Nizhny Novgorod Russia defeated VEF Latvia on the road, 67-65 (25-17, 19-19, 14-17, 9-12).
VEF: Andrew Andrews (12), Steve Zack (11 + 11 reb), Mareks Mejeris (11 + 6 ast)
Nizhny Novgorod: Ian Hummer (16 + 14 reb), Artem Komolov (12), Vladimir Dragicevic (10 + 6 ast)
Nizhny Novgorod survived a dreadful drought on offense in the final minutes to defeat VEF on the road by two.
The visitors stormed to an eight-point lead in the 1st quarter behind 10 points from forward Ian Hummer, who signed with the club earlier this week.
Nizhny went on a 10-2 run to open the 2nd quarter and led 35-19 with seven-plus minutes remaining in the half.
VEF needed an answer and found it at the free-throw line, knocking down nine of 10 attempts over the next three minutes to make it a three-point game, 35-32.
In fact, Riga only gave up 32 points over the final 27+ plus minutes in the game, but never led.
Nizhny was able to push its lead back to eight by halftime and as much as 13 early in the 3rd quarter.
The Latvians kept coming, ultimately catching Nizhny at 63-63 on a Jabril Durham 3-pointer with 5:19 remaining in the game, but only managed one more field goal the rest of the way.
Nizhny was not much better. After Kendrick Perry scored on back-to-back possessions to give the visitors a four-point lead (67-63), the Russian club went scoreless over the final 4:18.
But somehow it was enough. Steve Zack cut the deficit to two for VEF at the 2:48 mark and neither team scored again. A pair of costly turnovers in the final minute, including a five-second violation on the final possession, ultimately doomed Riga.
The victory is huge for Nizhny Novgorod, lifting the Russians into a tie for the final two playoff spots with Avtodor (6-7). VEF misses a golden opportunity to win its second in a row at home, instead dropping to 3-12 on the season.
21 – combined number of points scored in the 4th quarter.