Krasnodar “Lokomotiv Kuban” beat Kazakhstan “Astana” on the road — 93:83 (20-19, 22-30, 24-21, 17-23).
The 4th and 5th teams of the championship ranks met in the capital of Kazakhstan: Lokomotiv Krasnodar is challenging “Astana”, which is having a historical season. At the very beginning of the game, the teams exchanged 7-point runs: first, the guests, with the efforts of Ponitka, Fridzon and Johnson, stepped forward, but the home team quickly restored their balance, and Anthony Clemmons returned a slight advantage to “Astana”. “Loko” was building its attack through the paint, but the shooting percentage was not very impressive — for a quarter, the Kubans scored only 19 points. But «Astana» focused its efforts on the perimeter shooting and succeeded — 4 of 5 long range shots reached the goal. In the second quarter “Loko” began to rely more on their own snipers: after a series of three-pointers, the visitors made a 11-0 run, for the first time in the match, coming off “+11”. Dorell Wright scored 16 points before the halftime, never missing — 5 out of 5 with the game and 4 accurate throws throws, adding to this a block-shot.
However, “Astana” had its heroes: Ken Horton and Stephen Holt got involved in this exchange of fire with Loko, scored 25 points for half for two, hitting 5 three-pointers out of 6. Halftime found hosts down only by 7 points- 42:49. The beginning of the third quarter was not in favor of “Astana”: Mateus Ponitka became the leader of Loko’s attacks , but after the next three-point Dorell Wright, the difference in the score increased to the maximum in the game — “+14”. Believe it or not, it took just 7 minutes for the next comeback: Michael Jenkins closed the third quarter with a buzzer from a distance, and JJ O’Brien scored 9 points at the start of the fourth quarter — 77:77. 4 minutes before the end, Anthony Clemmons scored, pulling his team up to “-1” — 81:82. Since then, «Astana» scored only 2 points, and those — in the last offence. But “Loko” organized a 11-0 run, while working extremely focused in defense.
The most effective players:
«Lokomotiv-Kuban» head coach — Bob Donewald:
- Tough game, as we expected. Game was filled with toughness, streight, desire to win, which also did not come as a surprise to us. Most of all I was pleased with the team spirit. Everyone fought for each other, everyone gave their maximum on the court, and this was the key to victory. I am proud of the guys and congratulate the fans on their victory!
«Astana» head coach — Emil Rajkovic:
- First of all I want to congratulate the opposing team. “Lokomotiv-Kuban” is a very serious contender. Of course we wanted to give a victory to our fans, we tried, the guys fought. But the defense could not hold back sniper Dorell Wright, let him score several key three-pointers. As for the attack, we could not convert our open shots. In any case, nothing terrible happened, we will continue preparing for the next home match against “Enisey”. We will fight!
- “Astana”: Kenneth Horton (22 + 6 rebounds), JJ O’Brien (19 + 5 rebounds), Stephen Holt (17 + 6 gears)
- «Lokomotiv-Kuban»: Dorell Wright (30), Mateus Ponitka (23 + 6 rebounds), Dmitry Kulagin (8 + 10 gears + 6 rebounds)
The last home game within the framework of the regular season of the VTB United League team will take place on April 21 — the capital basketball players will host the Russian “Enisey” basketball club on their hardwood floor. The match will take place on the arena of the Saryarka Bicycle Track, starting at 3:00 pm CET. Tickets for the match are already on sale on the website Ticketon.kz
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