Timofey Mozgov dominated underneath Friday with 20 points and nine rebounds as Russia beat Turkey, 76-73, in the opening night of FIBA Eurobasket in Istanbul. Ex-Knick Alexey Shved finished with 22, including a deep three-pointer in the last minute that won the game.
Mozgov went to the line 17 times in 30 minutes, making 12 as Turkey’s big men couldn’t solve him. He didn’t attempt any three’s but he did take (and miss) a long two. The Nets new center has said Kenny Atkinson wants him to extend his range, but his Russian coach, Sergey Bazarevich, is content to have him dominate underneath.
Working against Semih Erden, Turkey’s veteran center who played a bit in the NBA, the 7’1” Mozgov went 4-of-8 overall. He also had two blocks to go with his nine rebounds, all but one defensive.
The game was hard fought throughout. For Turkey, Cedi Osman, a 6’8” small forward put up a monster line: 28 points, including 3-of-5 from downtown and 13-of-15 at the line; seven rebounds, four assists and seven steals. He’ll play with the Cavaliers this season.