By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Playing without injured Alexey Shved and just two foreign players, Errick McCollum and Jordan Mickey, Khimki Moscow Region couldn’t do much against CSKA Moscow, which has its own woes but got the easy 97-72 win.
CSKA is learning to live without Mike James and injured Nikola Milutinov, Joel Bolomboy was also hurt and missing, but on the court that was not an issue. Johannes Voightmann and Iffe Lunbgerg with 16 points each led the charge on a balanced offensive effort, Michael Eric added 14 points, and just before the playoffs, CSKA is rolling again. As the German big man admitted: “We need all the games to prepare for the playoffs. We need to get a rhythm. We’ve got some tough times behind us and we’re trying to get our rhythm. We’ve got to get ready as a team, that’s the main point”.
The hosts led by 13 at halftime (47-34) and finished the game in the third period with a partial 29-13 score. Mickey had 16 points for Khimki, McCollum added 14 and Sergey Karasev also scored 15 for the losing side.
As coach Dimitris Itoudis said: “We set the tone from the beginning and kept it up most of the game. I’m not happy with the start of the fourth quarter – we were sloppy, lost our composure, and turned over the ball too much. All due respect to Khimki, they were doing their job and trying to press, but that’s not good for us, we haven’t respected what we had built in the first three quarters. But generally, we were the better team, congratulations to the players for the win. We wanted to play with other people as well, the fact that we have six players with double-digits shows we played a team game, modern basketball. I wanted to play some players who have fewer minutes so they are ready for the playoffs, and with this game, we accomplished home court advantage so congratulations to the team.”
Thanks to this win and a 22-10 record, CSKA sealed the home-court advantage for the playoffs.