Loko Wins Thriller vs. Avtodor

Loko Wins Thriller vs. Avtodor

Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar defeated Avtodor Saratov at home, 95-91 (21-18, 19-24, 27-35, 28-14).

Top Scorers
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Dorell Wright (19 + 6 reb), Dmitry Kulagin (18 + 6 ast), Mateusz Ponitka (14 + 5 reb), Moustapha Fall (14 + 5 reb), JaJuan Johnson (13)

Avtodor: David Kravish (21 + 10 reb), Trae Golden (20 + 14 ast), Boris Savovic (14), Perrin Buford (12 + 9 reb), D.J. Newbill (10)

Lokomotiv-Kuban (14-7) is trying to crash the top-three and at least remain in fourth place, which guarantees home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Avtodor (9-13) also had plenty to play for. Saratov is currently on the outside looking in concerning the postseason.

Neither team led by more than five points in the first half. Avtodor tried to drive the paint and get its big men involved. 65% shooting inside the arc and 34 points in the paint, compared to 20 for Loko, gave the visitors a 42-40 lead at halftime.

Perrin Buford and Trae Golden’s 3-pointers to start the 3rd quarter set the tone. Avtodor scored however it wanted, pouring in 35 points to take a 10-point lead entering the 4th, 77-67.

Dorell Wright and Jerome Randle’s 3-pointers quickly got Krasnodar back in the game, 77-73, setting up an exciting finish. 

Turning Point
The outcome was decided on two possessions in the final minute with the score tied at 91-91. With 31 seconds to go, David Kravish missed a shot under the basket. Loko wasted no time: Wright tossed a full court pass to Dmitry Kulagin, who dunked with his left hand. On the following play, Wright forced a turnover, resulting in another Kulagin dunk, 95-91.

Saratov had one final possession, but Boris Savovic missed from beyond the arc.

Lokomotiv secured its 15th win of the season to cement its spot in the top four. Avtodor failed to capitalize on Nizhny and Kalev losses and risks missing the postseason.

8 – number of players used by Avtodor. Saratov’s tempo slowed in the 4th quarter and the visitors scored only 14 points. 

Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Bob Donewald: “Give Avtodor credit. They started really strong and created a lot of problems. We needed some time to get in the game. This was a tough game, but unlike the game with Khimki, we played well at the end. We stopped our opponent on the deciding possessions and grabbed an important win.” 

Avtodor head coach Evgeny Pashutin: “This was an interesting game. Lokomotiv is a very strong team that played well in the EuroCup. Our challenge was to stop their snipers. For the most part, we did so, but then we let Wright hit 4-5 three-pointers, which proved decisive. Loko deserved to win. We need to work on our psychology and develop a winning mentality.”


09/04/2019 Lokomotiv-Avtodor 95:91