Nizhny Novgorod Russia defeated VEF Latvia at home, 93-83 (24-15, 29-13, 20-31, 20-24).
Nizhny Novgorod: Kendrick Perry (31 + 8 ast), Vladimir Dragicevic (21 + 8 reb), Anton Astapkovich (13)
VEF: Mareks Mejeris (17 + 5 reb), Jabril Durham (14 + 5 reb), Glenn Cosey (12), Andrejs Grazulis (12)
Nizhny took care of business against the League’s hottest teams, smoking visiting VEF 53-28 in the first half, then held on for a wild victory in the second half.
The Russians led by as much as 27 at the start of the 3rd quarter and maintained a 71-46 advantage with 3:22 to play in the period.
VEF, which had won five in a row entering Wednesday, showed its competitive spirit over the next five minutes, reeling off a ridiculous 23-3 run. Jabril Durham capped the turnaround with a triple, bringing Riga to within five, 74-69, with 8:45 to go in the game.
At risk of allowing the biggest comeback in League history, Nizhny turned to star Kendrick Perry, who finished with a game-high 31. The American guard scored eight of his team’s next 10 points, rebuilding the advantage to 10, 84-74, and ensuring the Russians would come away with a win.
VEF got as close as four, 87-83, with less than a minute remaining, but Nizhny iced the game at the free-throw line, while Chris Czerapowicz came up with a big block on Durham.
The 93-83 win is Nizhny’s 11th of the season and pulls Zoran Lukic’s men within one game of 6th-place Zenit. VEF falls to 8-14. The Latvians could still make the postseason, but have very little margin for error with only four games left on the schedule.
25 – Nizhny’s lead at halftime, which was ultimately cut to four. VEF competed to the end and made it exciting, but was unable to extend its winning streak.
Nizhny’s Electric Start
Kendrick Perry SLAMS as Nizhny runs 19-3 in 1st Q vs VEF ✈️ pic.twitter.com/YEZeKIUYxp
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) March 20, 2019