Lokomotiv Kuban grabs big road win in Euroleague debut
Reigning Eurocup champion Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar sent a message that echoed all around Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season Group D by downing Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 84-87 in the Serbian capital on Thursday. Lokomotiv grabbed its first-ever Euroleague win in front of 19,000 fans at Kombank Arena. Marcus Williams paced the winners with 23 points, including making 5 of 6 free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the win. Richard Hendrix added 19 and 9 rebounds while Simas Jasaitis had 12 for Lokomotiv. Blake Schilb led Zvezda with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Ivan Radenovic and DeMarcus Nelson each added 14 points, Jaka Blazic and Charles Jenkins scored 11 apiece and Bojan Marjanovic got 10 and 10 rebounds for the hosts. Hendrix and Derrick Brown shined early to give Lokomotiv its first double-digit lead, 8-18. Radenovic and Blazic stepped up for Zvezda, but a buzzer-beating jumper by Jasaitis gave the guests a 20-30 lead after 10 minutes. Zvezda improved its defense and found a new go-to guy in Blazic, who led a 14-2 run that Marjanovic capped with a dunk to give the hosts their first lead, 34-32. Schilb kept Zvezda ahead, 42-38, at halftime. Radenovic shined after the break, allowing Zvezda to keep a 59-58 edge at the end of the third quarter. Williams downed back-to-back triples and Jasaitis also struck from downtown in an 1-13 run which sealed the outcome, 63-75. Zvezda managed to get within 80-82, but Williams made sure to hit all the free throws required to win the game.
First quarter: Hendrix, Brown give Loko big lead
Hendrix got Lokomotiv going with a six-meter jumper and Krunoslav Simon scored off a steal for a 0-4 lead. Zvezda was held scoreless in the opening two minutes as Brown added free throws. Branko Lazic ignited the crowd with a triple and DeMarcus Nelson bettered Hendrix's fast break dunk with a three-point play that kept Zvezda within 6-8. Hendrix scored again and a driving layup by Williams restored a 6-12 Lokomotiv edge. Brown took over with a layup-plus-foul and Williams improved Radenovic's close basket with a catch-and-shoot triple, good for an 8-18 Lokomotiv lead. Nelson and Williams traded triples and a jumper by Hendrix made it a 12-point game. Radenovic kept pacing Zvezda with a three-point play, but Aleks Maric and an unstoppable Brown kept Lokomotiv way ahead, 14-26. Jaka Blazic sank a five-meter jumper and soon added free throws to get Zvezda within single digits, 20-28. A buzzer-beating fade-away jumper by Simas Jasaitis fixed the score at 20-30 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Blazic, Schilb put Zvezda ahead
Blazic stayed on fire with consecutive fast break layups early in the second quarter, getting the crowd involved at 24-30. Lokomotiv had started to miss open shots and a jump hook by Radenovic made it a 4-point game. The guests went scoreless for more than three minutes until Williams split free throws. Zvezda found a new go-to guy in Charles Jenkins, who buried back-to-back three-pointers to force Coach Evgeny Pashutin to call timeout at 32-32. Boban Marjanovic capped a 14-2 run with a huge slam that completed Zvezda's comeback, 34-32. Sergey Bykov scored in penetration, but Schilb followed free throws with a jump hook that gave the hosts a 38-34 edge. Lokomotiv struggled to score until Hendrix nailed a mid-range shot. Simon followed it with a fast break layup, which prompted Zvezda to call timeout at 38-38. Katic shined with a put-back reverse layup that Schilb followed with a driving basket to keep Zvezda ahead, 42-38, at halftime.
Third quarter: Radenovic keeps the hosts on top
Bykov scored down low and fed Hendrix for an easy basket immediately after the break. Radenovic quickly answered with a bomb from downtown and free throws by Marjanovic boosted the hosts' lead to 47-42. Bykov kept pushing Lokomotiv with another basket and Hendrix dunked to keep the guests within 1. Marjanovic’s slam at the other end and a third-chance layup by Schilb restored a 51-46 Zvezda lead. Williams downed a three-pointer in transition, but Nelson shined with a fast break dunk off a steal. Hendrix split free throws, as Lokomotiv improved its frontcourt defense with Maric and Brown together on court. Schilb stepped up with a big triple off the dribble for a 56-51 Zvezda margin. Brown tried to change things with free throws and Jasaitis copied him right after that to keep the guests within 56-55. Radenovic nailed his second three-pointer, but Mantas Kalnietis found a big basket with 1-of-2 free throws for a 59-58 Lokomotiv deficit after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Williams, Jasaitis seal it from downtown.
Grigoryev nailed an off-balance shot early in the fourth quarter, as Lokomotiv held Zvezda scoreless for more than two minutes. Brown sent a wild bounce pass to Maric for an easy layup, good for a 59-62 Lokomotiv lead. Blazic rescued Zvezda with a three-pointer but Maric scored down low and a three-pointer by Williams forced the hosts to call timeout at 62-67. Zvezda kept struggling to score and Williams nailed another one from downtown to boost Lokomotiv's lead to 62-70. Maric split free throws to cap a game-breaking, 0-9 Lokomotiv run. By the time Jasaitis struck from downtown, the guests had restored a double-digit lead, 63-74, with over four minutes to go. Schilb tried to get the crowd involved with a layup, but Jasaitis bettered him with another three-pointer that seemed to seal the outcome, 65-78. Zvezda, pushed by an incredible crowd, never gave up. Nelson and Jenkins stepped up in crunch time and a dunk by Marjanovic gave the hosts hope, 78-82, with 53 seconds left. Bykov missed free throws and Schilb took over with an acrobatic basket that made it 80-82, with 13 seconds remaining. Zvezda fouled Williams three times, however he sank 5 of 6 foul shots in crunch time to give Lokomotiv a 84-87 lead. Zvezda had a chance to tie it, but Nelson missed from midcourt at the buzzer.
Thursday, October 17, 2013