Lokomotiv stays alive in France
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar survived a do-or-die situation in Top 16 Group F by thrashing Boulougne Metropolitans 92 61-83 at Marcel Cerdan on Wednesday. Lokomotiv improved to 2-3 in the standings while Metropolitans, which would have qualified to the playoffs with a victory, dropped to 3-2. Nigel Williams-Goss led the winners with 19 points, 7 assists and 6 steals. Will Cummings added 18 points, Kevin Hervey had 12 while Drew Gordon pulled down 11 rebounds for Lokomotiv. Anthony Brown led Metropolitans with 15 points, Maxime Roos added 12 and Brandon Brown had 11 for the hosts. Lokomotiv led from start to finish, opening the game with an 0-8 run, leading 14-22 after 10 minutes and 28-48 at halftime. Nothing changed in the second half, as the guests cruised to a much-needed, no-doubt-about-it victory.
Gordon got Lokomotiv going with a couple of layups, igniting an 0-8 run that Williams-Goss capped with a jump hook. Tomer Ginat, Anthony Brown and Williams-Goss each struck from downtown and Archie Goodwin dunked to make it 8-11. Anthony Brown took over with a three-point play but Williams-Goss and Cummings led a 0-7 run to restore an 11-18 Lokomotiv lead. Roos hit a triple, Reggie Lynch took over with an up-and-under layup and Hervey added a fastbreak layup for a 14-22 score after 10 minutes. Lynch and Hervey kept pushing the guests early in the second quarter to make it a double-digit game, 16-28. Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored down low and Williams-Goss added a fastbreak layup to cap a 0-9 run. Anthony Brown stepped up with a jumper, but Gordon and Kuzminskas fueled a 0-6 run to give the guests a 20-point margin, 18-38. Goodwin and Roos tried to change things for Metropolitans, but Kuzminskas, Hervey and Cummings kept the guests way ahead, 28-48, at halftime.
Ginat and Williams-Goss exchanged layups after the break and Kuzminskas dunked for a 30-52 Lokomotiv lead. Mantas Kalnietis nailed a three-pointer, getting help from Hervey and Stanislav Ilnitskiy to boost the margin to 32-59. Anthony Brown and Brandon Brown ignited an 8-0 run highlighted by Roos's four-point play, but Gordon and Cummings restored a 43-67 Lokomotiv margin after 30 minutes. After free throws by Williams-Goss, Pinault drove for a layup but Kuzminskas fed Gordon inside. Lokomotiv forced another turnover and Cummings hit free throws with 7 minutes left, long past the time that Metropolitans could afford to even trade baskets. An unstoppable Williams-Goss boosted Lokomotiv's margin to 49-78, as the hosts only rallied once the outcome was clear.
Will Cummings came off the bench and made the difference with a solid performance with hardly any mistakes. He finished the game with 18 points on 3-of-5 two-point shooting, 1-of-1 on three-pointers and 9-of-9 on free throws plus 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 8 fouls drawn for a career-high PIR of 32.
Lokomotiv broke the game open early in the second quarter. Reggie Lynch banked in a running shot, Kevin Hervey finished a four-chance Lokomotiv offense with a three-point play, and then Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Nigel Williams-Goss each scored in a 0-9 run that made 16-32, giving Lokomotiv full control for good.
Defense and supreme ball circulation allowed Lokomotiv to dominate in the first half. Lokomotiv had 16 assists and 4 turnovers before the break, and Metropolitans picked up 11 turnovers and only had 7 assists in the first half. Those extra possessions and Lokomotiv's two-point shooting (16-of-24, 66.7%) turned it into a 20-point game, 28-48.
Did you know?
Nigel Williams-Goss set a new Lokomotiv club record with 6 steals. The previous record was shared by Jeremiah Massey, Nick Calathes, Anthony Randolph, Malcolm Delaney, Trevor Lacey, Mateusz Ponitka and Kevin Hervey, all with 5 steals apiece.
Both teams return to 7DAYS EuroCup action next week - on Wednesday, March 10. Lokomotiv hosts Dolomiti Energia Trento and Metropolitans visits Partizan NIS Belgrade in the Serbian capital.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021