James Leads Lukoil To Brink Of Final Four



5. Dominic James (Lukoil Academic)
Dominic James put Lukoil Academic on his back with 17 points against hosts KRKA

Lukoil Academic put themselves on the cusp of the EuroChallenge Final Four with a 78-72 road win over Krka Novo Mesto.

Dominic James scored 17 points and Bruno Sundov added 14 for Lukoil, who can advance with a win at home on Thursday night.

In a close battle, Lukoil took an edge late in the second quarter and pulled away after the break to lead 50-39 on Sundov's dunk.

But Krka were not going to let them have it so easy and went on an 8-0 run - sparked by back-to-back baskets from Smiljan Pavic - to make it 47-50.

The Slovenian side continued to chip away and pulled ahead, 56-54, on Jure Balazic's lay-up just before the end of the third period.

They had their biggest lead at 60-54 two minutes into the third quarter, but immediately saw that halved by a three-pointer from Sundov as Lukoil came back.

A lay-up from James put the visitors back in front, 63-62 and they did not trail again.

Green did the crucial work from the free-throw line, nailing four straight shots to give them a 73-65 edge with 2:21 to go.

Three-pointers from Goran Ikonic twice trimmed the lead to four, first at 73-69 and then 76-72, but Novo Mesto could get no closer and Brandon Heath iced the win from the charity stripe.

Heath finished the game with 12 points for Lukoil.

Ikonic led Krka with 20 points while Pavic had 13 and Edo Maric added 12 and eight rebounds.


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