Milutinov scores season-high, CSKA beats ALBA

2022-02-04T19:43:41+00:00 2022-02-04T20:36:49+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

04/Feb/22 19:43

Nikola Milutinov was a force inside the paint for CSKA.

By Eurohoops team/

Nikola Milutinov had his highest-scoring performance with the CSKA Moscow jersey with 21 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds as his team defeated ALBA Berlin 91 – 72  at home to bounce back to wins in EuroLeague.

CSKA led for the whole game after the first six minutes with ALBA trying to stay competitive despite falling behind multiple times by double figures. With the score 74 – 63, and eight minutes to play, the hosts made an 11 – 2 run to widen the margin and remain at a distance for the rest of the match.

Milutinov shot 7-10 from the field, making the most particularly of Alexey Shved’s passes. The Russian star completed the game with 13 assists to go with his 10 points and six rebounds, making up for going 0-6 from beyond the arc. He also reached the 3,000-point mark over his EuroLeague career.

[The connection with Alexey Shved] was amazing today,” Milutinov said. “I think we really played good together. Not only us but the whole team played a really good game. Every player who came to the court gave something to the team. And this is why we won the way we won tonight.”

Shved also commented on his partnership with Milutinov. “We played good and really moved the ball. Niko [Milutinov]is a smart player who can make good screen-and-rolls,” Shved said. “He catches the ball really well so it’s always easier to play together with him. Today, I am just happy to win. [About reaching 3,000 points] I feel great. We have a lot more games, we cannot stop after this one. Just prepare for the next one.”

Luke Sikma posted 15 points plus nine rebounds and Maodo Lo scored 10 (on 3-10 shots) and dished out six assists for ALBA.

“We were playing good basketball until the last quarter when we were not as strong physically as them,” ALBA coach Israel Gonzalez said. “They played with more energy, were stronger. The last quarter was the difference.”

CSKA improved to 14 – 9 and is currently fifth in the standings, while 16th-placed ALBA dropped to 7-16.

Some self-sacrifice for the win

CSKA assistant Andreas Pistiolis, who serves as head coach in light of Dimitris Itoudis’ absence (illness), complimented two of his players in particular for putting on some additional effort by playing in the game through pain: Will Clyburn and Joel Bolomboy.

“In general we were good,” Pistiolis said. “We executed our game plan. I really need to give credit to my players. They went through a lot today to play and they gave their heart. They executed everything we prepared in a short practice. Even though I don’t want to single out individuals, I really want to congratulate a little bit extra Will Clyburn and Joel Bolomboy, who played through immense pain and sacrificed themselves for the team. And that is really important for us.”