Oscar Torres´ put back lay-up as time expired in the fourth quarter gave Khimki a dramatic 63-61 victory over Dynamo and allowed his team to advance to the EuroCup championship game.
With the game tied at 61 and 19 seconds remaining, Khimki diagrammed a play for the last shot of the game.
Melvin Booker´s foul line jump shot with four seconds remaining missed and a tussle for the rebound followed just to the right of the basket.
|Oscar Torres hitting the game-winning basket for Khimki|
“It was luck how I came away with the ball,” said Torres.
The Khimki players and bench mobbed Torres at center court to celebrate the semi-finals victory.
“I didn´t even have time to realise if the basket was good because Gianmarco Pozzecco and my other teammates were jumping on me,” said Torres.
“This is the biggest basket I have scored in Europe. It´s an incredible feeling.”
“That´s Oscar Torres for you,” said Booker, who finished with 10 points. “He is so quick and athletic. This doesn´t surprise me at all.”
“This is basketball,” said Dynamo coach Fotis Katsikaris after the crushing defeat.
“I said yesterday the game could come down to one play and that´s what happened.”
Torres came up with another huge basket towards the end of the fourth quarter.
Trailing by one, the Venezuelan native hit a clutch three-pointer from the right wing to put Khimki up 61-59 with 33 seconds to go in the game.
“I had an open look and I wanted to take advantage of it,” said Torres.
Jamal McCullough responded by hitting on a driving lay-up to tie the game at 61 with 19.2 to go, setting the stage for Torres.
Both teams opened the game slow.
Khimki was 3-of-11 from the field in the first quarter, committed 11 turnovers and yet still led 12-10 after one thanks to a 16-4 rebounding advantage.
For the game, Khimki out-rebounded Dynamo 42-27.
“You look at the stats and there were some very strange numbers for both teams,” said Katsikaris.
“The difference in rebounding was huge and we lost the game on an offensive rebound.”
In the second quarter, Khimki got it going behind Booker and the bench play of Ademola Okulaja and Gianmarco Pozzecco, who both tallied seven in the first half and nine for the game.
Following a Torres turnaround jumper, Booker hit a tough runner as time expired in the first half to give Khimki a 33-20 lead.
“We were really nervous in the first half,” said Katsikaris. “We lost a lot of rebounds from our mistakes and our defense wasn´t producing any fast break opportunities.”
Khimki closed the first half on a 13-4 run.
Dynamo was able to get back in the game thanks to a 14-0 run in the third quarter.
Damir Miljkovic´s lay-up with 1:09 to go in third gave Dynamo a 44-42 lead.
Khimki finally snapped the run on a put back from Ruben Wolkowisky and a Pozzecco basket with two seconds remaining in the third that tied the game at 46 going into the fourth.
Alexander Petrenko was the high man for Khimki with 17, while Torres finished with 10.
The victory was even more sweet for Khimki as it allowed them to earn some degree of revenge after being knocked out of the EuroCup semi-finals last year to Dynamo.