Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul controlled the final third of the game to defeat Khimki Moscow Region 64-73 on Thursday at Arena Mytishchi.
With the score tied 52-52 late in the third quarter, the champs went on a 5-17 tear to take control for good. Second-placed Fenerbahce improved to 21-8, while Khimki fell to 16-13. The game could prove to be a preview of a playoff series, with the teams currently lined up to face one another with the current standings. Brad Wanamaker led the Fenerbahce attack with 14 points, Nicolo Melli posted 12 points and 10 for his first double-double since Round 2, James Nunnally also scored 12 and Kostas Sloukas added 11. Fenerbahce, which was without leading scorer Jan Vesely, outrebounded Khimki 28-38. Alexey Shved scored 19 points and delivered 8 assists to lead Khimki; his first basket of the game gave him the EuroLeague record for points scored in a single season, which stood at 628 by game's end. Anthony Gill posted 12 ponts and 8 rebounds and Malcolm Thomas had 10 and 7 in defeat.
Fenerbahce started strong with a Wanamaker triple igniting a 0-7 run as the visitors kept Khimki scoreless for three and a half minutes. Shved snapped the drought with his record-breaking triple and then added a layup and an assist on an Gill three for Khimki's first lead, 8-7. Nunnally connected from downtown to edge the visitors ahead, but Gill added a second triple and Shved fed Thomas for an alley-oop slam and buried another triple to make it 16-11. Nunnally's put-back tied it and Sloukas beat the first-quarter buzzer with a deep three to make it 18-20 after 10 minutes. Nunnaly fed Jason Thompson for a slam to start the second quarter, but soon Shved hit another long three to give Khimki a 23-22 edge. Thompson tied it twice from the line before Melli free throws pushed Fenerbahce in front, 25-27, midway through the quarter. Jenkins heated up and gave the hosts a 33-30 lead with a three-pointer. Fenerbahce regained the lead on a Gigi Datome layup, but Jenkins's put-back left Khimki leading 38-37 at the break.
The lead changed hands with each of the first four baskets of the second half. Ali Muhammed's first points of the game gave Fenerbahce a 43-45 edge midway through the third quarter. The lead continued to go back and forth as Gill turned an offensive rebound into a three-point play and Muhammed knocked down a triple. Vyacheslav Zaytsev tied it at 52-52 with a triple with two minutes left in the quarter, but Sloukas, Nunnally and Melli combined on 7 free throws over the next two minutes – and Thomas Robinson and Shved combined to miss 3 – as Fenerbahce took a 53-59 advantage into the deciding quarter. Sloukas started the fourth with a three-pointer and Thompson threw down a put-back slam for the first double-digit lead of the game, 53-64. A three by Muhammed stretched the lead to 12, but a reverse slam by Zaytsev kept Khimki in the hunt. However the Fenerbahce defense went into lockdown mode keeping Khimki scoreless for more than four minutes. Thomas scored twice to give Khimki hope and Shved buried a triple to make it 64-71 with 90 seconds remaining. However the Fenerbahce defense stopped Khimki there and held on for the victory.