Higgins sends CSKA Moscow back to the Final Four

2018-04-27T21:19:07+00:00 2018-04-27T22:30:06+00:00.

Dionysis Aravantinos

27/Apr/18 21:19


Once more the “Army Team” goes to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four after winning 3-1 the series against Khimki Moscow Region, despite an amazing game by Alexey Shved.

By Eurohoops Team / info@eurohoops.net

The final score was an 89 – 88 for CSKA Moscow over Khimki Moscow Region thanks to a made shot by Cory Higgins that decided the outcome. It was a game ultimately won on details, with Khimki coming back from a 16 points deficit (60-44) thanks to the best personal performance of the season, courtesy of Alexey Shved.

Even without injured stars Nando De Colo and Kyle Hines, the duo of Higgins (20 p.) and Semen Antonov (13 p.) made things happen for the “Army Team” during the first 20 minutes of action. Andrey Vorontsevich added 15 points and crucial shots in the last period, while Sergio Rodriguez tied the score at 87 with the two most crucial free throws of CSKA in the game.

For the losing side, Alexey Shved scored 36 points and reached a unique milestone as he made more than 100+ three-pointers in one year. To be exact his finished the game with 107 made threes in the 2018-19 EuroLeague season. The 36 points are a season-best for the EuroLeague and a personal best for him and also the eight made threes are the second best performance in the history of the playoffs, behind the nine made threes of Saulius Stombergas back in 2001.

It was obvious from the get-go when they build a 17-10 lead in less than five minutes of play, that coach Dimitris Itoudis’ players were firing on all cylinders. CSKA scored 32 points (11/18 FG) in the first period and even went up by 15 points (54-39). At halftime, the guests had a comfortable 44-57 lead as Higgins (14 p.) and Antonov (10 p.) were scoring from everywhere.

During the second half, Khimki tried to get back in the game. They did it and cut the deficit to six points (69-63) after a furious 11-0 run with two minutes left in the third period. The last quarter started with CSKA Moscow leading by six (71-65) and a three by Stefan Markovic making it a three-point game (71-68), but the guests answered with two quick threes by Will Clyburn and Vorontsevich (77-68). CSKA went on to an 11-0 run (79-82) with Vorontsevich scoring one more three.

However, Khimki didn’t leave the fight. With three minutes left, the hosts cut the lead to two (83-81) and ultimately to one point (85-84) after a big three by Sergey Monia. Tha play set the stage for Shved who gave to Khimki the lead with one more three (87-85). Rodriguez tied the score from the free throw line, Anthony Gill made one of two (88-87) and CSKA had possession in the last 20 seconds. Higgins made the shot and Khimki with five seconds left didn’t beat the buzzer according to the refs in a peculiar finale.

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