CSKA Cruises In Saratov

The Army Men took care of business against one of the league's hottest teams, knocking off Avtodor at a sold-out Kristall Sports Palace.

CSKA and Avtodor traded road wins last season, meeting for the first time in more than a decade. Once among Russian basketball's most heated rivalries, Sunday's game featured a fascinating matchup between 1st-place CSKA and a resurgent Avtodor. The visiting Army Men had won 11 straight entering the contest, while Saratov boasted a six-game winning streak, rising to 5th in the standings. While the home team had everyone healthy, CSKA had to play without big men Joel Freeland and Pavel Korobkov.

The visitors controlled the opening period, slowing the tempo and scoring efficiently in the halfcourt. By taking away the fast break and limiting Avtodor's 3-point attempts, CSKA effectively neutralized the league's most explosive offense and enjoyed a 20-13 advantage at the end of the 1st quarter.

Avtodor improved on offense in the 2nd quarter, but CSKA guard Milos Teodosic matched the home team shot for shot, finishing the first half with 17 points. He was helped by Andrey Vorontsevich, who knocked four 3-pointers in the first half, giving the Army Men an eight-point advantage at halftime.

Cory Higgins stepped up in the 3rd quarter, scoring 11 points in quick fashion. Teodosic and Vorontsevich also continued to have an impact. At the end of the third period, the visitors enjoyed a commanding 67-48 lead.

Needing a miracle, Avtodor failed to get one in the 4th quarter. CSKA continued to dictate the tempo, cruising to a 19-point win, the team's 12th-straight victory in the league.

Star Player
Milos Teodosic. Despite losing Nando De Colo to a twisted ankle, CSKA's backcourt was dominant in this game. Teodosic finished with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and one steal in 25 minutes.

Stat of the Game
72 - CSKA's defense only gave up 72 points. Saratov had averaged 88.3 per game over its last six entering Sunday's showdown, but the team struggled to solve CSKA's defense in this one.