ASVEL comes back to defeat Khimki at home
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne ended a perfect double week by coming back from a 15-point deficit to knock off Khimki Moscow Region 90-84.
Guerschon Yabusele led the way with 20 points for ASVEL, which has won two straight games after a three-game losing streak to improve to 5-9. Norris Cole added 19 points and 4 assists while Moustapha Fall picked up 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, and David Lighty chipped in 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Khimki saw Devin Booker score a career high 26 points in registering an index rating of 32 but it was not enough as the team dropped its seventh straight to fall to 2-13. Alexey Shved tallied 14 points, 4 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss and Jonas Jerebko collected 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Booker opened the game with an alley-oop dunk and Fall hit ASVEL’s first basket. Booker added a three-pointer before Lighty gave the hosts their first lead 6-5. Shved also hit from long range and Vyacheslav Zaytsev hit from deep and converted an and-one while Booker followed with a three-point of his own as Khimki went up 15-21. The guests went on a 1-6 spurt to finish the second quarter including Shved’s triple just before the buzzer for a 20-29 advantage. Sergey Karasev’s triple to open the second quarter increased the gap to double figures 20-32. Amine Noua countered with a three-pointer of his own as ASVEL trailed 25-32. But the home side’s offense went dry for 4 minutes and Shved added another triple as the margin grew to 25-40. Allerik Freeman did hit from deep but Janis Timma connected on a triple at the other end and the margin was 34-47. Cole gave the hosts some momentum going into the locker room with a three-pointer at the buzzer to make it 43-51 at the break.
ASVEL came out of the locker room more aggressive and Yabusele hit a three-pointer and Lighty converted an and-one to pull within 55-56. Jerebko responded with baskets around a Booker triple in pushing the margin to 58-64. Lighty added another three-point play and Yabusele’s three-pointer put the hosts up 66-64 — forcing a Khimki timeout. ASVEL added three more free throws and the cushion was 69-64. Booker finally ended the 3-minute scoreless stretch with a three-point play but Yabusele was on target from long range and ASVEL led 72-67. Zaytsev managed to respond with a three-point play and the score was 72-70 after 30 minutes.
Stefan Jovic and Booker scored to tie the game and then Shved did the same with a three-pointer to even it at 77-77. Jordan Mickey had fouled out early in the fourth quarter and Cole hit a layup to push ASVEL back ahead. Cole then drew a fifth foul on Sheved with under 3 minutes left and hit two free throws and it was 81-77. A Charles Kahudi basket helped push the gap to 84-79 with less than 90 seconds to play. Kahudi added two free throws and Lighty finished off Khimki for good with a layup for an 88-83 lead with 18 seconds to play.
Guerschon Yabusele was great all game for ASVEL with 20 points on 7-of-13 shots, including 4-of-8 three-pointers. He also had 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Foul problems neutralize Khimki
Khimki struggled with foul problems, especially to its stars as Alexey Shved fouled out under 3 minutes left in a tight battle. Jordan Mickey was fouled out after playing under 14 minutes.
Khimki’s foul trouble sent ASVEL to the line 27 times — with the home side making 22 of them (81.5%) while the guests were just 13-of-18 (72.2%) in a game decided by six points.
ASVEL will finish off a run of three straight home games on December 22 as it hosts CSKA Moscow in Round 16. Khimki will head back on the road for its next game, travelling to Spain to face Valencia Basket on December 23 for Round 16 action.