Historic Lokomotiv steamrolls past Lietkabelis
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar showed why it is considered one of the challengers for the 7DAYS EuroCup title as it steamrolled past Lietkabelis Panevezys 76-105 on the road on Wednesday. Jordan Crawford led the historic team showing with 20 points in the Group C encounter. Alan Williams scored 17 points and added 17 rebounds – a high in the EuroCup this season – while Kevin Hervey had 13 points, Andrei Martiuk chipped in 11 and Will Cummings tallied 10 as Lokomotiv improved to 2-1 in the group. Lietkabelis has yet to win a EuroCup game this season despite Marin Maric pacing four players in double figures with 15 points. Paulius Valinskas had 13 points while Margiris Normantas and Gytis Masiulis both poured in 12 points.
Lokomotiv had the better start with 5 points from fastbreaks and a three-pointer from Martiuk in opening a 2-10 lead early. The hosts pulled within 6-10 but Hervey nailed a three-pointer and Williams completed a three-point play in building a 13-27 advantage after 10 minutes. The onslaught continued in the second quarter with Grigory Motoilov picking up 5 points in a 2-13 start for a 15-40 Lokomotiv advantage. The hosts eventually started getting some offense going with Masiulis, Normantas and Vytenis Lipkevicius hitting 3 straight three-pointers and Lietkabelis narrowing the deficit to 35-49. Lokomotiv just could not be stopped, however, and led 39-59 at the break. There was no slowing down for the guests in the second half with Williams hitting 6 points to spark a 2-12 start for a 42-71 advantage. Mantas Kalnietis connected from long range and Crawford hit 2 three-pointers as the gap grew to a high of 48-82 and 50-82 after 30 minutes. Lietkabelis tried to get back into the game with Masiulis hitting a three-pointer and converting a three-point play in trimming the margin to 60-85. Hervey and Reggie Lynch punched back with baskets and Cummings drained a triple for a 65-94 scoreline. The only question down the stretch was if Lokomotiv would break its EuroCup scoring record. Crawford tied the mark with his jumper on the team's final offense.
Lokomotiv's 59 points at halftime set a new club record for most points in the first half of a EuroCup game. It eclipsed the 56 points Lokomotiv scored against Trefl Sopot on December 12, 2012. Its 105 total points scored tied Lokomotiv's all-time EuroCup single game mark, registered against Tofas Bursa on November 21, 2018. And the team's 131 index rating just missed its best mark of 133 versus Partizan NIS Belgrade on December 27, 2017.
Lietkabelis looking uphill
By dropping its third straight game, Lietkabelis has a major uphill battle to reach the next stage. Over the past three seasons, only two of the 12 teams that started the regular season 0-3 managed to reach the Top 16.
Helped by a new career high in rebounds by Alan Williams, Lokomotiv dominated the glass with 38 rebounds to 26 for Lietkabelis. The hosts also made just 8-of-28 three-pointers (28.6%) while Lokomotiv converted on 67.4% of its two-point attempts.
Lietkabelis' next game will also be at home as it hosts Telenet Giants Antwerp in Round 4 on October 21. Lokomotiv will return home after two EuroCup road games and will welcome MoraBanc Andorra on October 21.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020