Khimki Moscow Region held off a late Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv rally to secure a season-opening 89-83 victory at Arena Mytishchi on Thursday evening.
The hosts saw a 17-point third-quarter lead whittled down to 4 in the final minute before snatching the win. Alexey Shved led the way for Khimki with 22 points and 6 assists, Anthony Gill scored 18 points, Janis Timma tied a career-high with 5 three-pointers en route to 17 points and 4 steals and Jonas Jerebko posted 14 points and 7 rebounds in his EuroLeague debut. Tarik Black paced Maccabi with 17 points,Omri Casspi netted 13, Othello Hunter 11 and Elijah Bryant 10.
Devin Booker authored the first basket of the EuroLeague season on the game's first possession before Casspi marked his EuroLeague return with a score on Maccabi's first trip down the court. The game got physical as the teams stayed close. Timma took on scoring responsibilities for Khimi with a trio of triples, while Black became Maccabi’s top choice in the paint with 7 first-quarter points. Shved also connected from downtown as the Khimki lead reached 6, but Tyler Dorsey drew Maccabi within 24-21 through 10 minutes. Gill heated up early in the second quarter to keep Khimki in charge. Nate Wolters responded for Maccabi, but Khimki ramped up the pressure and another three by Timma gave the hosts a double-digit advantage, 37-27. Scottie Wilbekin had a three-point play, a steal and an assist as Maccabi rallied to 43-38, but after a timeout, Sergey Monia nailed his second three for Khimki and Evans's alley-oop slam made it 48-40 at the break. Wilbekin and Casspi kept it close for the visitors, however, Khimki always seemed to have an answer and a Jerebko triple lifted the hosts to 60-49. Maccabi rallied to within 4 on a Quincy Acy slam, but Jerebko scored 5 points on a single possession to highlight a 13-0 Khimi response that made it 73-56. Maccabi got within 75-61 entering the fourth quarter, John DiBartolomeo knocked down a three to make it 80-70 and Black closed the gap to 82-77 with 3 and a half minutes to go. The basket seemed smaller in the final minutes, but Yovel Zoosman made it 84-80 with 32 seconds to go. Jerebko's steal and free throw helped Khimki hold on in the closing seconds.
Maccabi rallied from 12 down to within 60-56 when Quincy Acy posterized Sergey Monia with a fierce slam with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. However, Khimki didn't blink. Anthony Gill drilled a three-pointer and then Jonas Jerebko enjoyed a 5-point possession; he was the victim of an unsportsmanlike foul, make the resulting 2 free throws and then nailed a triple on the resulting possession. Alexey Shved added a three and Gill made free throws to cap a 13-0 run that made it 73-56. Khimki would never trail again.
Khimki turned the ball over just nine times, which was especially impressive considering that starting point guard Stefan Jovic suffered an injury in the second quarter and did not play at all in the final 17 minutes of the game. The hosts only made a single turnover in both the third and fourth quarters. Maccabi, meanwhile, committed 14 turnovers.
Maccabi had won in its last two visits to play Khimki in Moscow. The victory for Khimki snapped a three-game losing streak against the Israeli champs and took their overall head-to-head record to 3-6.
Maccabi remains on the road in Round 2 with a trip to the Spanish capital to take on Real Madrid on Thursday, October 10. The next night Khimki hosts KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz.