BC Khimki took an 81-72 win over Lokomotiv Kuban, on Tuesday, in the first game of their two-game, total points quarterfinals series. Coach Rimas Kurtinaitis's men will reach the next stage with a win in Game 2 next week or a loss by fewer than 9 points. Lokomotiv, which led early, tied the score at 71-71 with 5:20 left to play, but Khimki finished stronger capped by a three point-play from Vitaly Fridzon to take the win. Thomas Kelati led the way with 20 points on an amazing 6-for-7 shooting from downtown. Fridzon added 17 with great accuracy, Alexey Zhukanenko drilled 13 and Sergey Monya 10. KC Rivers and Jeremiah Massey were the main contributors for Lokmotiv Kuban with 14 points each, while Ali Traore bagged 13 points plus 8 rebounds. Lokomotiv’s downfall was 17 turnovers.
Rod Blakney’s layup opened the scoring, then Fridzon answered before Maxim Sheleketo nailed the first three pointer of the game for a 2-5 lead to Lokomotiv. Back-to-back baskets by Fridzon gave the first lead, 8-6, to the home team, but a Massey triple followed by a Traore hook put the visiting team in front again, 8-11. Rivers posted three consecutive baskets from three-point land to give a double digit margin, 10-20 to the guests. Kelati stepped in to finish the quarter with two rockets from downtown and an 18-21 scoreline after 10 minutes. Grigory Shukhovtsov dunked for 18-23 a minute into the second quarter, then Khimki went on a 10-0 run capped by consecutive threes by Kelati and Sergey Monya to lead 28-23. Monya, Massey and Kelati all scored from beyond the arc in less than a minute for a 34-28 Khimki lead at the midway point of the quarter. Traore completed a three-point-play to stay 34-31, then Rivers remained perfect from downtown to tie it at 36-36. Fridzon and Lionel Chalmers exchanged layups, Vlado Ilievski scored twice from the free throw line to answer before a Kresmir Loncar jumper tied things again. With 14 seconds left in the half, Chalmers fixed the final 40-42 for Lokomotiv with a mid-range jumper.
Kelati tied the score to open the second half before Chalmers completed a three-point-play and Loncar scored in the paint. Blakney hit a jumper and Fridzon scored a pair from the foul line. Then Lokomotiv tried again to escape with a 7-0 run highlighted by Blakney from downtown and capped by Artem Zabelin from mid range to move ahead 46-54. Egor Vyaltsev sounded the charge for Khimki with a triple, and Zoran Planinic scored free throws to come within 53-54. Sheleketo, Zhukanenko and Sergey Bykov were perfect from the foul line with the guests leading 55-58, but Khimk’si big man converted an assist of Vyaltsev and then dunked to go back ahead 59-58 to the delight of the home crowd. Zabelin fueled Massey for an astonishing dunk to finish the third quarter with Lokomotiv still leading 59-60. Free throws of Fridzon and a layup by Monya gave a 63-60 advantage to the hosts early in the last quarter, then Kelati from long distance and Fridzon in the open court made it 68-62. Traore kept Lokomotiv in charge and Massey finished a three-point play for 69-67. Chris Quinn and Rivers found easy points on the fast break, but it was Massey fueled by an assist from Chalmers that tied it at 71-71. Zhukanenko scored both his attempts at the foul line, and after two scoreless minutes pulled down an offensive board and then scored the following layup to make it 75-71 with three minutes left. Massey missed one of his free throws, then Kelati drained a three and Fridzon scored easily after a Monya steal and added a free throw to lead 81-72 with 44 seconds left. Zhukanenko turned over the last possession of Khimki and Massey missed a three at the buzzer as the home team won 81-72.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012