Lokomotiv stays perfect with a new road win at PAOK
Undefeated Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar remained that way on Wednesday evening as it managed to pull a new road win, this time against PAOK Thessaloniki by 54-68. Lokomotiv therefore improves to 8-0 and reinforces its position as a Last 32 team and almost sceures the first positioni n Group F. On the other hand, PAOK drops to 4-4 and will still have to add more wins to advance. Lokomotiv dominated for most of the game and, in fact, PAOK only managed to be ahead on the scoreboard at 4-2. Neither team reached 20 points in any quarter as PAOk struggled in two-point shots (13 of 43) and Lokomotiv committed as many as 17 turnovers. Nikita Kurbanov and Anthony Randolph led the winners with 13 points each, Derrick Brown added 12 and Malcolm Delaney, 10. For PAOK, only Jake Odum reached double digits with his 14 points.
No team managed to escape by more than a basket until Derrick Brown scored for Lokomotiv making it 4-8, already in minute 4 as defenses were working on all cylinders to keep offenses at bay. Marc Carter tried to lead the charge for the hosts as PAOK pulled within 8-12, but 5 straight points by Evgeny Voronov made it 10-17 with one minute to go on the clock, but no more points fell in as the first quarter came to an end. Voronov himself scored again to open the secondp eriod for 10-19, and Andrey Zubkov soon made it a double-digit game, 12-22 for Loko. It was time for Georgios Dedas to appear for his team, as he hit 9 straight points with no miss, including two threes, to make it a one-point game again, 29-30. No more points fell in for PAOK however, and Anthony Randolph had 5 of his own, including a three to make it 29-35 at the break, despite Lokomotiv's 10 turnovers at this point.
PAOK wanted to turn things around starting the second half and managed to pull within 33-35 including Carter's three, but Brown led a Lokomotiv reaction for the 33-39 as he reached 10 points. Lokomotiv managed to keep a safe margin during the third quarter as Randolph joined Brown in offense and soon reached his 11th point. PAOK was missing some open shots from the field and that was giving the edge to the guests, who were still leading in turnovers, but Keving Langford had time to squeeze in a last bucket for 44-50 after 30 minutes. The last period showed scarce scoring, especially on the hosts' side, as they went scoreless for the first 4 minutes, and Lokomotiv used the advantage to pull away by 44-55 with a Voronov free throw. Jake Odum could break the ice for PAOK from the charity line, but as the game entered its last five minutes, Lokomotiv was already leading by 14, 45-59. Odum kept scoring now for the hosts, but with under two minutes to go, the 53-64 lead in possession of Lokomotiv proved enough for the guests to claim a new road win and stay undefeated in the regular season.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014