BC Khimki used an overpowering second half to handily beat Aris BSA 2003 on the road 48-73 in the teams’ Last 16 Group J opener. The visitors benefited from a balanced attack as five players scored in double figures on a combined 9-of-15 shooting from three-point range. Vitaly Fridzon netted 14 points to pace Khimki, Zoran Planinic had 13 and Kresimir Loncar and Chris Quinn added 12 apiece. Aris was paced by Dominic James and Dimitrios Verginis, who scored 11 points each. The hosts made a game of it in the first half after recovering from a 4-16 first quarter to close the half at 30-31. But in the second half Khimki used a long-distance barrage to outscore the hosts 18-42 as Aris could only manage 1 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Khimki pulled out to a 0-8 lead in the opening minutes as four different players got into the scoring column. A free throw by James at the 5:45 mark ended the drought for Aris, but a Fridzon two-pointer soon increased Khimki’s margin to 1-10. Then Thomas Kelati, the only Khimki starter not to score, hit a two-pointer that lifted the lead to 1-14. The quarter ended with a 4-16 advantage for the visitors as Aris went 10 minutes without a single field goal. The hosts scored first in the second as Verginis hit a two-pointer, then Kresimir Loncar and Sam Muldrow exchanged baskets for an 8-18 difference. Aris resumed its push with 7 straight points led by Verginis and Muldrow, who dunked twice, as the hosts got back in the game. After Fridzon banged home two three-pointers, Verginis kept Aris in the hunt with a pair of baskets as the score moved to 19-24. The scoring continued in bunches for both teams. After an exchange of baskets, Christos Tapoutos buried a triple and James dunked to knot the game at 26-26. Planinic soon put the visitors on top with a triple but Dimitrios Tsaldaris and James each answered to give Aris its first lead, 30-29. Fridzon ended the half with free throws and a 30-31 edge for Khimki.
Aris scored twice to open the third quarter with layups by Tapoutos and Verginis to move ahead 34-31. After a three-minute dry spell, Planinic added a layup and foul shot for Khimki to tie the game at 34-34. Then the visitors surged ahead with a 0-10 run, with most of the points coming in the paint, to open a 34-44 margin. James added 4 points from the foul line, but Sergey Monya and Kelati shifted Khimki’s scoring to the outside with three-pointers as the lead climbed to 38-50. James answered with a layup, then Monya nailed another triple to end the third quarter at 40-53. Khimki continued its long-distance scoring in the final quarter behind Planinic and Monya as the margin widened to 41-61. The hosts struggled to score in the remaining four minutes, while Khimki piled on points, led by Chris Quinn’s three-pointers, as the visitors coasted to a 48-73 victory.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012