2008-09PlayoffsGame 3
March 31, 2009 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 ARENA BEOGRAD
Matjaz Smodis - CSKA MoscowReigning champion CSKA Moscow returned to the Euroleague Final Four for the seventh time in as many years by finishing off a 3-0 sweep of Partizan Belgrade in the Quarterfinal Playoffs with a 56-67 victory on the road. In a do-or-die encounter for Partizan, the hosts could not take advantage of a huge crowd of 21,352 fans at Belgrade Arena. CSKA now has a chance to defend its title at the Final Four at the o2 Arena in Berlin from May 1-3 and collect its seventh Euroleague crown - and third in four seasons. The biggest lead of the first quarter was three points and Moscow had a 5-point lead in the second period. CSKA took control of the game with a 1-9 run to close the third quarter for a 38-52 lead and Partizan would not get closer than 8 points the rest of the way. Ramunas Siskauskas paced the champs with 20 points, shooting 10 for 10 from the lien to extend his successful free-throw shooting streak to 32. Matjaz Smodis added 18 points and Erazem Lorbek netted 10. Novica Velickovic paced Partizan with a career-high 26 points.

Novica Velickovic - PartizanSiskauskas opened the game with the first basket for the guests and Velickovic knotted the score with a hook shot in the lane. After Trajan Langdon's jumper for the defending champs, Velickovic put back an offensive rebound to make it 4-4. Petar Bozic then connected on a triple as Partizan pulled ahead 7-4. CSKA head coach Ettore Messina immediately called a timeout to get his troops to play better defense. Belgrade had already scored more points after a little more than three minutes than in either of its first two first quarters of the games in Moscow. Out of the timeout, Siskauskas found Lorbek for a mid-range jumper. Milenko Tepic's long jumper made it 9-6 before Smodis's long two-pointer from the left wing and Lorbek's layup pushed Moscow back ahead 9-10. The CSKA defense held Partizan scoreless for four straight possessions until Jan Vesely's tough jumper in the lane to make it 11-10. Viktor Khryapa found Siskauskas for an easy basket to give Moscow back the lead before Zarko Rakocevic made one of two foul shots to even things at 12-12. Siskauskas's two free throws were matched by Slavko Vranes's tip-in and Lorbek's foul shot gave CSKA a 14-15 lead after one period.

Stephane Lasme's foul shot started the second quarter and evened the game again at 15-15. Moscow regained the lead on Nikos Zisis's jumper from the right wing and the margin was 5 points on Langdon's three-pointer. The game grew even more intense and both offenses struggled to convert. Partizan's main choice at the offensive end was Velickovic, whose 2 foul shots made it 17-20. Lorbek found a cutting Smodis to reestablish the 5-point advantage before Velickovic knocked down a triple from the right wing. Smodis answered with a three from the right side of his own for a 20-25 cushion. Velickovic continued his assault with a short jumper from the left side and then drained a triple from the right wing to cut the margin to 25-27. Siskauskas's step-back jumper made it a 4-point game but Velickovic dished the ball to Aleksandar Rasic for a three-pointer from the right side again and Partizan was within 28-29. Smodis, though, got an easy layup off a Langdon pass and J.R. Holden made 2 free throws with 5 seconds left in the first half to give the guests a 28-33 lead at the break.

Ramunas Siskauskas - CSKA MoscowSiskauskas’s mid-range jumper started the second half and Lorbek followed with a reverse layup as CSKA upped the lead to 28-37. Velickovic finally got the hosts on the scoreboard with a steal and breakaway dunk, but Lorbek's free throws put the reigning champs back up 9 points. Velickovic put back an offensive rebound and Rasic drained a triple from the right wing to cut the gap to 35-41. And it was 37-43 after Vesely's free throws. But CSKA stepped up its defense and allowed just 1 free throw over the final six possessions for Belgrade. Smodis knocked down a triple from the top of the key and then found Khryapa for an easy dunk and Moscow made 4 foul shots in a 1-9 push to close the quarter and lead 38-52 after three periods.

Partizan grabbed a number of offensive rebounds on its first possession but was unable to convert. The hosts were however able to hit the first basket on Velickovic's break away layup after a Cedomir Vitkovac steal. And the lead was into single digits, 43-52, on Tepic's three-ball from the left wing. Moscow finally got on the scoreboard after nearly four minutes played on Langdon's tough jumper. Velickovic's two layups cut the deficit to 49-57 with four minutes left in the game. But Holden nailed a critical three-pointer from the left wing to push the lead back to 11 points - 49-60. It was still an 11-point game after Vesely's hook off an offensive rebound and Siskauskas's 2 foul shots. Partizan refused to go down without a fight as Tepic drained a triple from the left side. But Smodis and Siskauskas combined to make 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch and send the champs to Berlin for a chance to defend the crown.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Euroleague.net
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Referees: VOREADIS, LAZAROS (GRE), MARTIN, JOSE (ESP), KOROMILAS, ELIAS (GRE)
Attendance: 21352
By Quarter1234
Partizan14141018
CSKA Moscow15181915
End of Quarter1234
Partizan14283856
CSKA Moscow15335267
Partizan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 TEPIC, MILENKO 32:10 8 1/4 2/4     3 3   1       3 2 6
8 MILOSEVIC, STRAHINJA 3:07                              
10 RASIC, ALEKSANDAR 14:13 6 0/3 2/3           1       1 1 3
11 TRIPKOVIC, UROS 27:47   0/3 0/5     3 3     2     4 1 -10
12 VELICKOVIC, NOVICA 34:51 26 9/16 2/5 2/2 4   4 4 2 3     4 4 23
13 LASME, STEPHANE 20:54 2 0/4   2/4 3 5 8 1   2   1 5 4 1
14 ALEKSIC, VUKASIN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 VITKOVAC, CEDOMIR 7:09   0/1 0/1   2   2 1 1       2    
20 BOZIC, PETAR 16:34 3   1/4                   3   -3
22 RAKOCEVIC, ZARKO 12:43 3 1/2   1/2 1   1   1 1     2 1 1
24 VESELY, JAN 19:00 6 2/2   2/2 1   1           5 1 3
33 VRANES, SLAVKO 11:32 2 1/2     3 1 4 1   1     5    
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 56 14/37 7/22 7/10 16 14 30 7 6 9 0 1 34 14 28
        37.8% 31.8% 70%
Head coach: VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 10:22 2 1/1 0/1                   2 2 1
7 KEYRU, VICTOR 2:57     0/1           1            
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 31:50 18 3/4 2/3 6/8 2 5 7 1 2 1     2 9 30
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 29:45 20 5/6 0/2 10/10 2 3 5 3   2       7 30
10 HOLDEN, J.R. 29:38 5 0/4 1/3 2/3   2 2 1 1         1 3
12 LORBEK, ERAZEM 29:45 10 2/5 0/2 6/8 1 5 6 4   3 1   2 9 18
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 30:42 9 2/3 1/3 2/2   1 1 1   1     1 2 8
23 SHVED, ALEXEY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
24 KAUN, SASHA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 19:31 3 1/1   1/2   3 3 1   2     4 4 4
44 MORRIS, TERENCE 15:30         1 1 2           3   -1
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 67 14/24 4/15 27/33 7 21 28 11 4 9 1 0 14 34 95
        58.3% 26.7% 81.8%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE

Head Coaches

VUJOSEVIC, DUSKO
Partizan
"We've had excellent results in the Euroleague so far. We managed to beat even stronger teams than us, but we were defeated in the end. CSKA is a team of extreme quality with a great coach and experienced players. We were out of concentration. I think we could have played better in these three games. But one thing that makes me happy is that the players improved during the season. There is no free school and the best basketball school is the Euroleague."
MESSINA, ETTORE
CSKA Moscow
"It was very tough game tonight. My players were brave and they played with heart all the way. This is the seventh time we’ve reached Final Four and we are very happy about that. I wish luck to Partizan. It is a real big thing to go to the Final Four. There we play our game - defense and rebounding."

Players

TEPIC, MILENKO
Partizan
"We are getting better. We are motivated to play at highest level until the end of season. Congratulations to CSKA. I am sorry we lost 0-3. It would have been nice to play one more game here in Belgrade."
SMODIS, MATJAZ
CSKA Moscow
"It was great night tonight. The most important thing is that we controlled the rebounding all 40 minutes. I was in shape. Partizan was close to us all the way and I think their fans are the best. We struggled hard in all three games with Partizan. We started the series hard and each ball was so important to us. That was the key to our win."
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