Khimki bested Olympiacos 96-83
BC Khimki Moscow Region dominated from start to finish for an impressive 96-83 win over Olympiacos, but it was not enough to advance to the Quarterfinal Playoffs. Khimki needed to win by at least 7 points more than Caja Laboral to take the tiebreaker and move into second place. And the hosts were on pace to do so for much of the game. However Laboral pulled away to win by 12 in overtime and Khimki’s 22-point lead shrunk in the fourth quarter as the playoff dream slipped away. Khimki started the game on a 23-4 tear and Olympiacos never got closer than 8 at any point. Nevertheless, head coach Sergio Scariolo’s men will have to settle for third place in Group H with a 3-3 record. Olympiacos meanwhile saw its 10-game winning streak snapped, but still finished atop Group H at 5-1 and will now face Assoco Prokom in the best-of-five playoffs. Keith Langford led the Khimki attack with 24 points, 7 assists and 3 steals, Kelly McCarty scored 21, Raul Lopez recorded 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists and Robertas Javtokas tallied 11 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Linas Kleiza and Milos Teodosic netted 17 apiece to lead the Reds. Theo Papaloukas scored 14 and Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Loukas Mavrokefalides and Josh Childress each had 10.
It was an incredible start for Khimki, which made its first 5 field goal attempts and jumped out to a double-digit lead. Langford started the show with a triple and then dished inside to Javtokas. Kleiza made a shot over his countryman Javtokas to put the visitors on the scoreboard, but Javtokas scored inside again and McCarty drained a triple. Schortsanitis narrowed the gap to 10-4, but the hosts stayed red hot as McCarty drained two more threes and Lopez made another in a 13-0 blitz. Teodosic made the Reds’ first three only to see Lopez connect again from downtown. Schortsanitis came through with a basket-plus-foul and Papaloukas made a triple as Olympiacos tried to rally. Timofey Mozgov came off the bench and scored twice in the paint and McCarty hit yet another jumper, but points in the paint from Mavrokefalides and Schortsanitis brought the visitors within 32-19 after 10 minutes.
Vitaly Fridzon picked up where McCarty left off, sinking a pair of threes early in the second quarter. Olympiacos never quit, though, as Schortsanitis made a nifty reverse basket and Teodosic penetrated for a layup. Teodosic stayed hot with a basket-plus foul to get his team within 41-28. McCarty and Kleiza traded threes before Childress got involved. Langford went coast to coast with a steal and layup. Childress and Kleiza continued to peck away at Khimki’s big lead. Lopez followed a Fridzon miss for a basket on the offensive glass to make it 55-40 at halftime.
Schortsanitis committed a foul on each end early in the third quarter. Javtokas capitalized with 2 free throws and a basket in the paint to match his team’s biggest lead, 19 points. Nikola Vujcic tried to get Olympiacos going, but a Langfrod triple took the hosts’s lead to 20 and then a long jumper made it 64-42. Kleiza grabbed a missed Vujcic free throw, scored and was fouled. Teodosic also scored from the line, but the Reds were unable to build any momentum as Fedor Dmitriev made it a 20-point game again. Kleiza shined with another dunk on the offensive glass and Papaloukas converted a basket-plus foul. Vujcic added a jumper to complete a 0-8 run only to see Langford and McCarty connect from downtown. McCarty was also fouled to make it a four-point play. A McCarty steal led to a Dmitriev fast break slam and an Olympiacos timeout as the arena rocked. Teodosic answered the call, but Langford dunked in transition to keep the hosts comfortably ahead. Papaloukas made it 78-59 from the line at the end of the quarter.
Langford had the hosts up by 22 again when he sank a triple. Baskets by Papaloukas and Childress gave the Reds hope and Mavrokefalides made it 81-65 with free throws. Childress and Mavrokefalides each scored to finish a 0-10 Olympiacos charge. Carlos Cabezas stepped up with a triple to calm the local fans. Within one minute, both Mozgov and Javtokas fouled out, leaving a hole in the middle for the hosts. Olympiacos looked to attack the paint and Papaloukas made it 85-74 with a layup with four minutes left. After Jankunas free throws, a Teodosic triple made it a 10-point game. The drama grew as Caja Laboral took a small lead in overtime in its game against Cibona and the tiebreaker looked as if it might slip away. A Jankunas triple and a steal and layup from Langford put the hosts up 94-81. A technical foul on Olympiacos allowed Lopez to pad the lead, but Laboral’s lead reached 11. Khimki called a timeout to plan out the final minute.
Thursday, March 11, 2010