Khimki Moscow Region recorded its second consecutive win and swept the double-round week by edging Zalgiris Kaunas 83-84 in Lithuania on Friday.
Both teams now have 3-6 records in the standings. Zalgiris is 0-5 at home. Alexey Shved led the winners with 25 points and 10 assists. Jordan Mickey added 20 points while Stefan Markovic had 13 for Khimki. Brandon Davies led Zalgiris with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Marius Grigonis added 13 points while Aaron White and Nate Wolters each had 12 for the hosts.
Nate Wolters and White shined early to give Zalgiris a 6-2 lead. Malcolm Thomas stepped up for Khimki but Davies and White kept Zalgiris way ahead, 15-8. Mickey took over with a reverse layup, a dunk and a couple of close baskets get Khimki within 22-16. Antanas Kavaliauskas scored down low and Derrick Walton Jr. added free throws for a 26-19 Zalgiris lead after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Grigonis made it a double-digit game, 29-19. Egor Vialtsev struck from downtown, and he got help from Markovic and Mickey to give Khimki hope at 35-27. Shved followed a triple with a layup-plus-free throw, but an outstanding Davies made a couple of put-back baskets that helped Zalgiris keep a 39-37 edge at halftime. Grigonis and Egaras Ulanovas scored after the break but Shved hit 5 of 5 free throws and buried a huge catch-and-shoot triple to complete Khimki's comeback, 45-47. Grigonis kept pacing Zalgiris but Anthony Gill and Tony Crocker boosted the guests' margin to 50-55. Davies and Wolters brought Zalgiris within 57-58 after 30 minutes. Markovic followed a three-pointer with a fastbreak layup to give the guests a 63-67 edge with 6 minutes left. Shved found Alexey Zubkov for a triple, hit a jumper and added a layup that made it a six-point game, 68-74. Free throws by Davies got Zalgiris within 76-79 with 1:17 left. Mickey hit 3-of-5 free throws while Davies, White and Wolters made 5 of 6 for an 81-84 score with 5.7 seconds left. Milaknis had a chance to force overtime but his three-pointer rimmed out and resulted in Davies making a harmless tip-in ahead of the final buzzer.
Shved had 17 of his 25 points in the second half, dished 10 assists, collected 4 steals, had a block and drew 7 fouls. It was a true all-around game for Khimki's playmaker, who finished the game with a PIR of 32.
Shved took over in crunch time, finding Zubkov for a bomb from downtown and scoring 7 quick points, including a nine-meter triple from the top of the key that gave Khimki a 74-79 edge in the next-to-last minute. Zalgiris had chances until the end but Khimki would not have won without Shved's magic minutes late in the fourth quarter.
Khimki dominated all the hustle stats, collecting 12 steals and 5 blocks. Those 12 steals are a season-high for Khimki and ties the best mark in the competition this season. Zalgiris and AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan already had that many steals in a game this season.
Did you notice?
Khimki finished the game with 35 fouls committed. It was the highest total in the EuroLeague this season and the most by a team in a regular season game in almost a decade since Partizan Belgrade had 38 against AJ Milano on December 17, 2008.
Both teams return for Round 10 action next week. Zalgiris, still looking for its first home win, hosts AX Armani Jeans Olimpia Milan on Thursday. A day later, Khimki welcomes Panathinaikos OPAP Athens.