By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Stefan Jovic scored a career-high 25 points on near-perfect (4/4 2-pointers, 5/6 3-pointers) shooting as Khimki Moscow bounced back to wins by defeating Zalgiris Kaunas 83 – 74 at home. The Lithuanian side suffered its ninth loss in a row.
This result improved Khimki to 8-7. Zalgiris, on the other hand, has been sunk to the bottom of the standings at 3-12. Jock Landale had 24 points plus five rebounds for the losing squad.
“The most important thing for tonight was to put on more energy and be focused for 40 minutes,” Jovis said to EuroLeague TV. “The first thing we talked about before this game is how we lost the previous one when we were up by nine with one minute remaining,” the Serbian guard added, a reference to the overtime away defeat to Olympiacos Piraeus on Wednesday.
Alexey Shved added 25 points as well for Khimki. He and Jovic hit buckets in a key 11-0 run that gave their team a 60 – 49 lead early in the fourth period. Zalgiris tried to answer but Jovic was there with consecutive baskets to preserve a solid advantage for his team.
Thomas Walkup posted 10 points and six assists for Zalgiris.
All about energy
Khimki played 45 minutes two days ago so coach Rimas Kurtinaitis admitted to being a bit worried about the energy levels of his team.
“We played much better defense today and fought better than in our last game,” Kurtinaitis said. “I think that was the key to this victory, our defense. For sure, we were scared before the game about our energy, but our energy was not bad. Keeping the energy was the most important thing in a double week. You must save energy for your home game. We were watching videos yesterday and worked on our defense, because I didn’t think it was smart to practice yesterday. We got back from Athens at night. I think we prepared our team well before the game and this result is good for us.”
“We did a great job on defense tonight, a great job on the rebounds, and that helped our offense.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball