McCollum is back, UNICS won

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23.11.2020

23.11.2020 Weakened by injuries, UNICS managed to beat Khimki.
UNICS returned home exhausted from travel-flights across Europe: Turkey-Poland-Serbia-France in transit through Switzerland and Germany. So Khimki initially had an advantage in freshness. In addition, Okaro White was forced by family reasons to fly home to the United States, Jordan Theodore had not yet reached Kazan, Artem Klimenko and John Holland were injured, Pavel Sergeev did not fully recover from the injury. Almost half of the team.
Anyway, UNICS started the game with the following lineup: John Brown, Isaiah Сanaan, Dmitry Uzinsky, Jamar Smith and Jordan Morgan. UNICS won the first quarter with confidence. Canaan's long-range shot immediately flew, three "three" in a row - 11: 4. The hosts also won the shield, until Greg Monroe came there. Pavel Antipov succeeded as a substitute, having scored from behind the arc with the first touch, 23:11.
In the second quarter, the guests became noticeably more active, McCollum entered the game. At some point, the lead narrowed to 4 points, 29:25. But then the long-range artillery of the hosts started working on time: Antipov, Сanaan, Smith returned the guests to a distance of 9 points, 41:32 following the results of the first half. Everything is logical, rebound 21-18, "three" 7-2, but turn-overs 10: 8. Let's note the debut in the ranks of UNICS striker Alexander Razumov, he came on as a substitute in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Khimki's spurt changed the score from 51:38 to 51:47. And three minutes before the last break, UNICS was leading only "plus three" - 53:50. But the teams left for the last break after Evgeny Kolesnikov's “three”, 59:54.
In the last quarter the game, as expected, intensified, 61:58 after a long-range hit by Alexei Shved. Canaan's elegant passage under the ring - 65:58. The guests' answer is 65:63 in the middle of the quarter. And now it's a draw, 65:65. "Three" from Antipov one and a half minutes before the end - 75:69. The most nervous last seconds. Smith calmly free throws scores for 0-21, 81:76, Canaan puts a beautiful point, 83:76. Victory!!!
   Dimitris Priftis, head coach of BC UNICS: first of all, I would like to thank the players for their victory. Due to all the circumstances that we faced before this game and in general with all the obstacles that we have had to deal with the last five games, I want to say a big thank you to the players. Thank them for their mental strength. Several players missed the game today due to injuries and personal circumstances.
You can't even imagine what our tour was like in these last two weeks across Europe. We had obligations to take tests according to the rules of different countries; we were exhausted. At this time yesterday, we were still sitting on the plane. I say this to once again emphasize what circumstances the players had to face. And why I thank the players so much for their dedication.
Rimas Kurtinaitis, head coach of BC Khimki: I would like to congratulate UNICS on the victory. We fought well. I think the ending was 50/50, we just had no luck with the last throw. The only thing I see is that we had problems with three-pointers. We have a lot of snipers, but today we couldn't score anything at all. And the consequences are such that they lost. We lost to a good team away. Of course, we hoped to win, but at the moment the situation is like this.
UNICS (Kazan) - Khimki (Moscow Region) - 83:76 (25:17, 16:17, 18:20, 24:22). Most productive: Canaan (21), Smith (20), Brown (14), Morgan (10), Antipov (11) - Shved (16), Monroe (15), Mickey (15), Zherebko (10), McCollum (10).