Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar defeated Avtodor Saratov on the road, 102-95 (23-20, 25-19, 20-33, 34-23).
Avtodor: Perrin Buford (24), Trae Golden (21 + 8 ast), Boris Savovic (11 + 6 reb), Anthony Ireland (10 + 6 ast), Artem Zabelin (10 + 6 reb)
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Dorell Wright (27), JaJuan Johnson (25 + 5 reb), Mateusz Ponitka (17), Trevor Lacey (14 + 6 ast), Vitaly Fridzon (10 + 5 ast)
Lokomotiv-Kuban picked up its 4th-straight win with a come-from-behind victory in Saratov.
The visitors led by nine at halftime, but Avtodor was able to seize control in the 3rd quarter thanks to its electric duo of Perrin Buford and Trae Golden.
Trailing 72-68, Lokomotiv scored 34 points in the final 10 minutes to put the game away.
Avtodor had won four of five entering Saturday’s contest, but struggled most of the afternoon to contain Lokomotiv’s offense. The Railwaymen jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the opening minutes and never trailed in the first half.
Dorell Wright led the way for the visitors, scoring a game-high 27, including the first seven points of the 2nd quarter that gave Lokomotiv its first double-digit lead.
Down 48-39 at the break, Avtodor got 22 points from Buford and Golden to shift the momentum in the 3rd quarter. Golden’s triple with four and a half minutes to go in the period gave Avtodor its first lead, 61-58, as the home team went up by as much as seven in the 3rd.
After scoring a game-low 20 points in the quarter, Krasnodar responded with 34 points down the stretch to regain control for good.
The visitors knocked down nine of 10 field-goal attempts to open the 4th quarter, including four threes, to go up 91-80 with less than five minutes remaining.
Avtodor had no response, allowing Lokomotiv to exit Saratov with a 4th-straight win and improve its grip on 4th place at 9-4.
Saratov falls to 6-7 with the defeat, tied with Kalev for the two final playoff spots.
Drop the Hammer
Trae Golden to David Kravish 🔨 pic.twitter.com/nWUoQF52xX
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) January 19, 2019
29 – Lokomotiv shared the ball, combining for 29 assists, a season-high for the club.
Avtodor head coach Dusan Alimpijevic: “First of all, congratulations to Loko. They deserved to win this game. This was one of the worst games we’ve played since I’ve been at Avtodor. We clearly cannot permit ourselves to play this type of basketball. Of course, Lokomotiv-Kuban has very talented players on the roster. But, on the other hand, we hardly played any defense, especially in the final quarter. We had a very nice comeback in the 3rd quarter, but we didn’t play good one-on-one defense. We let the visitors shot almost 70% from inside the arc and almost 60% on 3-point attempts. That means we did not play well enough on defense. We were decent on offense and scored 95 points. Our problem is defense.”
Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Vlada Jovanovic: “First of all, I want to say that Avtodor is a very good team. My colleague Dusan Alimpijevic is doing excellent work. Our opponent’s recent results say it all. They have won seven of their last eight. We had a long trip to Saratov and a very difficult game in Ulm, where we spent a lot of strength and energy. As I expected, today’s game was extremely tricky. I’m very happy we managed to win.”