Enisey Krasnoyarsk defeated Nizhny Novgorod at home, 92-88 (21-19, 25-21, 19-21, 27-27).
Enisey: D’Angelo Harrison (27 + 8 reb), Denis Zakharov (18), John Roberson (13 + 5 ast), Artem Komissarov (10 + 8 reb)
Nizhny Novgorod: Kendrick Perry (27 + 8 ast), Vladimir Dragicevic (20 + 5 reb), Anton Astapkovich (17 + 8 reb)
Enisey snapped a five-game losing streak and dealt Nizhny Novgorod its first loss to a team outside of the top eight since early December, pulling away late in the 4th quarter for a 92-88 win.
D’Angelo Harrison led the home team with 27 points on 9-14 shooting to go with eight rebounds.
These two teams entered Sunday’s match-up going opposite directions. Nearly even in the standings as few as two months ago, Nizhny Novgorod had won seven of eight to climb into 7th place with every chance of moving higher. Enisey, on the other hand, saw its playoff hopes evaporate thanks to a five-game skid that included losses to Kalev, PARMA and Nizhny Novgorod on the road three weeks ago.
But the Siberians evidently did not quit. Ivan Viktorov scored the first two points of the game for Enisey and the home team gradually took control in the opening period, going up by seven on five straight points from Harrison (21-14).
The lead briefly reached double digits in the 2nd quarter (32-22), and though Nizhny was able to get within three on a pair of 3-pointers from Kendrick Perry and Chris Czerapowicz (43-40), Harrison closed the half with a triple of his own to give Enisey the momentum entering the locker room.
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Enisey never trailed in the 3rd quarter, despite getting outscored 21-19. But early in the 4th, it looked like Kendrick Perry would single-handedly turn the game in Nizhny’s favor. The American guard, who finished with a team-high 27, knocked down back-to-back 3’s to put the visitors in front, 69-68 with 8:30 remaining.
Oleg Okulov was forced to call a timeout, but Enisey continued to struggle with perimeter defense as Perry, then Artem Komolov drained two more triples to preserve a one-point advantage (75-74).
Enisey’s answer came from a trio of young Russians. Artem Komissarov, Ivan Viktorov and Denis Zakharov combined for a 9-0 run, squashing Nizhny’s momentum as Perry and Komolov suddenly went cold, missing three consecutive three-point attempts.
The visitors stayed within striking distance down the stretch, testing Enisey’s resolve to win. The home team missed a pair of free throws in the final minute to open the door and Anton Astapkovich’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds left made it a two-point game, 90-88. But Zakharov converted twice at the line to put Enisey up by four and close out the victory.
Nizhny Novgorod drops to 12-9 with the defeat, two games ahead of 8th-place Kalev (10-11). Enisey improves to 7-14. The Siberians have a reasonably light schedule to finish the season, but will likely need to go 4-1 or 5-0 down the stretch to have any hope of a postseason berth.
5 – number of consecutive losses for Enisey prior to this game.
Enisey head coach Oleg Okulov: “the game was supposed to be tough, but, nonetheless, we were in control most of the contest. We didn’t let our opponent score second-chance points and were able to get the win.”
Nizhny Novgorod head coach Zoran Lukic: “Several mistakes by our players were the key factor. Honestly, we have to applaud Kendrick Perry, who was playing on one leg today. He took the court today and was terrific. With the game on the line, we lost three rebounds. We battled and we knew why we came here, but we lost. Several players don’t understand their mistakes even though we talk with them a lot. But I’m grateful for the way my guys competed!”