Despite erasing a 17-point deficit, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius fell short of victory 79-88 (12-27, 27-16, 21-22, 19-23) in a VTB United League matchup against Khimki Moscow region.
The Lithuanian side stands sixth in Group A with eight victories and eight losses. Meanwhile, Khimki is battling for the first seed and holds a record of 12-4.
Lietuvos Rytas, supported by some ten thousand fans, couldn’t get off to a strong start and were already trailing by double digits with only four minutes played. The deficit grew to 15 until the end of the first quarter.
However, Steponas Babrauskas and Renaldas Seibutis ignited a 12-2 run in the midst of the second quarter and got Lietuvos Rytas back in the game. The Lithuanian vice-champions closed out the first half in style, scoring five points in the last five seconds to cut the lead to only four points.
Though the teams traded leads for the majority of the third quarter, Khimki managed to get away halfway through the fourth. They got off to a 15-2 run and cruised to the victory.
Renaldas Seibutis was the top scorer for Lietuvos Rytas with 14 points. Mindaugas Katelynas added 13, while Nemanja Nedovic contributed 12 points. Janis Blums ended the game with 11.
Paul Davis had a game-high 20 points, while Kresimir Loncar added 15. Vitaly Fridzon finished with 11 points to his name, Kelvin Rivers had 10.