2017-18PlayoffsGame 1
April 17, 2018 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 MEGASPORT ARENA

CSKA holds off Khimki in tight opener

CSKA Moscow held on for a tough 98-95 victory over crosstown rival Khimki Moscow Region on Tuesday night in the opener of their best-of-five Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs series at Megasport Arena in the Russian capital. Khimki led for most of the first three quarters, but was held scoreless for the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, while Leo Westermann and Othello Hunter led an 11-0 CSKA run to take the lead for good. Those two played big roles in the absences of Kyle Hines, who missed the game to injury, and Nando De Colo, who did not play in the second half. Sergio Rodriguez paced six CSKA scorers in double figures with a playoff career-high 22 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting plus 5 assists. Hunter posted 18 points and 8 rebounds, Will Clyburn added 14 points and De Colo, Semen Antonov and Cory Higgins netted 10 points apiece. Alexey Shved led Khimki with 22 points and 6 assists, Egor Vialtsev followed with a career-high 21 points, Anthony Gill added 14, James Anderson 13 and Thomas Robinson 12.

Nikita Kurbanov scored the first basket of the playoffs for the hosts before Gill got Khimki on the board with a three-point play and a layup. Rodriguez hit a pair of threes for CSKA, the second of which tied the game at 10-10 through three minutes, but a two-handed slam by Gill and Stefan Markovic's offensive rebound that led to a Malcolm Thomas slam prompted a CSKA timeout with the visitors up 4. After the stop, Markovic nailed his second three of the night for a 10-17 Khimki lead. Even after a monster alley-oop from Hunter, Khimki remained in control with a triple by Vialtsev and a basket-plus-foul by Shved, which capped a 2-13 Khimki charge. Hunter drew fouls on consecutive possessions, which resulted in 2 free throws for him and a put-back basket by Clyburn to get CSKA within 18-25. The margin was back in double figures with Vialtsev's second triple. De Colo stepped up for CSKA, but another Vialtsev triple and an Anderson three on the buzzer made it 25-34 after 10 minutes. Despite having his first shot of the second quarter rejected by Robinson, De Colo hit his second for a three-pointer. However Shved matched him as Khimki remained in control. CSKA regained its composure with baskets by Clyburn, Higgins and Rodriguez to make it 35-39 midway through the second quarter. Rodriguez and Vialtsev traded threes, but Rodriguez drained another and Vitaly Fridzon split free throws to trim the gap to 44-46. Shved connected from downtown and Gill rattled in 3 points from the line as the visitors regained control. Marko Todorovic's layup gave Khimki a 46-54 halftime advantage.

CSKA scored the first two baskets of the second half through Clyburn and Hunter. A Clyburn put-back got CSKA within 2, but Gill's spin move and basket-plus-foul kept Khimki ahead. Free throws by Antonov again got CSKA within 2, but Shved responded from downtown for a 57-62 Khimki edge midway through the third quarter. Shved took a seat after committing his fourth foul and Antonov knocked down 2 more free throws before hitting a three-pointer that knotted the game at 64-64. After a Khimki timeout, Clyburn split free throws to give CSKA its first lead since the opening minutes. Robinson stepped up for the visitors with a three key buckets to push Khimki back ahead, 68-70. Westermann free throws – his first points of the game – tied the score, but Anderson hit a three and sank free throws to give Khimki a 72-75 lead at the end of the third quarter. Westermann hit a three on a broken play to tie the game and Khimki's mounting foul trouble saw Anderson called for his fourth foul, which resulted in Higgins free throws and a 77-75 CSKA lead. Hunter extended the CSKA run with 4 free throws, while Charles Jenkins became the first player to foul out. Westermann made it an 11-0 run with 2 more foul shots as CSKA kept Khimki scoreless for three minutes until a Vialtsev three-pointer made it 83-78. After a timeout, Shved hit a long jumper to make it a one-possession game. Free throws by Clyburn and Hunter extended the margin to 88-80, however Shved responded with a three-point play. Rodriguez's fifth three of the game gave CSKA an 8-point lead with three minutes remaining. Khimki, through Vialtsev free throws and a three by Shved, rallied to within 93-90 with 1:35 to play. Khimki would get no closer as Hunter scored a key basket inside with 24 seconds left and Westermann all but iced the game with free throws with 5.5 seconds to go.

Sergio Rodriguez - CSKA Moscow - EB17
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Attendance: 7384
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow25212626
Khimki Moscow Region34202120
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow25467298
Khimki Moscow Region34547595
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 DE COLO, NANDO 9:08 10 1/3 2/3 2/2       1       1   1 8
3 RUDD, VICTOR 14:52     0/1   1 3 4     1     1   1
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 8:18 1 0/2 0/1 1/2   1 1         2 3 1 -6
9 WESTERMANN, LEO 16:52 9   1/5 6/6   1 1           1 4 9
11 ANTONOV, SEMEN 18:21 10 0/1 1/1 7/8 2 1 3 2     1   2 4 16
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 27:06 22 3/5 5/8 1/2   2 2 5 1 1     1 2 24
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 12:00   0/1     1   1 2     1   2 1 2
21 CLYBURN, WILL 27:44 14 4/6 0/2 6/8 4 5 9 1 1 3     3 6 19
22 HIGGINS, CORY 31:52 10 3/9 0/1 4/5 1 5 6 4 2 4   2 2 7 13
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 7:38 4 1/1   2/2   1 1           4 1 2
44 HUNTER, OTHELLO 26:09 18 5/6   8/8 5 3 8 2   1 1 1 4 6 28
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 98 17/34 9/22 37/43 16 24 40 17 4 11 3 6 23 33 119
        50% 40.9% 86%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Khimki Moscow Region
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 ROBINSON, THOMAS 13:59 12 5/8   2/3 5 1 6       1   2 4 17
1 SHVED, ALEXEY 32:13 22 4/8 4/12 2/2   5 5 6 2 5   1 5 6 18
6 VIALTSEV, EGOR 26:36 21 2/2 5/9 2/2   3 3 2   1     4 3 20
8 ZAITCEV, VIACHESLAV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 MARKOVIC, STEFAN 25:31 6 0/1 2/5   1   1 5   2   1 4   1
12 MONIA, SERGEY 11:07     0/2               1   3 1 -3
13 GILL, ANTHONY 28:53 14 5/5 0/2 4/6 1 1 2 1   1     2 4 14
19 TODOROVIC, MARKO 8:20 2 1/1       1 1       2     1 6
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 ANDERSON, JAMES 14:43 13 0/2 3/4 4/4 1   1 1     2   4 2 12
22 JENKINS, CHARLES 20:57   0/2 0/2   1   1 2   1   1 5   -8
23 THOMAS, MALCOLM 17:41 5 2/2   1/3 1 1 2 2 2       4 2 7
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 95 19/31 14/36 15/20 11 14 25 19 4 11 6 3 33 23 86
        61.3% 38.9% 75%

Head Coaches

CSKA Moscow
"I feel good because we took the first win. So congratulations to the players. That was a good fight in the end. As you can see, we won the last three quarters. We had a very bad start. With all due respect to all our opponents, and of course to Khimki, which is a great and talented team, we gave up a lot of open looks and they scored a lot of threes – 14 three-pointers on the road. It's a big number. Despite that, we talked a lot in the locker room and also in the timeouts and the players deserve all the congratulations because they realized they have to rise to the moment, we need to rise to the occasion, and to take it from there and face obstacles that we face during the season and in certain games like what happened, we had to play unfortunately without Nando, without Kyle. It's not an excuse. It's the obstacles you face during the game and during the season. So congratulations to my players. They realized. We played much better defense. We contested most of the shots. Already Khimki was in the game. When you come as an underdog or a team that wants to surprise or upset is totally different than when you protect the home-court advantage and especially in the first game. It's 1-0. We said from the beginning to all those that though it was going to be a walk in the park, it's not, it never will be."
Khimki Moscow Region
"It was a typical playoff game for the EuroLeague at this level. Good basketball for both teams. For us I think we had chances to win this game. Something that we asked before the game was to fight and be competitive and we were. But we had chances to win this game if we were more consistent in some parts of the game like defensive rebounding, which was a key for this game. We gave them a lot of second chances and they punished, I think they made 22 points in the second half because of this."


CSKA Moscow
"Good to get a win. 1-0 right now. We still have a lot of series to play. They came out and played tough like we expected them to. And we’re just glad we got the win. We gotta build on this. Build on the things we did do well and just go from there."
CSKA Moscow
"They made the majority of their shots. We have to make adjustments and be ready from the start for Game 2. I think every game is going to be very intense, very physical, very competitive. We have to expect more of the same, make our adjustments and go from there."
CSKA Moscow
"We feel great, but we know it's the first one. Let's see how it goes with the injury to Nando and get ready for Thursday's game. I felt good, but the team had to react after a very bad first quarter. We have to work on that and be ready for the next game because they are going to come with the same intensity and we have to face that."
Khimki Moscow Region
“What we did was a part of the plan. Unfortunately, we came up short tonight. [In the end] we lost some offensive rebounds that were a big part of the game tonight, something we have to go back and fix to win the next game. We have to put more effort in; the guards have to get more rebounds to help the bigs. We just have to go and fight to get it done."
Khimki Moscow Region
"This is real playoff basketball that started right now. There is no right to make mistakes. Today we showed great basketball for 39 minutes. We gave CSKA a fight, but in the end fell a little bit with some mistakes. I think we just didn’t have luck. If we had scored just one more shot, we would have won. All the guys fought, everything was fine, and we proved that we could play with CSKA. Now it does not matter whether the first place plays with the eighth, as only physical strength and fight matter. Most importantly is that we played without downs and had actually executed what coach said. Nevertheless, I congratulate all the guys on a good game. I think everyone liked it. However, there is no win for us, so we failed and this is an important point. The series goes on with a 1-0 lead for CSKA, but it’s not over yet. In two days we will have another game, and I hope in the end we will not have such mistakes like today. We’ll try to win."
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