Darussafaka takes Game 1 thriller in Krasnodar
Darusafaka Istanbul outlasted Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 78-81 after overtime in a thrilling opening game to the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals at Basket-Hall. The winners head home for Game 2 on Friday needing another win to sweep the best-of-three series and to become the EuroCup champion for the first time in club history. Down 5 late in the fourth quarter, Howard Sant-Roos scored a layup, stole a pass and fed EuroCup MVP Scottie Wilbekin for a three-pointer that tied it at 72-72 and forced overtime. Then Will Cummings stepped up with 4 points, 2 steals and an assist in the extra session to help Darussafaka claim the victory. Wilbekin led the winners with 24 points plus 5 assists; Cummings finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals and JaJuan Johnson posted 7 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, which tied a EuroCup championship series record set by Jerome Moiso with DKV Joventut Badalona in 2008. Dmitry Kulagin paced Lokomotiv with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists; Mardy Collins tallied 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists; Chris Babb added 13 points and Joe Ragland 10. Lokomotiv outrebounded Darussafaka 44-36, including 20 offensive rebounds, but fell to its first loss of the season and saw its EuroCup record winning streak stopped at 20.
Okben Ulubay got Darussafaka going with a layup and free throws, as Lokomotiv was held scoreless in the first two minutes. Mardy Collins rescued the hosts with a three-pointer and Joe Ragland bettered Johnson's layup with a triple to make it 6-7. Frank Elegar dunked, but Wilbekin hit free throws and fed Furkan Aldemir for a layup for an 8-11 edge. After Wilbekin and Trevor Lacey exchanged three-pointers, Aldemir split foul shots. Chris Babb beat the first-quarter buzzer with a bomb from downtown to bring Lokomotiv within 14-15 after 10 minutes. A driving layup by Joe Ragland gave Lokomotiv its first lead, 16-15, early in the second quarter. Elegar and Sant-Roos traded baskets and free throws and a dunk by Stanton Kidd restored a 19-20 Darussafaka lead. Elegar scored again, Brian Qvale added a tip-in and Dmitry Kulagin struck from downtown for a 26-21 Lokomotiv lead. Kidd hit back-to-back baseline jumpers, Wilbekin bettered Qvale's layup with triple and Cummings also hit one from beyond the arc, which prompted the hosts to call timeout at 30-31. A jumper by Collins and free throws by Babb restored a 35-31 Lokomotiv lead at halftime.
Johnson hit a jumper immediately after the break, but free throws by Kulagin and a four-meter shot by Collins gave the hosts a 7-point lead. A close jumper by Cummings ignited a 0-9 run in which Wilbekin followed an acrobatic basket with a three-pointer. Free throws by Cummings capped the run, giving his team a 40-42 lead. Collins and Cummings exchanged layups and a three-pointer by Babb gave Lokomotiv a 45-44 edge. Wilbekin made free throws that Pavel Antipov bettered with a three-pointer. Aldemir split free throws and added a tip-in, but an outstanding Kulagin kept the hosts ahead, 52-49, after 30 minutes. Kulagin scored in penetration early in the fourth quarter, but Wilbekin swished a triple in transition to make it 54-52. Kidd split foul shots and a jumper by Cummings provided another lead change, 54-55. Collins answered from beyond the arc before a layup by Muhammed Baygul tied it at 57-57. Collins scored again and a triple by Ragland caused Darussafaka to stop the game at 62-57 with less than six minutes left. A basket-plus-foul by Johnson got the visitors within 3, but Kulagin responded with a jumper. A steal and layup by Trevor Lacey gave Lokomotiv a 70-63 lead with two minutes remaining. Cummings drove for a layup and set up Sant-Roos for a slam to make it a one-possession game with 45 seconds remaining. Kulagin all but sealed a Lokomotiv win with a put-back of a Collins miss with 22 seconds to go. However after a Sant-Roos layup, he came up with a steal and found Wilbekin for a top-of-the-key three that tied the game at 72-72. Collins missed a long shot and the game went to overtime.
Cummings missed a three to start the extra session, but then took a steal in for a layup and stole another ball that led to a layup for Kidd. Babb split free to get Lokomotiv’s first point of the overtime, but Cummings scored again for a 73-78 Darussafaka lead. Collins found Elegar for an alley-oop plus foul with a minute remaining. After Wilbekin split free throws and a soaring block by Johnson, Kidd turned the ball over and Babb nailed a triple to make it 78-79 with 8 seconds on the clock. Darussafaka called timeout and got the ball to Wilbekin, who netted the 2 free throws. Kulagin missed a long three at the buzzer and Darussafaka raced home with a Game 1 road win.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018