VTB United League
Khimki defeated Kalev on the road, 90-72. Moscow Region pulled away for good in the 3rd quarter, opening the second half on a 19-5 run. The home team never got closer than 18 points in the 4th quarter, dropping to 4-8 with the defeat. Khimki, meanwhile, improves to 10-3, half a game behind 3rd-place UNICS.
Khimki continues to chase the league's top three and needed a win in the final game of 2015 to keep the pressure on CSKA, Zenit and UNICS.
The first half was very competitive. Both teams pushed the tempo and got out on the fast break. While Khimki never trailed after the 6:46 mark in the 1st quarter, Kalev's perimeter shooters kept the score close.
Russian center Dmitry Sokolov also made his debut for the visitors in the 1st quarter. The Moscow Region big man was very effective, scoring seven points in quick fashion.
Leading by five on the final possession of the 2nd quarter, Tyrese Rice knocked down a '3' for Khimki that made it a 46-38 game at halftime.
That shot was a huge turning point. Khimki came out firing in the second half, led by Alexey Shved from outside. Sokolov also had an impact, pulling down several offensive rebounds. Kalev, on the other hand, looked tired and got outscored 30-17 in the 3rd quarter.
The visitors went on to win comfortably, picking up their 10th win of the season. Once again, offense was the key for Moscow Region as the team shot 63% from inside the arc.
Dmitry Sokolov. Prior to the game, Rimas Kurtinaitis announced that he might give Sokolov a few minutes if the situation on the court allowed. But he was forced to use Sokolov early and the Russian big man delivered, finishing with 13 points and five rebounds (including three offensive boards) in 15 minutes.
Stat of the Game
17 — number of Kalev turnovers. Khimki only gave the ball away six times.