Khimki defeated Tsmoki-Minsk at home, 80-72 (26-16, 16-21, 24-15, 14-20).
Khimki: Alexey Shved (19+6 ast), Viacheslav Zaitcev (19+5 reb), Jacob Pullen (11), Markel Brown (10+8 reb)
Tsmoki-Minsk: Dru Joyce (23+5 reb), Aliaksandr Kudrautsau (18)
Tsmoki led early in the 3rd quarter, 43-42, thanks to a Dru Joyce 3-pointer. But Khimki responded with a 15-4 run, sparked Alexey Shved and Viacheslav Zaitcev.
The Dragons were unable to respond, trailing by double digits to enter the 4th quarter, a deficit Minsk would not overturn. Khimki continues to chase CSKA and Zenit for the top seed in the postseason.
46-34 – Khimki enjoyed a big edge on the glass.
Khimki head coach Dusko Ivanovic:
– The most thing today was winning. After the game against Valencia, we only had one day to recover and prepare, which was not easy. For that reason, this was a big win over Tsmoki. Some of our players demonstrated excellent focus. I’m not saying they played extremely well, but their attitude helped us get the win. Some, however, struggled to have the same attitude, which concerns me. Prior to the game in Spain, it’s important to be very positive and prepare as one.
Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Igor Grishchuk:
– First of all, I want to congratulate my team and our opponent on a good game. We had big problems on the glass. We lost the rebounding battle by 12, which is a lot. That’s why the game turned out this way. The most important thing is that we couldn’t hit our free throws for the second game in a row. That’s a mental problem. Overall, I’m satisfied with the game and, overall, with the season. We’ve got 14 wins, 4 in the VTB League and 10 in the FIBA Europe Cup.
Khimki: March 11 at Parma
Tsmoki-Minsk: March 20 at Kalev