Khimki Moscow Region registered its third consecutive victory by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 76-68 at home on Friday.
Khimki improved to 4-6 in the standings while Panathinaikos dropped to 5-5. Anthony Gill led the winners with 21 points. Jordan Mickey added 14 while Charles Jenkins had 12 for Khimki, which was without injured superstar Alexey Shved. James Gist led Panathinaikos with 19 points. Keith Langford added 17 while Matt Lojeski had 13 for the guests.
Early three-pointers by Jenkins and Malcolm Thomas gave Khimki a 10-4 lead. Stephane Lasme hit back-to-back jumpers and Lojeski hit a triple as Panathinaikos pulled within 12-11. Gill followed a jumper with a layup before Dee Bost gave Khimki an 18-11 margin. Ian Vougioukas and Gist stepped up for the guests and a three-point play by Langford got Panathinaikos within 20-19. Sergey Monia took over with a triple, a layup-plus-free throw and a steal that allowed Stefan Markovic to strike from downtown and give Khimki a 29-25 edge after 10 minutes. Three-pointers by DeShaun Thomas and Langford put the Greens in charge, 31-33. Nikos Pappas joined the three-point shootout before Langford's free throws boosted the Panathinaikos lead to 33-40. Khimki reacted with a 10-0 run, however, with all points shared by Mickey and Gill, while a three-pointer by Vyacheslav Zaytsev kept the hosts ahead, 48-44, at halftime. Gill followed a jumper with an off-balance jump hook for a 52-47 Khimki lead after the break. Jenkins bettered Gist's dunk with triple and an unstoppable Gill kept the hosts in charge, 59-51, after 30 minutes. Langford and Thomas each hit a triple to give Panathinaikos hope at 62-57 early in the fourth quarter. Monia answered from downtown and Markovic made a layup, forcing a Panathinaikos timeout at 69-61 with more than 4 minutes left. Free throws by Mickey and Gill sealed the outcome, 74-63, as Panathinaikos never recovered.
Jenkins averaged 3.9 points before this game but showed his best Khimki needed him – with Shved sidelined. The experienced combo guard had 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 1 block for a true all-around performance.
Khimki allowed just 4 points in the final 9 minutes of the third quarter, while Gill and Jenkins allowed the hosts to build a solid 59-51 lead and eventually cruise to a well-deserved win.
Two-point shots made the difference in the game. Khimki hit 20 of 31 (64.5%) and Panathinaikos hit just 14 of 35 (40%) inside the arc.
Did you notice?
Before this game, Calathes led the assists table at 8.2 per game. He was limited to just 4 by Khimki's defense. Shved averaged 7.4 assists before his injury. In his absence, Dee Bost and Markovic combined for 11 against Panathinaikos. All told, Khimki had 24 assists to 14 for Panathinaikos.
Khimki visits FC Bayern Munich next Thursday in Round 11. Panathinaikos hosts Fenerbahce Istanbul on Friday in what always is a special game for legendary head coach Zeljko Obradovic, who won five of his nine EuroLeague titles with the Greens.