Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul recorded its fourth win of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season by topping Khimki Moscow Region 91-85 at Volkswagen Arena on Wednesday.
Darussafaka improved to 4-23 in the standings, but remained at the bottom of the standings. Khimki dropped to 9-18 and 13th place overall. Micheal Eric led the winners with 22 points and 15 rebounds and Jeremy Evans and Toney Douglas each added 20 points for Darussafaka. Alexey Shved paced Khimki with 31 points, while Jordan Mickey added 22. Shved and Mickey shined early to give Khimki a 17-23 margin after 10 minutes. Douglas led a 16-0 run that took Darussafaka to a 33-29 lead and a dunk by Zanis Peiners kept the hosts ahead, 48-46, at halftime. Darussafaka boosted its lead to double digits, 57-46, soon after the break, but Mickey and Shved restored a 63-65 Khimki edge at the end of the third quarter. Eric took over in the fourth quarter, allowing the hosts to stop their six-game losing streak.
Douglas and Stanton Kidd combined for all the points in a 6-0 opening run. Shved scored in penetration and Andrew Harrison struck from downtown, but a huge dunk by Evans put Darussafaka ahead, 8-6. Khimki found a go-to guy in Andrey Zubkov, who had 5 points in a 0-10 run that Harrison capped with a wild layup-plus-foul for an 8-16 lead. Evans kept pushing the hosts with a dunk, a high-flying three-point play and a layup. Sergey Monia kept Khimki ahead, 17-19. Mickey followed a dunk with a jumper to boost Khimki's lead to 17-23 after 10 minutes. Mickey and Monia each downed a triple to make it a double-digit game, 17-29, early in the second quarter. Jon Diebler answered from downtown and Evans added a three-point play to rescue Darussafaka, then Douglas scored 7 unanswered points to cap a 16-0 run which put the visitors in charge, 33-29. Shved struck three times from beyond the arc, but Evans and Douglas kept the hosts ahead, 42-40. Zubkov scored again and Shved dunked only to see Dogus Ozdemiroglu and Peiners establish a 48-46 Darussafaka lead at halftime. Mert Akay scored around the basket soon after the break as Khimki kept struggling to score. Meanwhile, Eric dunked and a three-pointer by Kidd caused the visitors to stop the game, 57-46, after a 13-0 run. Malcolm Thomas and Mickey tried to change things for Khimki and a layup by Charles Jenkins made it a three-point game after a 0-8 run. Douglas downed an off-balance jumper and Berk Demir added a layup, but Shved and an unstoppable Mickey allowed Khimki to complete its comeback, 63-65, after 30 minutes. Harrison downed a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter, but back-to-back layups by Eric kept Darussafaka as close as 67-68. Ozdemiroglu and Douglas each sank a corner triple and Eric added a three-point play to put the hosts in charge, 76-70, with 6 minutes left. Shved stepped up with 5 unanswered points and Stefan Markovic hit a triple, but an unstoppable Eric singlehandedly lifted Darussafaka to an 86-78 lead. Mickey and Shved did not give up, however, bringing Khimki within 87-85 with 24.6 seconds left. Akay and Douglas hit free throws to seal the outcome.
Eric made the difference in the fourth quarter, powering the offensive glass and getting many easy points in the paint. He had 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to make sure Darussafaka won the game. Eric finished the game with 22 points on 10-of-12 two-point shooting plus 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 fouls drawn and a performance index rating of 33.
Khimki led 67-68 midway through the fourth quarter, but Ozdemiroglu and Douglas each struck from downtown and then Eric scored five consecutive times in the paint to make it 86-78, which proved to be enough for the hosts to seal the outcome in the final seconds.
Darussafaka was effective in the paint, hitting 25 of 40 two-point shots (62.5%), outrebounding Khimki 44-26 and pulling down 14 offensive boards.
Did you notice?
Darussafaka set a new team PIR record with 110 against Khimki. Its previous record was 109 against Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz on January 12, 2017. Its 25 assists were the second-best mark in competition history; it dished 26 against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar on April 8, 2016.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action on Friday. Khimki hosts Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv at 18:00 CET. An hour later, Darussafaka visits Zalgiris Kaunas.