ARTSIOM PARAKHOUSKI 370.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Jerusalem lost its perfect Eurocup record with a tantalizingly tight
87-80 defeat in double-overtime to Khimki Moscow at Malha Arena on Wednesday
night, while Maccabi Haifa claimed its third-straight victory over all
competitions, beating VEF Riga 94-73 in Latvia.
Khimki (2-1) led for much
of the night thanks to its long-distance proficiency, ending the game with 17
three-pointers from 44 attempts (38.6%). Jerusalem (2-1) forced the first
overtime with a late surge, but missed an opportunity to snatch a win at the
buzzer of the extra period and ultimately ran out of steam.
led Hapoel with 23 points, with Derwin Kitchen adding 19 points and Artsiom
Parakhouski contributing 12 points and eight rebounds.
had 20 points, including six threes, for Khimki, with Sergey Monia and Marko
Popovic adding 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, after a tight
first quarter in Riga, Haifa opened a double-digit gap (45-32) by the end of the
first half and dominated after the interval to improve to 2-1 in Eurocup Group
Moran Roth had 22 points and eight assists, with Donta Smith finishing
the night with an impressive tripledouble of 18 points, 16 rebounds and 10
Derrick Nix had 14 points for Riga, which dropped to
At Malha, Jerusalem scored the first three points of the night, but
Khimki replied with an 11-0 run, punishing the hosts from beyond the arc time
and again. Three straight triples, the last two by Popovic, put Moscow in
control and the visitors led 21-13 after 10 minutes of the Group E
Hapoel had no answer to Khimki’s bombardment from beyond the
arc, but always remained within striking distance and was down by just six
points (40-34) at the break.
The Russians scored the first five points of
the second half to move into a double-digit lead (45-34), but Jerusalem would
account for nine of the next 10 points to close to within a single possession
(46-43) and entered the fourth frame confident of its chances of recording an
A 10-2 run, capped by a Kitchen basket, tied the score at
62-62, but Khimki still seemed to be in pole position after Popovic’s jumper
opened a 66-62 lead with just over a minute to play.
never lost hope, and after some poor decision making by the visitors, Kitchen
sent the game to overtime with two accurate free throws with 2.1 seconds to play
Two more Kitchen points from the line gave Jerusalem its first
lead since the first four minutes (72-70), but the American swingman missed a
chance to secure a memorable victory at the buzzer and the contest went into a
second overtime (76-76).
Two consecutive Monia threes put Khimki in the
driving seat at the start of the second extra period and another Koponen triple
(87-78) broke Hapoel hearts after a brave effort.