After suffering several near misses in previous weeks, Khimki Moscow Region finally gained its first win of the season in impressive fashion by easily downing Herbalife Gran Canaria 87-72 in the Russian capital.
The result leaves both teams with a 1-4 record. A dominant second quarter did the job for Khimki, establishing a double-digit lead which was never troubled the rest of the way. Alexey Shved inevitably led the scoring with 24 points, paired with 7 assists. Tony Crocker added 17 points, while Anthony Gill scored 15 and Charles Jenkins netted 10. Big man Anzejs Pasecniks shone for Gran Canaria, combining 9 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots.
Both teams made a fast start on offense as the lead went back and forth in the early stages, but a deep three from Crocker sparked a 9-0 Khimki run – including a pair of baskets for Malcolm Thomas – to secure a 25-21 edge for the hosts after ten minutes. A big dunk by Jordan Mickey plus triples from Crocker and Shved extended the advantage to double digits as Gran Canaria struggled to make their shots. Further triples from Jenkins, Shved and Dee Bost stretched the gap further, and it was 49-33 at the break. A low-scoring start to the second half ensued with both teams struggling offensively, but Shved struck another triple and Gill laid up after a slick spin move to make it 59-42. Shved struck from deep again – his fifth three-pointer – before Stefan Markovic added a jump hook and Gill converted from the corner to take the lead past 20. It was 77-53 entering the final period, but Gran Canaria showed some pride to halve the deficit with a 0-13 run featuring a trio of baskets from Luke Fischer. It never got closer than 14, though, and Khimki cruised the rest of the way.
Second quarter makes the difference
Khimki really didn’t want a close finish after losing by just one point in its last two games, and a strong second quarter at both ends of the floor was the key to establishing a big lead which sealed the win long before the finale. A partial score of 24-12 in the second quarter left Gran Canaria with a mountain to climb, and the result was never in doubt after that.
Shved the Shred does it again
Shved maintained his outrageous scoring form at the start of the season with another night packed with three-pointers. Shved made 5-of-12 attempts from downtown, giving him a total of 27 after five games – averaging xx per game. At this rate, he’ll smash his personal best of 107 for the season, set last year and set a new competition record which will take some matching for years to come.
Khimki close to shooting record
Shved wasn’t the only player to light it up from downtown, and Khimki’s final total of 13 three-pointers – all of which came in the first three quarters – briefly threatened to challenge the club’s all-time EuroLeague record of 17 before a slowdown in the final period. Crocker, Gill and Jenkins also struck multiple triples on a night which saw Khimki convert 13 of its 33 three-point attempts.
Khimki will seek its second win of the campaign with a home game against in-form FC Barcelona Lassa on Friday night, while Gran Canaria will look for a home win over Anadolu Efes Istanbul the previous day.