Lokomotiv bounces back, wins in Frankfurt
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar bounced back from its initial loss in Top 16 Group F by downing Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt 69-92 in Germany on Tuesday. Lokomotiv has a 1-1 record and dropped Skyliners to 0-2. Jamel McLean led six Lokomotiv scorers in double figures with 19 points. Dorell Wright added 14, Dmitry Khvostov 12, Vitaly Fridzon had 11 and Mateusz Ponitka and JaJuan Johnson each contributed 10 for Lokomotiv. Elijah Clarence and Jason Clark paced Skyliners with 15 points apiece and Erik Murphy added 11 for the hosts. Lokomotiv led 13-22 after 10 minutes, boosted its margin to 32-42 at halftime and then again to 52-69 at the end of the third quarter in cruising to a well-deserved road win.
Close-range baskets by Richard Freudenberg and Armin Trtovac gave Skyliners its first lead, 4-2. Trtovac kept pushing the hosts with a couple of jump hooks and Murphy struck from downtown for an 11-4 margin. Lokomotiv found a go-to guy in Khvostov, who nailed back-to-back triples in a 0-12 run that McLean capped with a dunk for an 11-16 edge. Clark downed a jumper, but Ponitka and Vladimir Ivlev helped the visitors get a 13-22 margin after 10 minutes. A close-range basket by Quantez Robertson gave Skyliners hope at 17-22 early in the second quarter. McLean and Wright stepped up for Lokomotiv, but Murphy and Shawn Huff got Skyliners within 25-30. Fridzon hit a jumper, fed Wright for a triple and soon added a layup-plus-foul to establish a 30-40 Lokomotiv lead. Free throws by Robertson and a layup by Wright fixed the halftime score at 32-42. Wright hit one from beyond the arc and a power layup by Ivlev broke the game open at 32-47. Ponitka scored in transition and Wright downed another corner triple, which prompted the hosts to call timeout at 37-52. Ponitka shined for Lokomotiv and a three-pointer by Khvostov made it 40-61. Johnson and McLean took over late in the third quarter to give their team a 52-69 lead after 30 minutes. Ponitka scored around the basket and a three-point play by McLean sealed the outcome, 52-74, early in the fourth quarter. Skyliners kept trying, but Lokomotiv kept full control of the game until the final buzzer.
McLean missed his first and final shot with 7 minutes left in the game after he had already scored 19 points. He finished the game having made 5 of 6 two-point shots, 9 of 9 free throws, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals and 7 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 31, matching his career high set against Tofas Bursa earlier this season.
Skyliners dominated at the start of the game, 11-4, but Dmitry Khvostov and Jamel McLean fueled a 2-18 run, which allowed Lokomotiv to control the situation from that moment. Ivlev hit free throws for a 13-22 lead after 10 minutes and the visitors never looked back.
Lokomotiv forced Skyliners into 20 turnovers and only committed 12. Lokomotiv shot the ball with really solid shooting percentages - 60.6% inside the arc, 43.5% from downtown and 91.3% from the foul line.
Did you notice?
It was Lokomotiv's 10th consecutive road win in the EuroCup's second group stage. Its last road loss at this stage was against Stelmet Zielona Gora, 94-88, in the 2012-13 Last 16 on February 20, 2013.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action on Wednesday. Skyliners hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, while Lokomotiv visits ratiopharm Ulm.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019