Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar defeated Nizhny Novgorod on the road, 88-75 (26-25, 23-16, 20-16, 19-18).
Nizhny Novgorod: Ivan Strebkov (14 + 8 ast), Ilya Popov (13), Anton Astapkovich (11 + 5 reb), Evgeny Baburin (11)
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Isaiah Whitehead (23), Dmitry Kulagin (14), Dorell Wright (10), Moustapha Fall (10 + 5 reb)
Dmitry Kulagin and Isaiah Whitehead combined for 37 points and 16-25 shooting from the field to lead Krasnodar to a road victory in Nizhny Novgorod.
Despite playing with an all-Russian roster of only nine men, the home team battled from start to finish and only trailed by six with five minutes remaining in the final period.
But Lokomotiv’s depth and talent were too much to overcome in the end. The visitors went on a decisive 6-0 run, capped by a Moustapha Fall dunk, to put the game out of reach, 81-69.
Loko guard Isaiah Whitehead, who entered the season with big expectations, enjoyed his first game over 20 points in a Krasnodar uniform, scoring 23 in 23 minutes. Kulagin, meanwhile, continued his hot play with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Despite shooting 57% from inside the arc, Nizhny Novgorod was undone by three-point shooting (6-22) and 18 turnovers.
40-19 – Not surprisingly, Lokomotiv enjoyed a big edge in bench scoring.
Nizhny Novgorod head coach Zoran Lukic: “We showed the desire today to battle on the court. True, a couple of players didn’t look that great in this game, but don’t forget that because of injuries to our foreign players we had to completely redo our approach in a couple of days. At the same time, we should have given Ivan Strebkov more rest, since he’s not completely healthy yet. But I don’t have any major issues with my guys. They competed.”
Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Sasa Obradovic: “We knew to expect a tough game in Nizhny Novgorod, even though almost half of their opponent is injured. We had issues in today’s game keeping our concentration. Of course, we are happy with the win, but I can’t help but point out that at times we lacked discipline on defense as well as offense.”