VTB United League
Khimki defeated Tsmoki-Minsk on the road, 77-73 (26-18, 20-21, 19-13, 12-21).
Tsmoki-Minsk: Justin Gray (20), Dru Joyce (11+7 ast), Aliaksandr Kudrautsau (10)
Khimki: Alexey Shved (26+5 ast), Stanislav Ilnitsky (12+7 reb), Nobel Boungou-Colo (11+7 reb)
Khimki started the game on a 9-3 run (Nobel Boungou-Colo was once again active early), before Tsmoki started to find its rhythm and put pressure on the visitors. Minsk cut into the lead several times, but Alexey Shved helped Khimki stay on top. An 11-2 run early in the second half made it a double-digit lead, which Moscow Region would preserve until the final minutes.
Tsmoki mounted one final charge, forcing a dramatic finish. Pavel Ulyanko and Justin Gray hit big 3’s, slicing the deficit to one with 30 seconds to go. After Shved missed from beyond the arc, Gray had a chance to put his team on top, but couldn’t get the shot to drop. Minsk was forced to foul Boungou-Colo and Stanislav Ilnitsky sealed the win by rebounding his miss on the second attempt and scoring at the rim.
46 – Tsmoki and Khimki’s combined two-point field-goal percentage. Both teams were 15-32 from inside the arc.
Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Igor Grishchuk:
– I want to thank the team for battling to the final whistle. We aren’t good at making free throws. We were only 7-14 this time. And our last play should have been executed differently. We shouldn’t have left Khimki time for another possession. But that’s sports. You make it, you win.
Khimki head coach Dusko Ivanovic:
– This was a very important game for us. Tsmoki is an excellent team and was playing at home, while we were missing five key players. It wasn’t easy, but we held on.
Tsmoki-Minsk: December 4 at Astana
Khimki: December 3 vs. Avtodor