CSKA one step closer to title 4  june  2015

VTB United League
CSKA Moscow defeated Khimki Moscow Region in Game 1 of the playoff finals, 89-62. The Army Men jumped out to a big lead in the 1st quarter, taking advantage of Khimki's weakened frontcourt by attacking the paint. The Red-Blues led by 17 points after 10 minutes and never let Khimki get back into the contest, seizing a 1-0 advantage in the series.
The VTB United League finals drew a big crowd to the USH CSKA and the fans treated to plenty more than just the action on the court. The LUKOIL Fantasy League winner received a gift card for 2000 liters of gasoline, while the top Fantasy League and Prediction Contest entrants had a shooting contest during halftime to decide who would take home a Samsung Galaxy Tab. And, prior to the 4th quarter, the Relay of Kindness held a small ceremony on the court.

CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis also received his Coach of the Year award from the league's president emeritus Sergey Ivanov before tip-off.

CSKA had to play without Sonny Weems, while Khimki was missing Ruslan Pateev and James Augustine. The Army Men wasted no time attacking the paint. Alexander Kaun scored four points in the first two and a half minutes and Khimki quickly got into foul trouble (including two for Paul Davis). Rimas Kurtinaitis called a timeout and made frequent substitutions, but CSKA continued to pull away, thanks in part to a 14-14 start at the free throw line. Kyle Hines was also very effective off the bench. Khimki's frontcourt simply didn't have any answers for the powerful American center. Hines scored 12 points in the opening period, helping CSKA to a commanding 32-15 lead.

Five quick points from Marko Popovic to start the 2nd quarter gave Khimki some life, but the spurt proved short-lived. CSKA settled down defensively, dominated the glass (25-12 in the first half) and got production from MVP Nando de Colo to add to the lead by halftime, 53-34.

Turning Point
CSKA won the first meeting between these two teams during the regular season by jumping out to a quick lead in the 1st quarter. Khimki faced an even stiffer task on Wednesday. Exhausted by the five-game series with Lokomotiv-Kuban and weakened by injuries, the visitors could do nothing to challenge the Army Men. Milos Teodosic and Andrey Vorontsevich's threes at the start of the 3rd quarter got CSKA off to a strong start in the second half and the home team went on to make it a 25-point lead through 30 minutes.

CSKA would win comfortably, opening up a 1-0 series lead. Khimki, of course, bounced back from its loss in the regular season by nipping CSKA at the buzzer when the two teams met a few months later. We'll see what happens in Game 2 on Friday night.

Star of the Game
Kyle Hines. CSKA took care of business in the 1st quarter. Hines was the star, scoring 12 points in four minutes. He couldn't be stopped, even when he was fouled. His most memorable play came when he dribbled the ball the length of the court and laid it in for two points.

Stat of the Game
27 — CSKA's margin of victory.

CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis:
— I want to congratulate my players. We were the better team today. We set the tone on defense from the start. We were focused and made the right decisions. We forced our opponent to commit 15 turnovers, while they had only four steals. On offense, we went into the paint and converted our opportunities. Khimki is still a strong team and evidently gave a lot of energy in the series against Lokomotiv. We are up 1-0 and expect our opponent to get some reinforcements from players that were injured. We'll prepare for a challenging Game 2.

Khimki head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis:
— Congratulations to CSKA and coach Itoudis. They played a very good game. The outcome of the game was decided in the 1st quarter. After that, it was just a matter of how much CSKA would win by. As far as my team goes, they played without energy or desire. It's evident we expended a lot of energy in the series with Lokomotiv.

It's good that that the series format allows for a day of rest and preparation. Augustine might be available, even though he hasn't played for a month. We don't plan to give up. The score in one game makes no difference. We don't think we're out of this.
Top Performers
CSKA: Kyle Hines — 17 points; Nando de Colo — 17 points; Alexander Kaun — 13 points; Andrei Kirilenko — eight points; Milos Teodosic — seven points, six assists; Aaron Jackson — five points, five rebounds, five assists.

Khimki: Petteri Koponen — 17 points; Marko Popovic — 12 points; Victor Claver — 11 points, five rebounds.
Source http://www.vtb-league.com/en/news/cska-one-step-closer-to...