In a game that would have no decidive outcome as for teams advaning to the Last 16, visiting BC Khimki defeated Le Havre in France on Tuesday night by 63-79. The guests started leading by 2-12, but what
looked like it would be a walk in the park, turned into nightmare for the Russian team when Le Havre reacted and made it a one-point game, 30-31 just before halftime. However, a 0-7 first and a 0-10 to
follow, allowed Khimki to pull away for good in the second half. The win allows the Russian team to improve to 4-1 in Group C to maintain second place, only behind Benetton Treviso. Both teams are already
qualified for the Last 16. On the other hand, Le Havre drops to 0-5 and is last, out of the qualifying race together with Besiktas Cola Turka.
Kelly McCarty led the winners with 20 points and Timofey Mozgov added 13. For Le Havre, Fabien Causeur and Rudy Jomby nailed 13 points apiece, TJ Thompson added 12 and Aleksandar Bojic had 11.
Fabien Causeur sank two free throws to make it 2-2 for Le Havre but then, BC Khimki replied with a 0-10 including seven points by Kelly McCarty that left a totally different scenario on court. Rudy Jomby
finally gave some signs of life for Le Havre with his layup but it was Timofey Mozgov now who scoed four points of his own to keep Khimki out of reach. Jomby blasted a three but it was only for 9-20.
However, that came as an inspiration as Jomby himself scored again from the arc and TJ Thompson had a layup that closed an 8-0 that allowed the hosts to trim down the deficit to 14-20, forcing Khimki's
timeout. Milt Palacio came out of that with a triple, but Thompson had the last word putting an end to the first period with a 16-23 Khimki edge. Marcus Slaughter put Le Havre only 5 points below when he
scored to open the second quarter, 18-23, but Victor Dubovitskiy hit a three to keep Khimki going. Le Havre worked hard in offense though, and another 8-2 run arrived for the hosts thanks to points by
Aleksandar Bojic and Thompson. The hosts dominsted the rebounds battle and had also a slight better percentage on 2-point shots, but Khimki's dominance in assists, steals and turnovers allowed them to keep
the winning hand at this point. Mike Wilkinson sank two free throws but Khimki was struggling in offense now, and Bingo Merriex made it a one-point game, 30-31. McCarty and Carlos Delfino saved the situation
from the charity line and it was then a duel between McCarty and Causeur to send the game into the halftime break with a 36-39 Khimki lead.
A 0-7 burst to start the second half, allowed Khimki to pull away by 36-46 in minute 23. Jomby was again the go-to man for Le Havre scoring again for his team with a three, but Delfino and Jorge Garbajosa
scored to maintain Khimki at a solid distance, 42-50. The scoring run of the Russian team was far from over however, as McCarty, Palacio and Wilkinson joined the party to make it 42-58 after a 0-10. Causeur
and Merriex teamed up to stop the bleeding for the hosts, but Khimki always found options in offense to maintain the lead after 30 minutes, 47-65. Bojic started the last period scoring from the charity line
for Le Havre, but the reaply was five straight points between Vitaly Fridzon and Wilkinson to widen the gap. The rest of the final period would have no impact on the final outcome as Khimki cruised to the
win maintaining the lead around the 15 points.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009