Shved, Augustine lead Khimki past Laboral
In a big battle in Top 16 Group F, Khimki Moscow Region recorded its second win by edging Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz 76-68 in the Russian capital on Friday. Khimki improved to 2-1, while Laboral dropped to 1-2. Alexey Shved led the winners with 24 points, James Augustine added 22 points and 8 rebounds while Tyrese Rice dished 13 assists for Khimki. Jaka Blazic, Toko Shengelia, Fabien Causeur and Adam Hanga each had 9 points to lead Laboral - none of its players scored in double digits. Khimki had 22 assists and just 14 turnovers compared to Laboral's 15 assists and 19 turnovers. Shved shined early to give Khimki a 17-12 lead after 10 minutes. Hanga and Blazic stepped up for Laboral and helped the guests to a 30-32 edge late in the second quarter. An outstanding Augustine helped Khimki tie the game, 39-39, at halftime. The hosts improved their defense after the break and Shved led a 13-0 run that broke the game open, 59-48, at the end of the third quarter. Laboral managed to get within 68-61, but Rice and Shved stepped up in crunch time to keep Khimki way ahead until the final buzzer.
First quarter: Hosts’ defense, Shved’s scoring make difference early
Fabien Causeur got Laboral going with a layup, as Khimki struggled to score in the opening two minutes. Toko Shengelia scored in penetration for a 0-4 Laboral lead. Alexey Shved rescued the hosts with a corner three and Sergey Monya bested Ilimane Diop's alley’oop slam with his own triple for a 6-6 tie. Diop shined with another alley-oop dunk, but Tyler Honeycutt erased it with a big slam and a put-back layup by Dmitry Sokolov gave Khimki its first lead, 10-8. Laboral tried to improve its offense with Ioannis Bourousis. Causeur and Shved exchanged three-pointers and a fast break layup by Zoran Dragic prompted the visitors to call timeout at 15-11. Mike James split free throws and an alley-oop dunk by James Augustine made it 17-12 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Laboral makes run, but Augustine rescues Khimki
Augustine hit a jump hook early in the quarter, but Adam Hanga did even better with a put-back layup - and the free throw that came with it. Jaka Blazic scored around the basket and Kim Tillie added a layup that allowed Laboral to tie the game at 19-19. Honeycutt split foul shots and a step-back jumper by James put the guests back ahead, 20-21. James kept pushing Laboral with a fast break slam, before Augustine and Hanga exchanged baskets. A floater by Tyrese Rice brought Khimki within 24-25. After Bourousis hit one from beyond the arc, Marko Todorovic answered with a layup. A dunk by a red-hot Hanga restored a 26-30 Laboral edge. Augustine shined with a two-handed slam and soon added free throws, but Blazic kept Laboral in charge, 30-32. Augustine scored again and split free throws, but Blazic put Laboral back ahead, 33-35. Shengelia scored around the basket and matched Shved's driving layup with free throws. Shved hit foul shots and a wide-open triple by Augustine tied it, 39-39, at halftime.
Third quarter: Shved leads 13-0 Khimki charge
Rice took over with a step-back corner triple right after the break, as Khimki started to play stronger on defense, with great intensity. Hanga tried to change things with free throws, which Rice erased with a driving basket for a 44-41 Khimki lead. Causeur took over with a driving layup and Shengelia struck from downtown to return the lead to Laboral, 44-46. Augustine ignited the crowd with a two-handed dunk and even though James banked in a close shot, a fast break layup by Shved tied it at 48-48. Shved stayed on fire with a three-pointer and a huge put-back slam by Honeycutt prompted the guests to call timeout at 53-48. Laboral kept struggling to score, however, and Sokolov took over with a put-back layup. Shved sent the crowd to their feet with a driving layup and soon added free throws to make it a double-digit game, 59-48, at the end of the quarter.
Fourth quarter: Hosts fight off Laboral’s final comeback
Tillie tried to ignite the visitors’ comeback with a second-chance basket, but Egor Vyaltsev quickly answered with a five-meter jumper. Blazic hit free throws as Khimki was forced into a few turnovers. Darko Planinic scored around the basket, but a jumper by Augustine kept the hosts way ahead, 63-54. Darius Adams buried a bomb from downtown for his first points. Augustine dunked again and a three-pointer by Shved caused the visitors to stop the game at 68-57. Planinic scored around the basket and free throws by Adams gave Laboral hope at 68-61. Shved took over with a big triple and an acrobatic alley-oop layup by Honeycutt sealed the outcome at 73-63 with three minutes to go.
Friday, January 15, 2016