Delaney leads injury-plagued Lokomotiv past Unics
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar fought through adversity to stay undefeated in the 2014-15 Eurocup by downing Unics Kazan 78-87 on the road in Game 1 of their two-game quarterfinal series on Wednesday. Lokomotiv extended its Eurocup-record winning streak to 20 games despite being without its starting frontcourt duo of Derrick Brown and Anthony Randolph. Lokomotiv has a 9-point lead in the series, which now travels to Krasnodar for Game 2. Malcolm Delaney led the winners with 23 points. Krunoslav Simon added 18 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, while Richard Hendrix scored 15 points and Nikita Kurbanov 10 for Lokomotiv. Keith Langford led Unics with 19 points before leaving the game with an injury. Sergey Bykov added 14, Pavel Antipov 13 and James White 10 for the hosts. Free throws by Vadim Panin and a jumper by Langford gave Unics a 23-20 lead after 10 minutes. Unics led 34-31 late in the first half, but Kurbanov and Malcolm Delaney led a 0-9 run that helped Lokomotiv lead 41-43 at halftime. A layup by Sergey Bykov gave Unics its last lead, 50-48. It didn't last long, as Delaney took over in a 1-12 run that gave Lokomotiv a double-digit lead, 51-62. Unics got within 62-69 after 30 minutes, but Hendrix shined early in the fourth quarter, as Lokomotiv boosted its margin to 52-67 and kept a good lead until the final buzzer.
Kurbanov got Lokomotiv going with free throws, Kostas Kaimakoglou and Delaney traded triples and a jumper by Langford tied it at 5-5. Simon shined with a backdoor layup, but a wild three-point play by White put Unics back ahead, 8-7. Kurbanov nailed a four-meter jumper, but Langford did better with a three-pointer. Hendrix stepped up with back-to-back layups, but Bykov and Langford kept Unics ahead, 15-13. After D'or Fischer hit his trademark mid-range shot, Simon and Langford traded baskets. Andrey Zubkov restored a 19-20 Lokomotiv edge. Panin hit free throws and a running jumper by Langford gave Unics a 23-20 lead after 10 minutes. Kurbanov made foul shots early in the second quarter and Simon bettered Rolands Freimanis's basket with a bomb from downtown to tie the score at 25-25. Zubkov scored again and Hendrix added a layup, but Curtis Jerrells and White gave Unics a 30-29 edge. Jerrells and Simon traded driving layups and White scored around the basket for a 34-31 Unics lead. Kurbanov and Delaney combined for 7 points in a 0-9 run which gave Lokomotiv a 34-40 margin. Langford followed a triple with a driving layup but Delaney hit one from beyond the arc to give the guests a 39-43 lead, which Jerrells cut to 41-43 at halftime.
Hendrix hit a second-chance layup immediately after the break but Kaimakoglou hit free throws, Langford added a big three-point play and a coast-to-coast layup by Bykov forced Lokomotiv to call timeout at 48-45. Maxim Grigoryev sank a triple and soon added a layup-plus-foul to put the guests back ahead, 50-51. Simon hit foul shots and a wild four-point play by Delaney boosted Lokomotiv's margin to 50-57. Delaney nailed an off-balance jumper and Simon hit a three-pointer, as Langford left the game injured. Bykov struck from downtown and scored in penetration, Antipov added a triple but Alexey Zhukanenko gave the guests a 59-69 margin. A layup-plus-foul by White fixed the score at 62-69 after 30 minutes. Grigoryev made free throws early in the fourth quarter and back-to-back layups by Hendrix sealed the outcome of the game, 62-75, with over 6 minutes left. Of course, both teams kept fighting for points differential. Antipov and Dmitry Sokolov tried to change things for Unics and a three-pointer by Bykov got the hosts within 73-80 with 3 minutes left. Delaney shined with back-to-back baskets and a layup by Hendrix allowed Lokomotiv to return home with an important lead in the series.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015