Lokomotiv Kuban booked its first ever spot in the Eurocup Semifinals after downing visiting Buducnost Voli Podgorica 90-65 in Game 2 of their quarterfinal series on Wednesday. Lokomotiv held an 18-point advantage from Game 1, meaning the Russian team won the series by a 43-point margin. In the semis, Lokomotiv will play Valencia Basket. The semifinals are March 19 and 27; and Lokomotiv will host Game 2. On Wednesday, Lokomotiv took the lead for good with a 24-5 spurt that bridged the first and second quarters and opened up a double-digit lead, putting the hosts in control of the game. In victory, Lokomotiv sank 11 three-pointers, as Simas Jasaitis led the way with 23 points on 5-for-7 shooting from downtown. Derrick Brown had 17 points, Richard Hendrix scored 13 and Mantas Kalnietis netted 10 and dished out 6 assists. For Buducnost, Aleksa Popovic scored 14, while Marko Mugosa chipped in with 9 in defeat.
Aleksa Popovic started things with a triple for Buducnost, before Brown sank a baseline jumper and added a fastbreak dunk for the hosts. After a layup-plus foul from Nick Calathes, Buducnost answered with back-to-back triples from DeMarquis Bost and Marko Popovic, taking 7-11 lead. It did not take long for Lokomotiv to get back in front, however, as Hendrix made a layup to start a run during which Jasaitis and Kalnietis hit from downtown while Brown had couple of easy dunks to make it 23-14. Aleksa Popovic was the lone scorer for the visitors during Lokomotiv’s 22-5 spurt, which Jasaitis capped from the foul line for 29-16 after 10 minutes. Kalnietis extended the margin to 15 points at the start of the second quarter, but Buducnost replied with inside baskets from Vladimir Mihailovic, Gerald Lee and Bost in a 0-7 run, cutting it to 33-25. The visitors did not allow a point for almost five minutes before Aleksey Savrasenko ended Lokomotiv’s drought, and Jimmy Baron nailed a three-pointer for 40-29. Buducnost answered with a three-pointer from Mugosa, and an acrobatic put-back from Milosevic brought them within 5 points, but Jasaitis beat the buzzer with the triple from the left corner for a 45-37 halftime lead.
Hendrix muscled his way inside to open the third quarter, and Brown made a basket-plus-foul for 50-37. After Aleksa Popovic and Jasaitis traded threes, Cedomir Vitkovac made a basket-plus foul, and Aleksa Popovic added a fastbreak layup for 55-47. Lokomotiv, though, answered with an 11-2 run during which Hendrix made basket-plus-foul and Jasaitis sank couple of triples, 66-49. Even with a large lead, the hosts did not let down defensively, not allowing a field goal for more than six minutes, while back-to-back jumpers from Kalnietis made it 71-53 at the end of the third quarter. Valery Likhodey and Mihailovic traded jumpers at the start of the final quarter before offensive tempo slowed down. The hosts, however, managed to string together a run of 10 unanswered points, as triples from Likhodey and Sergey Bikov’s extended it to 83-57. Aleksa Popovic and Mugosa snapped the run from the foul line, and Vitkovac hit from downtown, but Lokomotiv did not slow down with Hendrix scoring from close range and Maxim Grigoryev from long range to close out the game.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013