Valencia takes battle of champions in Group D
In a battle of former EuroCup champions in Group D, Valencia Basket recorded a big road win by downing Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 64-73 on Wednesday. Valencia improved to 3-1 in Group D, while Lokomotiv dropped to 1-3 and is now on a three-game losing streak. Will Thomas led the winners with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Slava Kravtsov added 11 points and 9 rebounds for Valencia. Taylor Rochestie led Lokomotiv with 23 points, but only had 3 after the break. Mardy Collins added 11 for the hosts. Valencia outrebounded Lokomotiv 37-32, including 16 offensive boards - Kravtsov and Thomas combined for 11 of them. Valencia took good care of the ball, dishing 15 assists and committing just 6 turnovers, as well as limiting Lokomotiv to 7 assists and 14 turnovers, which was one of the biggest keys to its win.
A three-pointer by Evgeny Baburin gave Lokomotiv its first lead, 3-2. It didn't last long, however, as a close basket by Kravtsov ignited a 0-9 run, which Fernando San Emeterio capped with a free throw for a 3-11 Valencia margin. Lokomotiv brought Rochestie off the bench, and he immediately delivered with 12 points in five minutes as Lokomotiv tied the game, 17-17, after 10 minutes. A triple by Guillem Vives ignited a 0-6 run that Pierre Oriola capped with a free throw for a 17-23 Valencia edge. Rochestie kept pacing Lokomotiv and Kevin Jones put the hosts back in charge, 27-26. Thomas rescued Valencia with a couple of baskets, but Collins restored a 34-33 Lokomotiv lead at halftime. A 0-7 run, which Kravtsov capped with a layup-plus-foul, gave Valencia a 34-40 lead soon after the break. Collins stepped up with back-to-back baskets, but Oriola and Rafa Martinez gave the guests their first double-digit lead, 44-54. A wild 21-meter three-pointer by Ryan Broekhoff fixed the score at 47-54 after 30 minutes. Rochestie and Collins gave Lokomotiv hope, 57-60, with six minutes left. San Emeterio hit a critical three-pointer and Antoine Diot downed a mid-range jumper for a 61-66 Valencia lead in the next-to-last minute. The guests excelled on defense when it mattered most and a fast break dunk by Thomas allowed Valencia to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016