Besiktas edges Khimki in a thriller
Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul used outstanding defense in the fourth quarter to edge Khimki Moscow Region 66-64 at home on Wednesday. Besiktas and Khimki join Union Olimpija Ljubljana in a three-way tie for first place, each with a 2-1 record.
Hilton Armstrong and John Holland led the winners with 13 points apiece. Chris Lofton added 12 while Ryan Broekhoff got 10 and 9 rebounds for Besiktas, which only allowed 6 points in the fourth quarter. Petteri Koponen and Tyrese Rice led Khimki with 14 points apiece. Khimki led 21-22 after 10 minutes, extended its margin to 39-43 at halftime and then again to 41-50 soon after the break. Besiktas rallied behind an outstaning Armstrong and a three-point play by Holland gave the hosts a 66-64 edge. Khimki had two chances to either send the game to overtime or win it at the buzzer but Rice missed around the basket and Sergey Monia did not connect from downtown.
Back-to-back baskets by Broekhoff gave Besiktas an early 4-3 lead. Monia and Rice stepped up for Khimki but a 6-0 run which Holland capped with free throws put Besiktas back ahead, 10-9. Besiktas still led 15-14 on a three-point shot by Broekhoff but Koponen and Maxim Sheleketo answered from downtown for a 17-22 Khimki edge. Lofton joined the three-point shootout to bring Besiktas within 21-22 after 10 minutes. Marko Popovic and Kenan Bajramovic traded triples early in the second quarter but Paul Davis and James Augustine soon gave Khimki a 24-29 edge. A dunk by Armstrong and an outstanding Lofton rescued Besiktas and Holland soon restored a 33-32 edge. Augustine, Rice and Koponen stepped up late in the first half to make Khimki get a four-point lead, 39-43, at the break. Davis shined with consecutive baskets after the break and a triple by Monia boosted Khimki's lead to 41-50. Besiktas found a go-to guy in Armstrong, who got help from Johnson to bring Besiktas within 49-53. Joffrey Lauvergne struck from downtown, Holland hit 4-of-4 free throws and a layup by Koponen gave the guests a 53-58 edge after 30 minutes. Both teams struggled to score early in the fourth quarter until Armstrong dunked again. Lofton added a layup which made it a one-point game, 57-58, with over 4 minutes left. Rice and Armstrong traded baskets and a layup by Holland completed Besiktas's comeback, 61-60. Rice hit a jumper which Holland bettered with a three-point play. Broekhoff and Lauvergne exchanged layups for a 66-64 score already in the final minutes. Rice missed a driving shot, Engin Atsur went 0-for-2 from the free throw line and Monia missed from downtown at the buzzer.