Khimki Moscow Region got back to its winning ways by downing fellow Russian side Zenit St Petersburg 73-87 on Thursday night.
The win improved Khimki to 5-2 on the season, while Zenit dropped to 2-5 and remained winless on its home floor. Khimki took the lead for good in the second quarter and then pulled away with a 5-18 spurt that bridged the third and fourth quarters and never looked back. Devin Booker scored 10 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and pulled down 7 rebounds to lead the winners. Alexey Shved scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, while Anthony Gill added 12 points in the winning effort. Austin Hollins was the only double-digit scorer for Zenit with 25 points.
Offenses dominated from the get-go as the teams traded leads and baskets. Devin Booker inside and Shved from the outside got Khimki going, but Hollins nailed 3 triples in as many attempts in the opening 4 minutes in sparking Zenit to a 15-13 edge. Ayon was a big factor inside, with buckets and assists for the hosts to increase the lead to 23-17, but Gill dunked and Dairis Bertans tripled as the visitors answered with a 3-11 run. The teams were tied at 28-28 after 10 minutes. Mateusz Ponitka hit a corner triple early in the second quarter for Zenit, but Jonas Jerebko strung together 9 points on the other end, including a long-range dagger. A three-pointer from deep by Shved put Khimki in front 36-44 and after Will Thomas snapped a 1-10 run from close range, an off-balance three from Shved helped stake the visitors to a 38-50 cushion. The visitors led 43-52 at halftime. Zenit cut it the deficit before Gill traded three-pointers with Andrew Albicy and Hollins. Albicy banked in a three-pointer to help close the gap to 58-60. However, three-pointers from Bertans and Janis Timma gave Khimki more breathing room and a 60-68 lead going into the fourth quarter. Booker hit a three-pointer and found Jeremy Evans for an easy layup and a 60-73 advantage. The hosts were held without a field goal for nearly 4 minutes and Booker hit another three and added a layup to make it 63-78. The visitors cruised the rest of the way to their fifth win of the season.
(No) lead changes
The first 13 minutes of the game featured 14 lead changes and 7 ties, but none after that. That's when Khimki took a 35-37 lead in the second quarter, and never relinquished it the rest of the way.
Khimki tag-team scoring
Jonas Jerebko strung together 9 points to open the second quarter and put Khimki in front. Then Alexey Shved scored 10 in the final 6 minutes of that quarter to help extend the margin to double figures. Anthony Gill strung together 8 points midway through the third to help keep Khimki in front before Devin Booker scored 10 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth to put the game away.
Hollins attempts 14 threes
Austin Hollins scored 25 points for Zenit, a team record, shooting 5 for 14 from three-point range. That is the most three-point shots attempted this season by any player and the most three-point shots attempted by a player not named Alexey Shved in the past 5 years.
Zenit's offensive problems
Both teams came out firing in the first quarter, each scoring 28 points. That is the most Zenit has scored in any quarter this season. However, even that offensive outburst was not enough for Zenit to score 80 points in regulation, something the team is yet to do. Zenit did score more than 80 points twice this season, but both times in games that went into overtime.
Next week in Round 8 on Thursday, Khimki will be at home playing against AX Armani Exchange Milan, while Zenit travels to play Anadolu Efes Istanbul.