LaMarr Greer sparked a second-half comeback as BC Kyiv knocked off Dynamo St Petersburg 63-61 on Tuesday to leave the defending champions in serious danger of crashing out of the FIBA EuroCup.
Greer scored all 12 of his points in the second half as the Ukrainians swept both their Group I games from the Russian side, who have now lost three of their last four games.
Goran Nikolic led the way for Renato Pasquali's Kyiv with 15 points while Dusan Kecman added 13 points.
|LaMarr Greer weighed in with 12 points for Kyiv|
"Today's game seemed more like a Final Four championship game than an ordinary round robin contest," said Kyiv coach Renato Pasquali.
"I am glad that we managed to change the flow of the game when things did not look good for us. Better free throw shooting and controlling the boards when it mattered the most allowed us to hold on to the win."
The tense encounter started sloppy as neither team could muster much offence early and Dynamo led 19-12 after one period.
Miljkovic's three-pointer gave St Petersburg a 26-16 lead early in the second and another trey by the Croatian made the lead 10 points again - 34-24 with 2:30 remaining. The Ukrainians were able to close to 34-28 at half-time.
Dynamo scored the first four points of the second half to re-open a 10-point advantage. But then Greer stepped up.
The American knocked down two three-pointers and scored eight points as Kyiv went on a 10-2 run to get back in the game, 40-38.
Dragan Lukovski's lay-up with 2:24 in the third gave Kyiv their first lead since 1-0 and the Ukrainians held a 48-46 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
St Petersburg scored the first five points of the fourth. But the Ukrainians answered back with a 10-2 run helped by three-pointers from Greer and Kecman.
Nikolic's jump-shot made it 60-54 with four minutes left. But Kyiv struggled to close the game at the free-throw line. Lukovski, Greer and Kresimir Loncar combined for just three of eight free throws in the final 2:40 to give St Petersburg a chance to get back in the game.
Andrey Ivanov buried a three-pointer with 48 seconds left to pull the defending champions to within 63-61.
Loncar then missed both of his free throws with 11 seconds left and was relieved to see Kelly McCarty miss a potential game-winning three-pointer with seven seconds.
"This was a very important game for both teams, that's why it took so much effort to get the win. We were in control during entire first half, but we committed too many mistakes in the 3rd quarter. And these mistakes were made by the players who have so much experience. I did not expect it from them," said Dynamo Coach Fotis Katsikaris
Unfortunately for us, Kyiv turned out to be the stronger team. We will now have to concentrate on the domestic championship."