VTB United League
Khimki (Russia) defeated Kalev (Estonia) on the road, 94-70. After a competitive 1st quarter, Moscow Region took over, cruising to its 11th-straight victory in the league.
Khimki traveled to Estonia with a 10-game winning streak, one game behind CSKA in the league standings. But the Russian club didn't expect to have an easy time in Tallinn. Rimas Kurtinaitis's men were tested the last time they played in the Estonian capital and Kalev was highly motivated to snap its four-game losing streak.
Despite Rolands Freimanis's move to UNICS earlier this week, Kalev came out strong in the 1st quarter. Alar Varrak got his men to play balanced offense, scoring on the perimeter, from mid-range and in the paint to take an early 23-21 lead.
But once Paul Davis and James Augustine entered the game, Khimki took over. The big man duo was very productive, helping the visitors to a 14-0 run midway through the 2nd quarter. The home team didn't have any answers for the Khimki onslaught. Scott Machado and Frank Elegar were ineffective and Moscow Region led by 15 points, 52-37, entering halftime.
Monia and Popovic's 3-pointers to start the 3rd quarter made it a 21-point game. Kalev didn't give up. Rain Veideman enjoyed a strong 3rd quarter, but even that wasn't enough to make a big difference. Entering the final period, Khimki retained a big lead, 73-54.
There wasn't much drama in the 4th quarter. Khimki's bench held onto the advantage and even added to it, helping the visitors secure a 94-70 victory and keep pace with CSKA in the standings.
Star of the Game
Tyrese Rice. The American guard won the duel with Scott Machado, scoring a game-high 17 points. Rice wasn't just effective scoring, he also handed out six assists and grabbed three steals.
Stat of the Game
50% — the Russian club connected on 11 perimeter attempts, living up to their reputation as one of the league's top 3-point shooting teams.
Kalev head coach Alar Varrak:
— With our leader Freimanis gone, some of our players haven't adjusted to their new roles yet. We'll need time for that and it was bound to have an impact on today's game. We also have to factor in that this was our 4th game in the last few days.
Khimki head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis:
— We knew that Kalev was dangerous at home. The fact that they lost one of their leaders just before the game played to our advantage. Khimki has a deeper bench. Thanks to that we added to our lead throughout the game.
Kalev: Frank Elegar — 14 points, 10 rebounds; Rain Veideman — 12 points; Scott Machado — 10 points.
Khimki: Tyrese Rice — 17 points, six assists; Petteri Koponen — 17 points, five assists; Paul Davis — 15 points; Marko Popovic — 11 points; Ruslan Pateev — eight points, six rebounds.