By Eurohoops email@example.com
Malcolm Delaney’s amazing performance in the third quarter (20 points in four minutes) enabled Lokomotiv Kuban to beat Panathinaikos 71-77 on the road. This was the fifth win for the visitors, who remained on top of group C (5-1), whereas the Greens suffered a painful defeat (2-4), which makes more difficult the team’s mission to qualify to the next round.
For the winners, Delaney scored 23 points, with Ryan Broekhoff and Victor Claver adding 16 and 13 points, respectively. On the other hand, James Feldeine had 14 points, as three more players were in double digits.
Lokomotiv Kuban made a great start to the game and quickly took a 12-point advantage (2-14), executing perfectly on both ends of the floor. Later, the situation didn’t change much and the first quarter ended with the Russians in front by 11 (10-21). In the second quarter, Panathinaikos tried to enhance their performance, but Dontaye Draper, who scored nine of Lokomotiv Kuban’s 12 points in the period, hit back-to-back three pointers and retained the lead to double digits (15-27). The Greens, though, fought back and with a 14-6 run ended the first half down by just four points (29-33).
In the second half, Sasa Djordjevic’s players made a tremendous start. With a 10-2 run, they took a four-point lead (39-35), but Delaney exploded at that point and with 12 straight points let Giorgos Bartzokas’ team regain the lead (44-49). The American guard was unstoppable, as he scored 20 points in the last four minutes of the third quarter, and helped the Russians retain their advantage, after 30 minutes in the game (54-59). The Greeks started the fourth quarter with a 7-2 run to tie the game (61-61), but Lokomotiv responded with an 11-3 run to take a significant advantage (64-72). In the remaining minutes, nothing changed significantly, as the Russians remained solid and claimed a big victory on the road (71-77), with Panathinaikos being unable to make a big come-back.