By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexey Shved scored 23 points and dished out six assists and Jonas Jerebko posted 15 points plus nine rebounds as Khimki Moscow beat Fenerbahce Beko 82 – 68 at home in Round 28 of the EuroLeague regular season.
Thomas Robinson finished with 10 points and five rebounds and, more importantly, was the one to score the layup following an assist by Shved to give Khimki the 14-point advantage with 13 seconds to play. It was all the Russian side needed to grab a potentially precious tiebreaker after losing by 13 in Istanbul in the first leg of the regular season.
“We came off the worst loss of the season to probably the best win so far,” Jerebko said. “It is a big win for the team and I think we played really good team ball in the second half. I am proud of the team, everybody stepped up and it was a great win. They’ve got a lot of talented players, a lot of scorers, so we have to take pride in our defense, because our offense is so good that we are always going to get points. It was great to see.”
With six games remaining before postseason, Khimki and Fenerbahce are both standing at 13 – 15.
Bobby Dixon dropped 13 points while Derrick Williams and Nando De Colo had 11 points apiece for the Kostas Sloukas-less Fenerbahce. De Colo attempted the jumper after Robinson scored for the 82 – 68 but his shot was off target.
Khimki controlled most aspects of the game after a balanced (41-40) first half to even lead by 17, 74 – 54 in the fourth period. Fener was unable to comeback from that deficit and, in the end, at least cut the margin below 13 points.
A “maximum effort” led to the best possible result
Khimki Moscow coach Rimas Kurtinaitis greatly appreciated what he saw from his players on the court on both ends. “It’s a great and very important win for our team because if we look at the standings we can see that a lot of teams are close to the playoffs zone,” Kurtinaitis. “We did a really big job tonight. It’s a big step toward the playoffs. Still, we have a lot of games. Tonight, all of our players gave maximum energy and maximum effort. These numbers on defense tell that we did a great job. This is a double win because we won and gained the necessary points’ difference. That’s very important.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball