Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar defeated Enisey Krasnoyarsk at home, 79-67 (16-20, 15-10, 24-19, 24-18).
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Dorell Wright (14 + 6 reb), JaJuan Johnson (14), Mateusz Ponitka (12), Dmitry Khvostov (10)
Enisey: John Roberson (18), D’Angelo Harrison (11 + 11 reb), Alex Young (11 + 8 reb)
Krasnodar continued its strong play with a double-digit win at home, knocking off Enisey to move into sole possession of 3rd place. The Railwaymen have won eight of nine and next welcome UNICS to Krasnodar for a potentially huge top-three clash.
But first, Lokomotiv needed to slow down a much-improved Enisey squad. Despite a 6-10 record, Krasnoyarsk had recent wins over Astana and Zielona Gora and could make a statement with a win in Krasnodar.
The visitors started the game in impressive fashion, outscoring Lokomotiv 20-16 in the 1st quarter thanks to a 9-2 run to close the period. Alex Young and John Roberson combined for 15 of Enisey’s 20.
Krasnodar struggled to find its rhythm on offense throughout the first half. After scoring just 16 in the 1st quarter, the home team was stuck on 11 points and trailed 30-27 with less than a minute before halftime.
But Mateusz Ponitka scored on a layup and after a Enisey turnover, JaJuan Johnson threw down a dunk to give Loko its first lead since midway through the 1st quarter, 31-30.
The home team’s momentum carried over to the second half. Krasnodar never trailed again, building its first double-digit lead midway through the 3rd quarter, 50-40, on this JaJuan Johnson dunk.
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) March 2, 2019
Enisey briefly threatened at the end of the period, pulling to within six, 55-49.
Lokomotiv, however, quickly put the game out of reach in the 4th, outscoring Krasnoyarsk 19-4 in the first five minutes of the quarter.
Krasnodar cruised the rest of the way, improving to 13-5 with the victory. Enisey drops to 6-11, a game and a half behind Avtodor for the final playoff spot.
Ilya Popov made his Enisey debut after leaving Nizhny Novgorod. The Russian big man scored recorded eight points, six rebounds, one steal, one block and two assists in only 17 and a half minutes.
67 – Loko’s defense held the visitors to only 67 points, the fewest points scored by Enisey in 14 games.