Partizan rallies from 18 down to beat Lokomotiv
Partizan NIS Belgrade charged back from 18 points down to knock off Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 71-69 at home with Josh Perkins providing the game-winner to keep the hosts alive in the hunt for the quarterfinals. Lokomotiv had the big lead late in the first half and then watched as Rashawn Thomas and Eric Mika sparked Partizan, which then got the win thanks to Perkins’s reverse layup with 4.1 seconds to play. Thomas paced Partizan with 23 points and 8 rebounds and Ognjen Jaramaz scored 11 points to give Partizan a 2-2 record in Group F, dropping Lokomotiv to 1-3. Jordan Crawford scored 16 points to lead Lokomotiv, which kept the tiebreaker with Partizan due to a 7-point win in Russia a week earlier. Kevin Hervey added 15 points and 12 rebounds and Reggie Lynch had 10 points in the defeat.
Lynch scored the first 4 points of the game for the guests and it was 2-7 after a Crawford three-pointer. After Jaramaz hit a triple, Partizan struggled with turnovers in a 2-minute stretch as Lokomotiv opened a 5-13 lead. Novica Velickovic scored the next 5 points to start a 7-0 answer. Hervey responded from deep and Nigel Williams-Goss’s three-point play made it 16-21. Thomas scored twice at the other end and it was 22-24 after 10 minutes. Crawford had 4 points as Lokomotiv opened the second quarter with the first 8 points and a 22-32 lead, while Partizan had 2 turnovers and three missed triples before Thomas’s jumper more than 3 minutes into the frame. Lokomotiv kept up the pressure with Will Cummings and Crawford hitting three-pointers to spark a 4-14 surge as the lead swelled to 28-46. Marcus Paige managed back-to-back three-pointers for Partizan and the deficit was 35-48 at the break.
Hervey’s dunk started the second half to push the lead to 15 points - 35-50. Thomas took over a bit with three baskets in a 9-0 run. Grigory Motovilov stopped the 4-minute drought, but it was then Mika’s turn to lead Partizan with the hosts’ final 8 points of the quarter to trail 52-56 after 30 minutes. Hervey’s putback started the final frame with Thomas answering for Partizan. Lokomotiv held the hosts scoreless for nearly 3 minutes and Drew Gordon's free throws made it 55-63 midway through the quarter. Partizan refused to go away and twice made it a 2-point game, but Hervey converted as the lead was 63-67 with under 2 minutes to play. After a Jaramaz triple, Hervey threw down a dunk only to have Perkins knot it up 69-69 with a big three-pointer. On the ensuing inbounds play after a timeout, Cummings committed a turnover and eventually, the ball went to Perkins, who drove to the basket, but lost the ball on the way only to regain possession and toss in a reverse layup with 4.1 seconds left. Crawford’s three-point attempt was off target and Partizan’s magic comeback was complete.
Home sweet home
Partizan won the game to improve to 2-4 all-time in the EuroCup against Lokomotiv. The win was the fifth straight matchup of these teams in which the home side prevailed.
19.2 points fewer
Lokomotiv came into the game as the EuroCup’s leader in scoring at 88.2 points per game. Partizan knew it would need to slow down the Russian side and by giving up 69 points, it was 19.2 points fewer than its average.
Partizan overcame 22 turnovers by holding Lokomotiv to just 45.8% shooting on two-pointers and 21.1% from long range.
Partizan’s next game will be in Italy against Dolomiti Energia Trento on Wednesday, March 3. Lokomotiv will head to France and play at Boulogne Metropolitans 92 the same evening.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021