Week 29 Recap

VEF's upset in Nizhny Novgorod, Avtodor's record-setting night and more in our Week 29 recap.

Nizhny Novgorord rocked the league in March, knocking off Lokomotiv-Kuban and UNICS, with Victor Rudd earning monthly MVP honors. VEF also played well in March, testing CSKA, Khimki and UNICS, despite coming up a little short.

Riga took the next step on Sunday, knocking off a Nizhny club that had only lost twice at home this season. VEF's Latvian collective had a lot at stake, hoping to impress Nizhny and Latvian national team coach Ainars Bagatskis with international competition only a few months away. They more than succeeded, dealing his club a blowout 107-79 defeat in Nizhny Novgorod.

Staying In The Hunt
Nymburk head coach Ronen Ginzburg commented on his team's defensive struggles in the first half (Zenit scored 55): "During the second half, our defense started working, but we couldn't score." Any concerns about fatigue and playing short-handed proved unfounded for Zenit. St. Petersburg cruised to victory on the road, 102-81, to keep the pressure on Lokomotiv-Kuban for 3rd place.

Avtodor broke the league record for points in a game for the third time this season. On Sunday, Bisons were the victims as Saratov erupted for 135 in Finland! The old record was set by Avtodor in March vs. Astana (132).

Saratov's win (135-86) makes it nine straight for the Russian club, the longest active streak in the league.

Vice Grip
Lokomotiv-Kuban and Enisey continue to compete in Europe, battling travel fatigue and a busy schedule. Not surprisingly, the defense dominated in this contest, playing into Krasnodar's hands. Loko shot 31% from the field and forced 26 turnovers (the league record is 27) to win 77-51 and remain in 3rd place.

Fan of the Week

Vita was in great position entering this contest. The Georgians won their last home game on March 27, the first victory of the season and returned home on Sunday to face Astana, a team on a 12-game losing streak.

But the Kazakhs delivered in Tbilisi. Despite trailing by double digits in the 1st quarter, Astana mounted a comeback and pulled out the 62-53 win, the team's first victory since late January.

Stat of the Week
11 - Khimki scored more than 100 points for the 11th time this season, knocking off Tsmoki-Minsk at home (100-72). That's a new league record. 

MVP of the Week
Josh Harrellson (VEF). The former Knick, Heat and Pistons player put on an incredible show vs. Nizhny Novgorod, leading his club to an upset. Harrellson finished with 26 points (11-19 shooting, four 3-pointers), 16 rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and a 37 efficiency rating. 

Nizhny Novgorod head coach Ainars Bagatskis:
- Today's loss was the most upsetting of the season for me. From the opening minutes, we did everything right, but at half strength, and thought that would be enough for a win. VEF played like we expected, but if we can't perform 1-on-1 with zone or man-to-man defense, it's tough to expect success. I should also admit that VEF hit all of its shots. We wanted to win today without getting dirty, but VEF is a very good team with five foreigners and four Latvian national team players. I think they should be higher in the standings. At the same time, I'd say we are stronger and should have won this game.

Play of the Week

Photo of the Week