By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Vincent Poirier helped Baskonia overcome a slow start while Johaness Voigtmann took over later on notching an all-around performance and pushing their squad to a 104-86 home win over Khimki in Round 25 of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Poirier finished the game with a double-double of 18 points (8-11 FG) and 11 rebounds while adding two assists and a block. Johannes Voigtmann put a great all-around performance with 16 points, nine assists and nine rebounds being very close to a triple-double.
For Khimki, Malcolm Thomas nailed 19 and Tony Crocker 18 points (6-9 from deep). Alexey Shved contributed with 15 points and eight assists.
Khimki opened slightly better but Poirier quickly took the matter into his own hands and dropped 12 points already in the first quarter to give Baskonia a 22-17 lead. He kept pushing his squad almost notching a double-double by halftime (14 p, 9 r) but Thomas and Crocker answered keeping Khimki close at the break (41-40).
“Congratulations to Baskonia, they were stronger tonight. We had some guys injured and came off a tough game against CSKA Moscow. The players weren’t ready to play two tough games in a row and together with a short rotation, it’s the reason we lost. We are also not a very tall and strong team which gave them an advantage”, Khimki coach Rimas Kurtinaitis explained.
Unlike the first half in which Baskonia focused on the paint and Khimki rained shots from deep (6 compared to 21 three-point attempts), the strategies were similar in the rest of the game and it better suited the Spaniards. They banked 38 points in the third quarter and hit the 21-point margin (78-57) in front of the final period form which Khimki couldn’t recover.
Coach Velimir Perasovic was content and noted they will have to repeat this more than once in order to enter the playoffs: “The third quarter was key. We played more tough, with more speed, totally different than we did in the first two quarters. We stopped their three-point shots, but we also had turnovers. In the first two quarters we had 9 turnovers, and they always scored after them. We have five more finals. Every game will be important like the one tonight, we might need three maybe four wins, we don’t know how many we will need to win to get into the playoffs.”
Baskonia improved to 13-12 with an important win in the playoff race while Khimki stayed at a 9-16 record.
Photo Credit: Turkish Airlines EuroLeague