Baskonia blasts Khimki
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz won its third straight game by defeating Khimki Moscow Region 67-89 on Thursday evening at Arena Mytishchi in the Russian capital.
Baskonia never trailed in lifting its record to 12-13 thanks to great shooting and fantastic rebounding. The visitors made 13 of 24 three-pointers (54.2%) and outrebounded Khimki 30-49. Youssoupha Fall shined with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks to lead six Baskonia scorers in double figures. Zoran Dragic, Luca Vildoza and Rokas Giedraitis scored 13 points apiece and Alec Peters and Tadas Sedekerskis each added 11. Pierria Henry ran the offense with 7 assists. Alexey Shved paced Khimki with 16 points and 10 assists for his seventh double-double of the season. Jordan Mickey added 13 points and Egor Vialtsev 11. The loss was Khimki's 16th in a row and saw its record fall to 2-22.
Fall dominated early with a block and a pair of baskets in the paint before Achille Polonara's deep three capped a 0-9 start for the visitors. Mickey and Shved got the Khimki attack going and threes by Vyacheslav Zaytsev and Sergey Karasev drew the hosts within 14-16. Baskonia responded with back-to-back threes by Dragic and Peters, which prompted a Khimki timeout. Dragic converted a three-chance possession to make it 14-24 after 10 minutes. Shved and Peters traded threes to start the second quarter. Janis Timma nailed a three and then Shved did so again to bring the hosts within 29-31. Vialtsev continued the three-point barrage to get Khimki to 35-36. Fall scored three times in a 2-11 surge to restore a double-digit lead for Baskonia at the break, 37-47.
Giedraitis and Karasev swapped triples to start the second half. Threes continued to pour in with the margin remaining in the 10-point range. Free throws by Zaytsev made it 49-58 midway through the third quarter. Shved took a seat with 4 fouls and Baskonia stretched its lead, with reached 57-71 on a layup by Peters at the end of the third quarter. Zaytsev netted a three to start the fourth quarter, but Baskonia responded with the next 8 points to take a 60-79 lead on a three from Giedraitis. Vildoza's penetration move took the margin into the 20s as Baskonia completed an important road win.
Youssoupha Fall scored twice and blocked a shot in Baskonia's game-opening 0-9 run and scored three more baskets in a 2-11 run to close the second quarter. Fall finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in just 19 minutes on the floor, during which Baskonia outscored Khimki by 21 points. In the 21 minutes Fall sat, Baskonia outscored Khimki by just 1.
Baskonia made it look easy even though it committed 16 turnovers – 7 more than the home team. That's because the visitors controlled the rebounding battle 30-49, held Khimki to 31.6% two-point shooting and made 13 of 24 threes (54.2%). That combination of rebounding, defense and outside shooting was too much for Khimki.
The 22-point margin of victory was Baskonia's largest ever in its 10 wins over Khimki. Its 28 assists tied for the third-most in club history. And Khimki's 4 free throws made tied for the second-fewest in its history.
Khimki heads on the road for Round 26 to face AX Armani Exchange Milan on Thursday, February 25. Baskonia will host Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade the following day.