CSKA Moscow defeated Khimki Moscow Region at home, 95-79 (29-22, 30-24, 17-20, 19-13).
CSKA: Aaron Jackson (20+6 ast), Vitaly Fridzon (18), Milos Teodosic (16+9 ast), Cory Higgins (12)
Khimki: Jacob Pullen (14), Nobel Boungou-Colo (13+7 reb), Marko Todorovic (10+6 reb)
Both teams were missing significant pieces: CSKA had to go without guard Nando De Colo, while Khimki’s leading scorer, Alexey Shved, sat the game out due to sickness.
Trailing by 13 at halftime, Khimki rallied early in the 3rd quarter, cutting the deficit to four, 61-57, thanks to Jacob Pullen’s four-point play.
But Milos Teodosic and Aaron Jackson drilled back-to-back 3-pointers, bringing Khimki’s comeback to a grinding halt. Jackson added a layup, stretching CSKA’s lead to 11, 69-58.
Khimki never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way, undone by poor shooting (4-13 to close the 3rd quarter) and multiple turnovers.
40-25 – despite the 16-point defeat, Khimki outrebounded CSKA by 15, including an incredible 20 offensive boards.
Moscow Region simply couldn’t convert its chances, shooting 27-65 from the field (41%).
Aaron Jackson. The American guard played a team-high 25 minutes, finishing with 20 points on 8-11 shooting to go with six assists. Between Jackson’s stellar play and Teodosic (16 pts), Khimki had no chance with Alexey Shved sitting out the game.
CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis:
– We were the better team today and played well enough the entire game to win. After the game against Barcelona, there were only 40 hours and we needed to find energy and focus. Khimki is our rival and an important opponent. It’s a strong team with a good coach. In the locker room, we said that we didn’t play our best game, but we were hot from the perimeter, moved the ball, and recorded 26 assists to 10 turnovers. At the same time, we didn’t do a very good job of making free throws and allowed our opponents to get a lot of offensive rebounds, which indicates we weren’t at full strength. I understand the players. We have a tough calendar and there are a lot of injuries and sickness. That said, both this season and last season, my first year here, when we’ve been missing leading players, the team has shown good basketball and won.
Khimki head coach Dusko Ivanovic:
– CSKA was the better team today. We weren’t able to defend the way you need to in order to beat CSKA. 60 points in 20 minutes is a lot. But this was only our first game against the Army Men. There are a lot of games to go and I think we’ll play better each time. Shved couldn’t play because of a fever. He’s our leader and a very important player for the team, but even if he had been on the court today and didn’t play well on defense, we wouldn’t have had a chance. Although, everything would have been easier with him.
CSKA: December 26 vs. Enisey
Khimki: December 22 at Kalev