Lokomotiv Kuban became the Group K champion by routing Spartak St. Petersburg 77-72 on Wednesday in Krasnodar, Russia. Lokomotiv remained undefeated with a 5-0 record, while Spartak, which had already qualified for the quarterfinals, is second at 3-2. The home team led 36-31 at halftime and used a 20-6 third-quarter run to break the game open, 59-41. Spartak came close in the final minutes, 71-68, but Lokomotiv never lost the lead. Derrick Brown led the winners with 18 points, Aleks Maric bagged 16, Simas Jasaitis 15, Mantas Kalnietis contributed 11 and Nick Calathes had more rebounds (9) than points (8). Josh Carter of Spartak led all the scorers with 20 points, Loukas Mavrokefalides netted 12 and Darius Johnson-Odom 10.
Lokomotiv got going with back-to-back lay ups by Maric before a mid-range jumper from Mavrokefalides tied it. A Brown dunk inflated the cushion to 9-4 before Johnson Odom’s jumper and easy points in the open court from Vladimir Dragicevic gave Spartak its first advantage, 11-13. Brown from downtown and Jasaitis from mid range gave a 16-13 margin to Lokomotiv after 10 minutes. Early in the second quarter a three-point-play by Mavrokefalides put the visitors up 18-19. The lead proceeded to change hands five times before 4 points from Kalnietis allowed the hosts to grab a 31-27 lead. Dragicevic tied it at 31-31, but a final 5-0 run capped by a steal and dunk by Kalnietis gave Lokomotiv a 36-31 halftime advantage.
Maric opened the third quarter with a bucket, but Dragicevic answered in the paint to stay close, 39-35. Lokomotiv soon went on a 13-2 run highlighted by Brown with 7 points to break the game open and lead 52-37. Johnosn-Odom scored for Spartak, but a triple by Jasaitis and a layup by Kalnietis extended the difference to 59-41. Johnson-Odom ended the quarter with a huge dunk for a 59-45 lead after 30 minutes. Carter from long distance kept Spartak in the hunt at 59-48, but the answer was a triple by Jasaitis and a jumper from Brown to push the hosts on 64-48. Mavrokefalides opened a 2-12 Spartak run in which Zach Wright scored 7 points to bring his team within 66-60 with four minutes left. Coming off it, Maric scored 2 free throws and Kalnietis fueled his side from long distance to reestablish a double-digit margin, 71-60. Carter hit back with three-pointers to close the gap to 71-68 with 1:42 left in the game. However Maric scored a layup with 46 seconds on the game clock to make it 75-70 and Calathes sealed the win from the foul line.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013