Khimki clips Hap J’lem in double-overtime

Reds drop to 2-1 in Group E as Mac Haifa improves to 2-1 in Group G with 21-point rout of Riga.

ARTSIOM PARAKHOUSKI 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
(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.
Josh Duncan led Hapoel with 23 points, with Derwin Kitchen adding 19 points and Artsiom Parakhouski contributing 12 points and eight rebounds.
Petteri Koponen 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 G.
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 assists.
Derrick Nix had 14 points for Riga, which dropped to 2-1.
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 encounter.
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 upset (57-52).
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.
However, Hapoel 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 (68-68).
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.