Khimki stayed unbeaten in difficult Group D by downing the Deutsche Bank Skyliners 81-69 in the Moscow region on Tuesday. Khimki improved to 3-0 and will at least tie for the first place in Group D at the end of the day, while the Skyliners dropped to 0-3 and need to start winning right away if they want to reach the elimination rounds. Kelly McCarty paced the winners with 15 points, Vitaliy Fridzon added 14 while Dan Ewing had 13 for Khimki. Nino Garris and Ilian Evtimoc led the Skyliners each with 17 points. Derrick Allen added 14 while Jimmie Hunt had 10 for the guests, who only had 8 players available tonight. Khimki led 36-24 early in the second quarter and still managed to regain a double-digit lead, 49-38, right after the break. Hunt fueled a 0-10 run to bring the Skyliners back in the game, 49-48. Teemu Rannikko, Fridzon and McCarty allowed Khimki to break the game early in the fourth quarter, allowing their team to stay unbeaten in the competition.
Khimki had a strong start, as Fridzon and McCarty stroke from downtown while a basket by Ewing made the Skyliners call timeout at 10-5. Evtimov and Kirsten Zollner stepped up with 4 quick points but a three-point play by Vladimir Veremeenko and a layup by Mike Wilkinson kept Khimki ahead, 15-9. Garris had 5 points in a 0-7 run that gave the Skyliners a 15-16 edge. Veremeenko scored and Ewing stroke twice from downtown to make Khimki regain the lead, 25-20, after 10 minutes. Vladimir Dyachok and McCarty combined for all points in a 9-0 run that boosted Khimki's lead to 36-24 early in the second quarter. Garris and Allen hit respective three-pointers while Alex King and Maksym Shtein got the guests within 40-35. A final basket by Anton Ponkrashov gave Khimki a 42-35 halftime edge. Ewing followed a tough basket with a triple in a 7-2 opening run after the break that made the Skyliners call timeout at 49-38. Hunt stepped up with 5 points in a 0-10 run that Evtimov capped with a triple to get the Skyliners back in the game, 49-48. Dyachok and Fridzon hit free throws off a Khimki timeout but Evtimov kept the Skyliners close, 53-52. Nikita Shabalkin and Ponkrashov extended Khimki's lead to 57-52 after 30 minutes. Wilkinson fed Rannikko for his first basket and soon scored to force the Skyliners to call timeout at 63-55. Wilkinson kept pacing Khimki while Fridzon stroke from downtown to make it an 11-point game, 68-57, with 6 minutes to go. Evtimov and Rannikko traded triples while Fridzon allowed Khimki to keep a double-digit lead, 73-63, with 3 minutes remaining. The Skyliners ran out of time, while McCarty and Fridzon helped Khimki to cruise to a well-deserved win.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007