Spartak Win Thriller To Stay Perfect



5. Dominic James (Lukoil Academic)
Dominic James came up with a game-high 25-point perfomance but it was not enough for Lukoil to avoid defeat

Spartak Saint-Petersburg stayed perfect in Eurochallenge Group I in thrilling fashion as they topped second-placed Lukoil Academica 86-80.

Spartak had to come from behind late on after an amazing 20-0 Lukoil run in the fourth quarter changed the game dramatically.

Spartak looked like cruising home to victory after Evgeny Kolesnikov's lay-up had given them a 69-56 lead at the start of the fourth-quarter.

But Dominic James' back-to-back dunks sparked the turnaround.

James, who scored 14 of his 25 points in the run, finished what he started with a pair of free throws that made it 76-69 with 3:39 to go.

But that was not the end of the drama as Spartak responded with a run of their own.

Aleksey Kotishevskiy was fouled on a three-point attempt and sank all his shots to the cup the gap to four, and baskets from Patrick Beverley and Petar Popovic then levelled the scores at 76-76.

Their run extended to 10 unanswered points on Beverley's three-pointer before he added another three pointer.

James went to the line for two, making it 80-78 with 34 seconds left, but Antic split a pair before Beverley made two more free throws to stretch the lead to five, 83-78.

Pero Antic then added two more to all but seal the win 19 seconds from time.

Bozhidar Avramov got two points back for the visitors, but Alexander Korchagin had the final say, splitting a pair of free throws at the line to make it 86-80.

Beverley finished with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Antic had 13 points, and Henry Domercant and Anton Ponkrashov had 12 each.

Aside from James, Devin Green and Damjan Stojanovski were the only Lukoil players to score in double figures with 10 each.


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