Playing in front of a sold-out Basket Hall (7,500 fans crammed into Krasnodar’s home arena to watch Sunday’s showdown), Lokomotiv-Kuban left no doubt down the stretch, soaring to a 15-point win over EuroLeague club Khimki.
Mardy Collins was masterful in the victory, scoring 22 points, dishing out 10 assists and pulling down seven rebounds. He keyed an electric Lokomotiv offense that finished the game with 21 assists and scored 93 points.
The turning point in the game came midway through the 4th quarter after Khimki forward James Anderson pulled the visitors within three on a layup.
Lokomotiv responded with a 12-0 run, holding Khimki scoreless for five and a half minutes. Australian swingman Ryan Broekhoff was instrumental in the game-ending surge, draining two 3-pointers, while Frank Elegar added the exclamation point with a dunk that put Lokomotiv on top by 13.
With the victory, Lokomotiv take over sole possession of 1st place at 11-1. Khimki drops into a tie for 5th place with Avtodor, 6-5.
The Loko captain was Sasa Obradovic’s most reliable option throughout the game. In one of the biggest games of the regular season, Collins recorded career highs in rebounds (7), assists (10) and efficiency rating (31) to go with 22 points.