By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to one of the best games of Tyrese Rice (2o points, 11 assists, 35 in the Ranking System) in Euroleague, Khimki Moscow obliterated Zalgiris Kaunas 111 – 80 for the Fourth round of the competition.
It was a game that was ultimately decided in two different parts of the second half. It all started in the beginning of the third period, when Khimki scored 7 unanswered points to take a 20 point lead against a Zalgiris who, despite being behind with a double digit lead, kept showing that it will not go down easily. Until then.
A powerful 17 – 2 a little bit after the start of the final period, was the killing blow for coach Kurtinaitis players that left no option to their opponents other than watch almost helpless, as Khimki’s full powers were unleashed. Superb shooting from the perimeter and the backcourt assault led by Tyrese Rice made all the difference for the Russian team that finished the match with 28 assists.
It wasn’t like that in the majority of the first half since both teams had some serious ups and downs in their performance during the first quarter, that were accurately portrayed on the scoreboard. Zalgiris reacted in style after Khimki’s initial 8 -7 making it 8 – 14, but the Russians pulled themselves together to tie the match 16 – 16 and then took a lead which they never give up until the end of the game. They only expanded it more and more.
Zalgiris Kaunas was betrayed by its many turnovers and its poor creation. The assist/turnover ratio (15/15) tells no lies for the way coach Jasikevicius’ team performed.
But these mistakes were a product of the intense half court pressure on the ball that the hosts decided to apply to their opponents. Even though their hasty choices inititally didn’t allow them to make the best out of this defense, their intensity was enough to tire the Lithuanian team quickly. Zoran Dragic (11 points) and Alexey Shved (13 points, 3 steals) played a big part on this part of their game for Khimki, throughout the whole match.
Ian Vougioukas had 14 points for Zalgiris and Edgaras Ulanovas finished with 12 plus 6 rebounds.