KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz grabbed its third consecutive road win by downing Khimki Moscow Region 77-85 in the Russian capital on Thursday.
Baskonia improved to 7-8 in the standings, while Khimki dropped to 5-10. Shavon Shields led the winners with 15 points, Johannes Voigtmann and Darrun Hilliard each added 14, Matt Janning had 12 and Luca Vildoza 10 for Baskonia. Jordan Mickey paced Khimki with 19 points, Stefan Markovic scored 14 and Charles Jenkins had 13 for the hosts.
A backdoor layup by Voigtmann and a three-pointer by Shields ignited a 0-7 Baskonia run that Vincent Poirier capped with a jump hook. Andrey Zubkov and Janning traded triples and a dunk by Voigtmann caused Khimki to call timeout at 3-12. Jenkins struck twice from downtown, but Shields kept the visitors ahead, 9-17. Malcolm Thomas followed a jump hook with a layup and an outstanding Markovic brought Khimki within 17-19. Vildoza hit free throws and Shields added an alley-oop dunk and a triple to make it a double-digit game, 17-27. Free throws by Mickey fixed the score at 19-27 after 10 minutes. Vildoza buried a 10-meter triple and Toko Shengelia scored down low for a 21-32 Baskonia lead early in the second quarter. Janning hit a jumper and Marcelinho Huertas added a floater, but Markovic and Mickey kept Khimki in the game. After Poirier shined with an alley-oop slam, Mickey scored again, Garlon Green added a three-pointer and Dee Bost beat the halftime buzzer with a floater that brought Khimki within 36-43 at the break. Bost twice struck from downtown soon after the break, forcing Baskonia to call timeout at 42-45. Poirier and Huertas tried to change things for Baskonia but a layup-plus-foul by Jenkins and a three-pointer by Tony Crocker tied it at 48-48. Shengelia hit an off-balance shot in transition, but Green erased it with a jumper and Mickey added a three-point play to complete Khimki's comeback, 54-52. Free throws by Janning and a triple by Vildoza allowed Baskonia to regain the lead, 55-57, but Sergey Monia answered from way from downtown for a 58-57 Khimki edge after 30 minutes. A layup by Shengelia ignited a 0-7 Baskonia run that Voigtmann capped with a triple for a 58-64 lead. Monia hit another three-pointer that Hilliard matched with foul shots. Janning buried one from beyond the arc, but a dunk by Mickey kept Khimki within 65-71 with 6 minutes left. Shengelia threw it down, Voigtmann followed free throws with an alley-oop slam and a three-pointer by Hilliard sealed Baskonia's win in style.
Hilliard had a strong all-around performance and delivered down the stretch. He finished the game with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 16. He had 12 of his 14 points in the final eight minutes to play a critical role in his team's win.
A 0-7 Baskonia run, which Voigtmann capped with a three-pointer, gave Baskonia the lead for good early in the fourth quarter. After that, Hilliard made sure his team walked away with a valuable road victory.
Baskonia simply shot the ball better, hitting 18 of 31 two-point shots (56.3%) and 10 of 19 from downtown (52.6%). Khimki hit 13 of 27 shots inside the arc (48.1%) and 12 of 32 three-pointers (37.5%). Its ball circulation was better, too; Baskonia had 26 assists, 6 more than Khimki.
Did you notice?
Shengelia broke a backboard early in the second half! Shengelia missed an alley-oop slam with 7:57 left in the third quarter, but shattered the backboard while hanging from the rim. The game was stopped for more than 20 minutes.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action next week. Khimki visits Herbalife Gran Canaria on Thursday in a rematch of the 2015 7DAYS EuroCup Finals. A day later, Baskonia faces Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Ulker Sports Arena. It is a rematch of their playoffs series from last season. Fenerbahce also downed Baskonia in the 2016 EuroLeague Semifinals.