Khvostov hits 7 three-pointers, leads Nizhny past Jerusalem
In a pivotal battle in Group F which went down to the wire, Nizhny Novgorod recorded a good-as-gold road win by downing Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 70-74 in the Holy City on Wednesday. Nizhny improved to 3-3 in Group F while Jerusalem dropped to 2-4. Dmitry Khvostov fired on 7-of-8 three-point shots on his way with 23 points. Victor Rudd added 13 while Ivan Strebkov had 12 for Nizhny. Donta Smith led Hapoel with 23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. E.J. Rowland added 12 points, Josh Duncan had 11 while D'or Fischer pulled down 13 rebounds for the hosts. Khbostov buried 5 three-point shots before halftime, allowing Nizhny to get a 18-22 lead after 10 minutes and extend it to 36-43 at halftime. Hapoel neve rgaveup and managed to get as close as 64-65 on a three-pointer by Janning. Rasid Mahalbasic and Strebkov kept Nizhny ahead but Rowland missed a driving shot with 10 seconds left which would have tied the game. Free throws by Khvostov and Strebkov allowed Nizhny to cruise to a critical road win.
Mahalbasic got Nizhny going with 4 points in a 0-6 opening run. Janning struck from downtown and a three-point play by Duncan tied it at 6-6. Khvostov buried a three-pointer and Rudd scored again but Rowland and Smith kept Jerusalem within 10-11. Benzins took over with consecutive baskets but Fischer and Duncan allowed the hosts to tie the game again, 15-15. Khvostov insisted from downtown and hit yet another one to give Nizhny a 18-22 edge after 10 minutes. A red hot Khvostov buried another triple - his fourth in as many attempts - early in the second quarter and Strebkov copied him right after that for a 20-28 Nizhny margin. Jerusalem, pushed by a great crowd, improved its defense, not allowing more open shots. Meanwhile, Smith, Duncan and Rowland fueled a 10-0 run which allowed the hosts to get their first lead of the game, 30-28. Semen Antonov hit a triple and Strebkov matched Rowland's layup-plus-foul with his own shot from beyond the arc. Khvostov - who else? - sank his fifth three-pointer and back-to-back baskets by Rudd gave Nizhny a 36-41 margin. Antonov's put-back basket fixed the halftime score at 36-43.
Berzins scored again right after the break and Mahalbasic soon made it a double-digit game, 36-47. Smith tried to change things with 5 unanswered points and a put-back basket by Fischer gave the hosts hope at 43-49. Khvostov nailed another three-pointer and matched Duncan's triple with yet another one, good for a 46-55 Nizhny margin. Tony Gaffney stepped up with a three-point play and once Mahalbasic and Smith traded baskets, he scored again for a 53-57 Jerusalem deficit after 30 minutes. Antonov and Berzins stepped up for the guests early in the fourth quarter to keep Nizhny way ahead, 53-61. Fischer and Smith quickly answered, bringing Jerusalem within 61-63. Strebkov hit a jumper and a catch-and-shoot three-pointer by Janning brought Jerusalem as close as 64-65. Mahalbasic scored around the basket, Smith dunked off a steal and free throws by Strebkov restored a 66-69 Nizhny lead with over 2 minutes left. Rudd split free throws and Rowland made it a two-point game, 68-70, with 40 seconds left. Rowland missed a critical shot and free throws by Khovstov and Strebkov sealed the outcome.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015