Mickey's clutch free throws lift Khimki past Darussafaka 21  december  2018

EuroLeague
In a thriller that went down to the final second, Khimki Moscow Region bounced back from recent losses by topping Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 85-84 at home.
Khimki improved to 5-9 and is 12th in the standings while Darussafaka remains 16th, now with a 1-13 record. Dee Bost paced the winners with 19 points. Andrey Zubkov and Jordan Mickey each had 15 for Khimki. Micheal Eric and Ray McCallum led Darussafaka with 13 points apiece. Toney Douglas added 12, Jeremy Evans had 11 while Stanton Kidd and Zanis Peiners each got 10 for the guests.

Bost got Khimki going with a layup and a jumper, and a three-pointer by Zubkov gave his team a 7-2 lead. Dogus Ozdemiroglou and Evans fueled a 0-6 run which Eric capped with a dunk to give Darussafaka its first lead, 7-8. Ozdemiroglu struck from downtown and Eric added a three-point play to keep the guests ahead, 11-14. Malcolm Thomas dunked and Egor Vialtsev, Tony Crocker and Zubkov each hit one from beyond the arc to make Darussafaka call timeout at 22-16. Thomas stayed on fire and a three-pointer by Stefan Markovic made it a double-digit lead, 30-18, after 10 minutes. A put-back dunk by Mickey capped a 10-0 Khimki run early in the second quarter. Garlon Green and Kidd traded huge dunks and a layup Markel Brown gave Khimki hope at 36-27. Kidd, Mickey and Brown each hit triples, and a layup by Bost made it 41-33. The guests found a new go-to guy in McCollum, who hit a couple of three-pointers in a 0-10 run that put Darussafaka back ahead, 41-43. A power layup by Zubkov and a jumper by Bost made Khimki regain the lead, 45-43, at halftime. Eric stepped up with a layup soon after the break before Darussafaka went scoreless for almost 4 minutes. Crocker and Charles Jenkins allowed Khimki to restore a 53-45 margin, before Bost and Jenkins sank triples to make it an 11-point game, 60-49. Eric dunked and three-pointers by Douglas and Evans got Darussafaka closer. Bost struck twice from downtown for a 69-57 Khimki margin after 30 minutes. A 0-6 run capped by Kidd gave Darussafaka hope, but Mickey sank a jump hook and got help from Zubkov and Vialtsev to give Khimki fresh air, 77-66, with 6 minutes left. A layup by Mickey seemed to seal the outcome, 83-73. Peiners and McCallum, however, made it a three-point game, 83-80, with 25.9 seconds left, and a layup by Evans brought the guests even closer, 83-82. Bost lost the ball and a jump hook by Evans completed the guests' unbelievable comeback, 83-84, with 7 seconds left. But Mickey drew a foul and made free throws with 1.4 seconds to go, and Darussafaka could not put a shot up in the game's final play.

Pivotal performer
Andrey Zubkov tied a career-high in scoring (15) and set new personal bests in rebounds (8) and performance index rating (23). Zubkov hit 4-of-4 two-pointers, 2-of-3 from downtown and added 2 assists and a block.

Game-changing moment
Bost and Jenkins combined for 17 points in the final 7 minutes of the third quarter. That allowed Khimki to get a 69-57 margin which eventually helped secure the win.

Stellar stat
Khimki won the battle under the board, outrebounding Darussafaka by 34-22 and pulling down 11 offensive boards.

Did you notice?
Darussafaka tied a club record with 7 blocks, had a season-low 7 turnovers and hit over 90% free throws (19-of-21, 90.5%) for the first time in the EuroLeague since 18 November 2016, but it was not enough to win the game.

Next game:
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on Thursday 27 December. Khimki hosts KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Darussafaka welcomes Olympiacos Piraeus, in what will be a very special game for visiting Coach David Blatt, who led Darussafaka to the 7DAYS EuroCup title last season.