The game started with a jived rhythm. Cuts to the paint were interrupted by fouls and players shot free throws. Loko and UNICS got two fouls each after less than 3 minutes of the game. By the mid of the quarter, Lokomotiv got 5 team fouls. Dmitry Kulagin showed great basketball and got 12 points in the period, including a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to two, 17-15, late in the period. It seemed the x-factor worked.
However, Smith responded with a triple, putting UNICS back up by five, setting the tone for the evening.
The home team quickly extended its lead to double digits in the 2nd quarter, highlighted by a Smith dunk that made it an 11-point game, 32-21, with 6:13 remaining in the half.
Lokomotiv simply couldn’t solve Kazan’s offense, giving up 26 in the period to trail by 12 through two quarters.
UNICS never gave the visitors a chance in the second half, finishing the game 16-31 from beyond the arc.
Despite 17 points and nine rebounds from forward Mardy Collins, the Railwaymen only shot 21% from beyond the arc and 39% overall, while getting outrebounded and turning the ball over 15 times.
UNICS improves to 14-1, maintaining its grip on 1st place. Lokomotiv drops into a tie for 3rd place with Zenit at 12-4, and has not won in the League since January 28.