Dynamo Moscow became the only Eurocup team to stay perfect in the Last 16 by topping Russian rival BC Khimki 73-68 in Group I on Tuesday. Khimki fell to 3-3, but secured a Final Eight birth last week, something Dynamo had done already two weeks ago. Swingman Travis Hansen scored at least 20 points for the fourth time in his fifth Last 16 game to pace Dynamo with 21 points. Bostjan Nachbar came off the bench to notch 14 points, Robertas Javtokas netted 11 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, fellow big man Darjus Lavrinovic added 10 points and 8 rebounds and dominated on defense with 6 steals and 5 blocks. Brian Chase chipped in with 10 points. For Khimki, center Macijei Lampe returned from injury to play his first Eurocup game since early December and was the top scorer with 15 points, while another big man, Ratko Varda, added 12 points. In the quarterfinals in Turin, Dynamo will meet Hemofarm Stada of Serbia, while Khimki will battle with Pamesa Valencia of Spain.
Javtokas opened the game with a pair of dunks for Dynamo. Also Khimki had big men scoring, as Varda made free throws and Lampe two layups to tie the game at 6-6. Hansen stepped up with 6 points for the hosts, but at the other end Lampe was ready with a two-pointer and a triple, and then it was Varda's turn to hit from downtown. Hansen made a layup to cut it to 12-14, but Varda drilled another triple and Timofey Mozgov finished the first quarter with a put-back dunk that made it 12-19 in Khimki's favour. Mozgov pulled down another offensive rebound to score at the start of the second quarter, before Hansen made Dynamo's first three-pointer. The teams exchanged a couple baskets, and it was 20-25 after a three-point play by Darjus Lavrinovic. Nikita Shabalkin responded with another Khimki triple that was matched by a layup-plus-free throw by Nachbar. Next, reserve Victor Dubovitskiy scored a layup and a triple for the visitors, with a Nachbar dunk in between, and Khimki was still in front at 25-33. Though Nachbar and Javtokas combined for 6 points, Lampe and Viacheslav Zaytsev scored for Khimki, but then Chase made a layup and Sergey Monya dunked to make it as close as 35-36. Nachbar capped the 8-0 run with 2 free throws to give Dynamo a 37-36 halftime lead.
Lavrinovic started the second half with 2 free throws, before Kelly McCarty nailed a triple for his first points of the night. Varda split free throws to put Khimki in front at 39-40. Then Hansen made a triple and a two-pointer to help the hosts overtake the lead, but Milt Palacio dunked and Vitaly Fridzon scored a layup to almost tie it at 46-44. But that's when Dynamo took over. Chase hit back-to-back three-pointers, Nachbar and Yuri Vasilyev added a slam each, while Lavrinovic was ruling on defense with 2 blocks in the span. Monya capped the 13-0 surge with 2 free throws, and though Mozgov finally scored for Khimki, Dynamo had a solid 59-46 advantage with 10 minutes to go. After Shabalkin drilled a three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter, Javtokas canceled it with a three-point play. Then Varda nailed another Khimki triple to ignite a 1-7 run, and it was 63-56 after free throws by McCarty. The visitors came even closer on a basket by Antono Ponkrashov, but Lavrinovic netted a two-pointer and Hansen hit a triple to make it 69-60 with four minutes left on the clock. Palacio earned two trips to the line and made 3 of 4 free throws, and McCarty added another free throw to cut it to 69-64, but Khimki was running out of time with only a minute to go. Lampe scored more free throws, but the guests had to foul. Dynamo made 4 of 6 from the line and could call itself the best of the Last 16.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009