CSKA Advances, Khimki Misses Podium

CSKA Moscow defeated Khimki Moscow Region in Game 3 of the playoff semifinals, 95-92. Like Game 1, Moscow Region came up a little short in the final minutes. Trailing by one with six seconds remaining, the home team failed to foul, allowing Viktor Khryapa to score on a layup and end Khimki's season. The Army Men advance to the playoff finals, where they await the winner of the UNICS - Zenit series.

The series moved to Khimki with the home team needing a win to avoid elimination. The Yellow-Blues came out aggressive in the 1st quarter, pushing the tempo. But Dusko Ivanovic's men struggled to get good looks, shooting 0-4 from beyond the arc to start the game.

Despite playing without Nikita Kurbanov, CSKA was disciplined, picking up a nine-point lead through 10 minutes thanks to production from Nando De Colo and Aaron Jackson.

Khimki was much sharper in the 2nd quarter, knocking down six of nine long-range attempts. Tyrese Rice scored 13 points in the period, while the big men found success on the offensive glass. Thanks to a 33-21 advantage in the quarter, Khimki led 48-45 at halftime.

CSKA benefited from the break. With Milos Teodosic leading the way (13 points), the Army Men regained the lead, 76-71, at the end of three quarters.

Worn out from the frenetic pace, both teams struggled to score much of the 4th quarter, setting up a hard-fought, exciting finish.

Turning Point
With 45 seconds remaining, Tyrese Rice managed to score on a contested layup and cut the deficit to one, 89-88. CSKA extended the next possession as long as it could, before Viktor Khryapa found Teodosic under the basket for two huge points. Rice scored again, but De Colo responded at the line, converting two free throws. With six seconds to go, Alexey Shved stepped up and connected twice from the charity stripe, but time ultimately ran out on the home team. On the next play, Khrypa was able to get free for a layup and Shved's desperation heave at the buzzer missed the mark, giving CSKA the 95-92 win.

With the loss, Khimki misses out on the finals and finishes 4th in the final Russian club standings, behind CSKA, UNICS and Zenit.

Star Player
Milos Teodosic. The final game of the series had a lot in common with the first. As in Game 1, Teodosic was the star. Khimki couldn't stop the Serbian guard, who finished with 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Stat of the Game
36 - Khimki's 3-point shooting percentage. Dusko Ivanovic's men paid dearly for their inconsistency from beyond the arc.