Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar defeated Nizhny Novgorod at home, 78-71 (20-21, 17-15, 11-19, 30-16).
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Dmitry Kulagin (19 + 5 reb), Dorell Wright (19 + 3 stl), JaJuan Johnson (10 + 5 reb)
Nizhny Novgorod: Ian Hummer (22 + 6 reb + 5 stl), Ivan Strebkov (17), Kendrick Perry (11 + 5 stl), Vladimir Dragicevic (11 + 5 reb)
Lokomotiv-Kuban secured a crucial win at home, erasing an eight-point deficit against one of the League’s hottest teams to move into 3rd place in the standings.
Nizhny Novgorod had won six of seven entering the match-up, including victories against Khimki and UNICS, and Zoran Lukic’s men made the Railwaymen sweat for 40 minutes.
After a very close first half which saw Lokomotiv enter the locker room with a 37-36 lead, the visitors used a 10-0 run late in the 3rd quarter to go up by seven entering the final period.
Ivan Strebkov scored eight of his 17 points during the run and Nizhny appeared on the verge of another impressive top-four win.
But Loko’s balanced, deep roster had other plans. Mateusz Ponitka converted a three-point play and Trevor Lacey knocked down a 3 to make it a two-point game.
Dorell Wright, who scored a team-high 19 points, put Krasnodar on top a few minutes later with a four-point play.
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The All-Star added a jumper on the next possession to give Loko a 63-59 lead.
Nizhny fought back and even regained the lead briefly midway through the quarter, but Krasnodar would not be denied at home.
Leading by three, 74-71, after an Ivan Strebkov cut Nizhny’s deficit in half with a minute remaining, Lokomotiv got a big stop with 20 seconds left, before Mateusz Ponitka sealed the win with a pair of free throws.
Coupled with Khimki’s loss to UNICS, Lokomotiv takes over 3rd place with a 12-5 record.
Nizhny Novgorod drops to 8-8, but remains in 7th place.
14% – Nizhny Novgorod went 3-21 from beyond the arc, making it very difficult to win on the road.