Eurocup Finals, Game 1: Khimki closes in on its second title!
Khimki Moscow Region is just one step away from its second Eurocup title after drubbing Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas 66-91 in Game 1 of the Eurocup Finals on Friday at Gran Canaria Arena. Khimki hosts Game 2 of the two-game total-points series next week knowing that a win – or a loss by up to 24 points – will make it the 2015 Eurocup champion and hand it a berth in the 2015-16 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season. Egor Vyaltsev scored a season-high 18 points and Petteri Koponen also netted 18 points, while Paul Davis tallied 17 points and Eurocup MVP Tyrese Rice totaled 13 points and 5 assists for Khimki, which shot at a blistering pace; It’s 72.2% on two-point shots set a Eurocup Finals record. Khimki also made 47.8% of its threes and outrebounded the hosts 25-34. Kyle Kuric scored 23 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting and Eulis Baez added 18 points and 7 rebounds for Gran Canaria in defeat. Davis had 10 first-quarter points and got help from Vyaltsev and Rice to give Khimki a 19-21 edge after 10 minutes. Koponen led a 0-8 run, which made it a double-digit game, 19-29. Vyaltsev kept pacing Khimki, but Kuric and a three-point play by Oriol Pauli got Gran Canaria within 33-40 at halftime. Gran Canaria found a go-to guy in Baez, who almost singlehandedly brought the hosts back into the series, 47-49. Davis stepped up for Khimki and a buzzer-beating jumper by Koponen restored a 54-59 lead after 30 minutes. Vyaltsev made a pair of threes and Koponen scored 7 points in a 1-16 charge to open the fourth quarter as Khimki ran away with the game – and possibly, the series.