Lokomotiv-Kuban Russia defeated Tsmoki-Minsk Belarus at home, 80-69 (24-13, 20-14, 21-13, 15-29).
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Vladimir Ivlev (15 + 6 reb), Dmitry Khvostov (14 + 11 ast), JaJuan Johnson (11), Vitaly Fridzon (10)
Tsmoki-Minsk: Devon Saddler (20 + 7 ast), Zisis Sarikopoulos (15)
Lokomotiv-Kuban bounced back from last week’s setback to Astana with an 80-69 win over visiting Tsmoki-Minsk.
The home team was in control from the opening tip and led 24-13 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Minsk, which picked up wins in two of its last three games, did not find its rhythm on offense until it was too late. The visitors scored a measly 27 points in the first half and only had 40 entering the 4th quarter.
Lokomotiv struggled from beyond the arc, but was efficient enough on two-point attempts to seize a commanding 25-point lead with 10 minutes remaining, 65-40.
Dmitry Khvostov with 14 points and 11 assists led Krasnodar, which dished out an impressive 27 assists as a team.
Minsk finally got going in the 4th, blitzing Lokomotiv for 29 points, including a 12-0 run to end the game, but the offense came too late as the Railwaymen were never threatened.
The victory helps Kuban improve to 6-4, while Minsk drops to 2-7.
Dmitry Khvostov. The Loko playmaker enjoyed a nearly flawless performance, recording a double-double (14 points and 11 assists) with only two turnovers and one missed field goal.
27-14 – the Railwaymen had a huge advantage in assists. Kuban also dominated the glass, 37-24.
Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Vlada Jovanovic: “We had a very tough week: Astana, then an important game with Cedevita, and now Tsmoki-Minsk. We played three games in eight days. Loko has issues with injuries. In addition to Fall and Whitehead, Trevor Lacey couldn’t play vs. Tsmoki. Nonetheless, we put together a quality game. Despite a few issues, we worked hard on defense. We grabbed 37 rebounds and dished out 27 assists. With this type of rotation and three young players on the roster, these are very good numbers.”
Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Aliaksandr Krutsikau: “Since the beginning, the home team controlled the game and were very good on the glass. It’s obvious Loko’s significant advantage was in this component. They demonstrated good, effective offense: 27 assists. Almost the entire game was under their control. We tried to stop Loko’s leaders, but weren’t able to. Kulagin looked great; Fridzon hit very important shots, Ponitka connected a few times from the perimeter. Plus, the home team was excellent in the paint. The game simply didn’t go our way.”