Khimki returned to winning ways in style as they laid waste to Barcelona 75-61 in the Euroleague Top 16.
It’s the Russian side’s first win after three straight losses and it puts them at 5-4 as they outplayed their Catalan counterparts in every department, leading by as many as 20 in the second quarter rendering Barcelona helpless.
Alexey Shved led the winners with 16 points, supported by 13 each by veterans James Augustine and Paul Davis.
“We didn’t change any basketball stuff as it was all about energy, intensity and enjoying the work and the competition against each other and practice,” Davis said.
“We were fighting and came to the game putting all this towards Barcelona. It was a great start for us, but we played against Barcelona, one of the best teams in the history of Europe. If we want to be a great team, we should increase our lead from 15 to 20 and more.
“So when this team takes a step, you see a different level. It was a good win, but we can’t be satisfied. But this is a start and not good enough. Our goals are much bigger. It’s never been good enough. I don’t think about Barca’s play, but all about us.”
Barcelona were led by Justin Doellman’s 14 points as he was the only player that registered double figures in scoring. They drop to 4-5 in the group.
FIVE STAR PANATHINAIKOS CRUISE TO WIN IN MALAGA
Panathinaikos have made it five wins in a row after they eased past Unicaja Malaga 76-58 on the Costa del Sol.
Slick team defence, proceeded by solid offence helped the Greens to a 26-7 lead after the first quarter and by the time Unicaja hit their stride, Panathinaikos were out of sight.
Elliot Williams continued his good start to life with Panathinaikos, as he paced the winners with 16 points, improving them to 6-3 in Group E, while Unicaja Malaga drops to 2-7 and in danger of elimination from the Top 16.
Two other games in Group E saw Lokomotiv Kuban shut out Anadolu Efes 76-61 in Istanbul as they made it four wins in a row and go to 7-2 overall.
While Anadolu are no slouches, they were simply no match for Lokomotiv’s all-round depth and skill at both ends of the floor. The Russian side raced to a 38-28 lead at the half and while there was time for the hosts to claw their way back into contention, it never looked like happening.
“We knew it was important for us if we are trying to advance to the playoffs,” said Malcolm Delaney, who led Kuban with 19 points. “This is a team we were pretty confident against whole week in preparations. We didn’t play as well against them at home in the first game. So we just knew if we fix few things we can get another win. We are happy with performance we had today.”
Thomas Heurtel was the lone Efes scorer in double figures with 17 points as they drop their fourth staright game in Group E and fall to 3-6.
Darussafaka Dogus secured its third win in the Top 16 and first on the road by beating Cedevita Zagreb 83-77 in the other Group E encounter.
Despite leading 61-59 after three quarters, and riding on the superb individual play of Jacob Pullen, Cedevita were found guilty of lackadaisical defending, which led to easy buckets by the visitors as they claimed the win.
Marcus Slaughter finished with a season-high 17 points to lead the winners while Pullen went for a game-high 26 for Cedevita but they go down to 2-7.