UNICS Kazan defeated Khimki Moscow Region at home, 80-79 (18-17, 19-23, 21-22, 22-17).
UNICS: Quino Colom (18 + 3 stl), Stephane Lasme (16 + 6 reb), Melvin Ejim (16 + 5 reb), Jamar Smith (14), Anton Ponkrashov (12)
Khimki: Alexey Shved (28), Anthony Gill (20 + 6 reb)
Trailing by 11 with only 2:02 to play, UNICS put together a furious comeback, capped by Quino Colom’s steal and go-ahead layup with seconds to play.
Khimki had the game sewed up late in the 4th quarter, led by Alexey Shved’s 28 points, but turnovers and Kazan’s clutch shot-making meant Moscow Region leaves town with a second-straight loss in the League.
Five players scored in double digits for UNICS, highlighted by Colom’s 18. The Spanish guard served up one of the biggest plays of the regular season, picking off Tyler Honeycutt’s inbound pass with seven seconds to go and driving to the bucket for the score, 80-79.
He also sank two free throws moments earlier that cut the deficit to one, setting up the opportunity for the dramatic game-winner.
At the other end, James Anderson almost got a layup to go at the buzzer, but it was off the mark, sending the UNICS players and Basket Hall crowd into a frenzy.
The game was back and forth in the first half with Khimki picking up a three-point lead at the break.
During the 3rd quarter and much of the 4th, however, the visitors were largely in control, leading by 6-8 points much of the half. In the 4th, Khimki drained three triples, including Shved’s 3-pointer with 2:02 remaining that pushed the lead to a game-high 11.
But it wasn’t enough as the home team outscored Khimki 14-2 in the final two minutes and completed a miraculous comeback.
UNICS improves to 6-0, a half game behind CSKA. Khimki drops to 4-3, tied for 5th with Avtodor.
17 – Khimki led most of the game and shot the ball well, but couldn’t overcome its turnover problems. UNICS scored 24 points off 17 Khimki giveaways, including the biggest basket of the game.
UNICS head coach Dimitris Priftis:
– This was a very tough game. Simply an unbelievable finish. Luck played its part in how everything played out. Congratulations to the guys for their endurance, effort and putting in the work at practice. I’m grateful to my assistants. This was a very serious win over a strong opponent. Khimki played very well.
Khimki head coach Georgios Bartzokas:
– First of all, congratulations to UNICS on the win. It’s tough to lose like this. But basketball is a brutal sport. We carry all the responsibility for the loss. We led by 11, but then did everything we could to lose. We turned the ball over, missed rebounds and missed shots. As a team, we need to analyze why that happened and move on.