was delayed for an hour and 40 minutes due to a scoreboard malfunction in the Basket Hall. With a smaller crowd on hand, Nizhny Novgorod took advantage of the unusual circumstances, sprinting to a 21-6 lead behind red-hot perimeter shooting.
Loko rallied quickly, tying the game at 28-28 early in the 2nd quarter. Nizhny pulled away again, leading by as much as 10 late in the first half, but the home team never lost touch.
Krasnodar’s defense began to improve, limiting Nizhny to 15 points in the 3rd quarter to keep the game within 1-2 possessions.
Down three, 62-59, to start the 4th quarter, Lokomotiv opened on a 10-0 run, capped by a Dima Khvostov 3-pointer.
Nizhny Novgorod had no response, never getting closer than seven points the rest of the way. After holding Kuban to less than 20 points per period, Nizhny gave up 29 in the 4th, suffering an 88-75 setback.
Loko improves to 12-2, tying the club record with 12 straight wins. Nizhny drops to 4-10, a game and a half back of Enisey for the final playoff spot.
34-11 – Missing both Maxim Grigoryev and Ivan Strebkov, Nizhny had little depth. Not surprisingly, the bench was outscored 34-11.
Nizhny’s thin roster was a big factor in the final period as the starters began to wear down and were unable to get the necessary stops down the stretch.
Lokomotiv-Kuban: February 15 vs. Astana
Nizhny Novgorod: February 13 at Kalev