Zenit stuns Khimki at home, 114-110, as Sergey Karasev (35) outduels Alexey Shved (29) in a thriller in St. Petersburg.
Zenit: Sergey Karasev (35), Janis Timma (26+6 reb), Stefan Markovic (19+8 ast), Aaron White (11)
Khimki: Alexey Shved (29+6 ast), Nobel Boungou-Colo (18), Jacob Pullen (18), E.J. Rowland (13+5 reb+5 ast)
Zenit and Khimki put on a show, combining for 111 points in the first half as the home team grabbed a five-point lead, 58-53.
Nothing changed in the second half. Khimki inched within four points to end the 3rd quarter, 85-81, riding a big game from Alexey Shved, who finished with 29 points on 10-19 shooting.
The momentum shifted to the visitors for much of the 4th quarter. Khimki outscored Zenit 24-14 through the first seven minutes, grabbing a 105-99 lead with 2:49 to go.
With the game hanging in the balance, Zenit’s Stefan Markovic picked a clutch three-point play on the very next possession, getting his team within three.
After a Robbie Hummel miss, Zenit came back down the court, looking to tie or pull within one. Stuck on the perimeter with the shot clock winding down, Sergey Karasev drained a contested 3-pointer, knotting the score at 105 apiece.
Khimki had several chances to go back in front, but couldn’t execute in the final minutes. Jacob Pullen committed a turnover and Alexey Shved missed two free throws.
With Khimki forced to foul in the final seconds, Karasev and Artem Vikhrov sealed the win at the line, converting four straight to give Zenit the 114-11o win.
Zenit improves to 8-3, finally knocking off another team in the top five. Khimki drops into a tie for 4th, 8-3.
32-60 – Zenit and Khimki combined for an incredible 53.3% from beyond the arc.
Zenit head coach Vasily Karasev:
– This was a much-needed home win over a strong opponent, which is especially nice after losses to UNICS and Loko. Despite giving up 110 points, I was encouraged that we were aggressive on defense. Khimki’s individual skill is simply very high and they couldn’t miss at the start of the game, but in the end our efforts bore fruit.
Khimki head coach Dusko Ivanovic:
– This wasn’t our type of game. This was Zenit’s game: a lot of shots without hardly any defense. Our game is aggressive, disciplined defense, but we started going by only our offense, which gave Zenit an advantage.
Zenit: January 15 at Parma
Khimki: January 15 vs. Astana