KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz continued pushing its way towards the playoffs thanks to one of the finest offensive performances within one quarter in the history of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Baskonia topped visiting Khimki Moscow Region 104-86 on Friday night, having scored 38 points in the third quarter – a club record for points scoring in one quarter.
“The third quarter was key”, Baskonia head coach Velimir Perasovic said after the victory which improves his team to 13-12 record. “We played more tough, with more speed, totally different than what we did in the first two quarters.“
Baskonia scored 40 points before half-time, committing 9 turnovers while making just 2 three-point shots. The home side also failed to convert the opening possession of the third quarter, but after that the floodgates opened and Baskonia showed all the offensive potential it possesses. Johannes Voigtmann and Shavon Shields started the show with a quick 8-0 run, and the rest of the squad, led by playmakers Luca Vildoza and Marcelinho Huertas, as well as center Vincent Poirier, were happy to join in.
Baskonia, which also set a new record with 31 assists in this game, had 11 of those in the third quarter. Coach Perasovic’s men made 10 of 12 two-pointers and shot 5-for-9 from long range, and of those 6 missed field goals still grabbed 4 offensive rebounds. To its 11 assists, Baskonia had just 1 turnover, and held Khimki to just 2 rebounds (both defensive) while forcing 4 turnovers in the third quarter. Nothing short of total domination.
“We attacked the third quarter really great”, said Poirier, who finished with 18 points plus 11 rebounds. “We made the difference. In [a span of] three minutes, we shot great, defended great, and that was the key.”
Those special three minutes Poirier was talking about were the final 3 minutes of the third, when Baskonia scored 16 unanswered points, a run which included four consecutive three-pointers – two from Vildoza and one apiece from Matt Janning and Ilimane Diop – and increased the margin from 62-55 to 78-55 points in a span of 160 seconds.
It did not matter that Khimki had won the second and fourth quarters by a combined 9 points, because one 10-minute span which Baskonia won 38-16 was plenty enough for what turned into a comfortable and confidence-boosting victory.