By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Shavon Shields scored a career-high-tying 22 points including the two win-sealing free throws while grabbing six rebounds, as Baskonia beat Khimki Moscow 83 – 79 to bounce back to victories after three straight losses and improve its record to 7 – 11. Khimki, that was leading for the majority of the second half, dropped to 9-12.
“We dropped two big ones on the road last week, so we needed to take care of home court and get a win so we can start moving up in the standings,” Shields said to EuroLeague TV after the game. We got to play really well and we have to protect our home court. Every game is important That’s what we came in to do and we got it done today.”
With 14 seconds left to play, Shields made two free throws to put his team at a two-possession distance. On the other end, Alexey Shved, Khimki’s top scorer with 18 points, missed from beyond the arc and there was no time left for Khimki to attempt anything else.
Shved had previously made his third 3-pointer out of 15 attempts overall for the 80 – 79 with a minute left. It was the last his team scored in the match since Baskonia forced a tough go-ahead shot by Sergey Karasev afterward with the score 81 – 79.
Baskonia first took the lead in the second half when Pierria Henry hit two free throws for the 72 – 71 with four minutes remaining. Khimki had never allowed its opponents to get on the driver’s seat after their 0-8 entrance in the third period following a 47 – 44 halftime deficit.
Henry finished with a diverse output of 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals to make up for his 1/7 shots and five turnovers. Youssoupha Fall contributed 10 points and eight rebounds to Baskonia while Achille Polonara had 11 rebounds to go with his nine points.
Jonas Jerebko dropped 13 out of his 16 points in the first half for Khimki. He also got six boards.
Aggressiveness was the key
While Baskonia coach Dusko Ivanovic praised his player for the aggressiveness they showed, Khimki coach Rimas Kurtinaitis talked about how his team lost some decisive battles, particularly on the rebounding front.
“I think finally in the last quarter we played really how we tried to play. Aggressive defense, better than in the first 20 minutes, and our offense easily got into clear situations. We try to be a little bit better every day,” Ivanovic said. “I think the key to the game was in the second and last quarters, especially on defense, when we had much more patience and we read the game much better.
“If we take this game, it’s not about the last 3 minutes. The problems was during the game because if you see free throw shots, Baskonia made 38 free throws and we just 14. These numbers speak about our aggression,” Kurtinaitis commented. “This was one of the reasons why we lost. The next one is offensive rebounds. We let them take too many offensive rebounds and we lost in this number by minus 9 because we had 33 rebounds and Baskonia had 42 rebounds. These numbers tell us about the result.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball