Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar defeated Khimki Moscow Region on the road, 90-83 (31-21, 27-15, 22-15, 10-32).
Khimki: Alexey Shved (25 + 5 ast), Tyler Honeycutt (15 + 6 reb), Sergey Monia (10), Egor Vyaltsev (10)
Chris Babb (22), Joe Ragland (18), Frank Elegar (11 + 11 reb)
Krasnodar nearly coughed up a 29-point lead in the 4th quarter, but held on to win by seven and snap a five-game losing streak at the BCMO.
Lokomotiv-Kuban clinches 3rd place with the win, improving to 17-6 on the season.
Khimki needed a win, too, trailing Avtodor for 5th place by half a game entering the May 9 holiday.
But Krasnodar was simply unstoppable in the first half, scorching the Moscow Region defense for 58 points. Khimki trailed by 22 at halftime and 29 entering the 4th quarter.
A 19-3 run to open the final frame pulled the home team within 13, 83-70, with 4+ minutes remaining. Sasa Obradovic was forced to call a timeout, his team reeling from turnover woes and atrocious shooting.
Krasnodar was able to briefly stem the bleeding and led by 12 with under a minute to go. But Khimki continued to press, forcing several turnovers. Alexey Shved had a chance to cut the lead to three with 10 seconds left, but his triple was off the mark and Krasnodar held on to win.
Moscow Region drops to 12-11. The club needs a win vs. Enisey and Avtodor loss to Astana on Saturday to finish in 5th place. Otherwise, these two teams will meet again in the playoff quarterfinals.
14 – number of 3-pointers knocked down by Loko on 21 attempts (66%).
Khimki head coach Georgios Bartzokas:
– Congratulations to Loko. They played very well for three quarters and deserved this win. This is a good chance for us to understand whether or not we’re ready for the playoffs. After a long, exhausting season in the EuroLeague, it might look like we have a lot of issues, not only injuries, but also mental. We need to get back to winning, but we have a very tough challenge ahead of us in the VTB League playoffs, where there are a lot of good teams. We need to play like a team. We didn’t show that during the first three quarters. We were losing by a lot. In the 1st quarter alone, we allowed our opponent to hit seven of eight open 3-pointers. Overall, Loko shot very well from deep. After that, we lost focus on defense and offense. We worked really hard in the final quarter and cut into the deficit a little, but that doesn’t mean anything. The only thing that matters is the need to become a strong team once again, like we were in the EuroLeague and get the best results possible in the VTB League.
Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Sasa Obradovic:
– Congratulations to my team. I’m happy about this win. This has been a good season and now we want to recover as quickly as possible from our injuries and prepare for the playoffs. Everything will be different then for both teams. I don’t want to talk about what happened in the final quarter. The important thing is that we won and our opponent lost. That’s more than enough. You can endlessly obsess about why or how this or that happened, but let me say it again, winning is most important.
Khimki: May 12 away vs. Enisey
Lokomotiv-Kuban: May 12 away vs. Nizhny Novgorod
Images of the Game