2017-18Regular SeasonRound 30
April 05, 2018 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 MEGASPORT ARENA

CSKA overcomes slow start, Zvezda in regular season finale

First-place CSKA Moscow ended the regular season with a 24-6 record after overcoming double-digit deficits to down visiting Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 92-81 on Thursday. CSKA, who played without Nando De Colo and lost Kyle Hines to a leg injury at the start of the second quarter, had to overcome several double-digit deficits, including 37-47 soon after halftime. But Othello Hunter fueled a 14-2 run to erase the deficit before Leo Westermann and Sergio Rodriguez took over in the fourth quarter as the hosts secured a victory. Vitaly Fridzon netted 20 points to lead CSKA and Cory Higgins had 18 with 5 assists. Hunter and Rodriguez finished with 12 apiece in victory. Ognjen Dobric had 14 points, and Taylor Rochestie added 13 for Zvezda which finished the season with 11-19 record. Dejan Davidovac, Milko Bjelica and Stefan Jankovic scored 10 apiece in the losing effort.

Zvezda scored the first 9 points of the game as Mathias Lessort opening the run with a dunk and Bjelica had a three-pointer. CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis changed the entire starting lineup after only 2 minutes and 5 seconds, but that didn't stop Davidovac from pairing a three-pointer with a three-point play as the visitors opened a 6-17 lead. Soon, however, Higgins got CSKA going with a huge driving dunk that was followed by a three-pointer from Andrey Vorontsevich. Rochestie knocked down a triple for Zvezda that made it 17-24, but the hosts scored the last 6 points of the first quarter, with Fridzon following a three-pointer with a buzzer-beating baseline jumper to make it 23-24. Fridzon put the hosts in front by opening the second quarter with a three-pointer, then made 3 free throws for a 29-24 advantage. Jankovic snapped a 12-0 CSKA run with a close-range basket and followed it with a shot from the arc. Alen Omic continued Zvezda's answer with a dunk and a three-point play before Jankovic nailed a corner triple as the visitors went in front 31-37. Fridzon and Rochestie traded baskets, so did Higgins and James Feldeine, before Bjelica ended the half with a buzzer-beater from his half of the court, giving Zvezda 37-44 lead at halftime.

On the opening possession of the third quarter, Dobric knocked down a triple to restore a double-digit margin for Zvezda, but Hunter and Victor Rudd combined to score the next 8 points to get CSKA within 45-47. Hunter and Leo Westermann sparked another run, this time 6-0, to put CSKA back in front, 53-51. Three-pointers from Fridzon and Higgins made it 61-55, but Zvezda answered with a 0-8 run, including triples from Feldeine and Branko Lazic. Vorontsevich had the last word from downtown, however, to give CSKA 64-63 edge going into the fourth quarter. Westermann had a pair of baskets and an assist for Vorontsevich that quickly opened a 73-65 CSKA lead in the fourth quarter Dobric hit a three-pointer for the visitors to cut within 75-70 midway through the fourth. But Clyburn scored 6 consecutive points and Hunter's basket made it 83-72 with 2:40 to go as CSKA closed out the game.

Vitaly Fridzon - CSKA Moscow - EB17
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: PEREZ PEREZ, MIGUEL (ESP), ROCHA, FERNANDO (POR), PEERANDI, RAIN (EST)
Attendance: 7209
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow23142728
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade24201918
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow23376492
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade24446381
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 RUDD, VICTOR 14:48 6 1/3   4/4 1   1 2 1       1 2 9
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 24:14 20 2/4 3/3 7/7 1 2 3 2 2 1     1 6 29
9 WESTERMANN, LEO 27:42 6 3/4       3 3 5 1 4     1 3 12
11 ANTONOV, SEMEN 2:22                         2   -2
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 20:34 12 3/4 2/4     4 4 3   2   1 3   10
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 19:51 8 1/1 2/3   1 1 2           2 1 8
21 CLYBURN, WILL 19:32 8 4/10     2 2 4 2   1     1 1 7
22 HIGGINS, CORY 27:36 18 5/10 1/3 5/7   1 1 5 2 1   1 3 8 20
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 1:34 2 1/1       1 1               3
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 11:45   0/1 0/1     1 1     1   1 4 2 -5
42 HINES, KYLE 5:18   0/1       2 2           1    
44 HUNTER, OTHELLO 24:44 12 5/7   2/2 2 1 3 3 1 1     1 1 16
Team           2 1 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 92 25/46 8/14 18/20 9 19 28 22 7 12 0 3 20 24 109
        54.3% 57.1% 90%
Head coach: ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
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
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 KESELJ, MARKO 1:51           1 1               1
7 DAVIDOVAC, DEJAN 18:33 10 2/2 1/2 3/3   1 1 2 1 1     3 5 14
10 LAZIC, BRANKO 16:06 5 1/1 1/1     1 1 2 1   1   3   7
13 DOBRIC, OGNJEN 22:38 14 1/1 4/6   2 1 3 1 1       1 2 18
14 FELDEINE, JAMES 20:52 5 1/5 1/3     1 1 3   5     3 2 -3
16 JANKOVIC, STEFAN 18:26 10 1/2 2/4 2/2 1 7 8 2   1 2   2 1 17
22 ROCHESTIE, TAYLOR 22:21 13 4/5 1/2 2/2   1 1 5 2 1     3 2 17
23 OMIC, ALEN 23:14 8 3/5   2/3 2 1 3 1   4     4 3 4
26 LESSORT, MATHIAS 16:46 6 3/5   0/1 1 1 2     3     3 2 1
31 ENNIS, DYLAN 17:39   0/3 0/2         2 1 2         -4
32 JOVANOVIC, NIKOLA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
51 BJELICA, MILKO 21:34 10 2/4 2/3   1 3 4 2   1     2 3 13
Team           1   1               1
Totals 200:00 81 18/33 12/23 9/11 8 18 26 20 6 18 3 0 24 20 86
        54.5% 52.2% 81.8%
Head coach: ALIMPIJEVIC, DUSAN

Head Coaches

ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
CSKA Moscow
“Congratulations to my players for closing the regular season with a win. Good performance overall, considering the circumstances, and the bad start. We wanted to be more aggressive, try to stretch the floor with a good pressure, good wingspan and good lineup we had, but it did not work out. After a very bad start, we had to start working, and working and working. We managed to take a lead in the first half, but it was not enough, they went into halftime up by 7 after that half-court buzzer-beater. In the second half, we were sharing the ball better, we found better ways to find open looks and actually be effective. That’s a part of the game, we have to read every game differently. After that, we dictated tempo with our offense in the second half, which we won 55-37. This is not the end of the season. We achieved the goal of getting first place, and I am looking forward to find out who will be our opponent in the playoffs. Kyle Hines is very important for the team, and his injury has to unite us. I told the players that in 2016 we also had a lot of injuries, and we won the title because the injuries united us. Hines is very important for us, but obstacles we are fighting will unite us, and some other players will step up.”
ALIMPIJEVIC, DUSAN
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
“It was a pretty good game for us. It is a very important moment. We did not surrender the entire game. Also, I had to be careful and preserve the energy of my players, because we have a finals series of the Adriatic League playoffs coming up, which is the most important part of the season for us. This was a good game; we played with huge confidence on offense. We played really good defense in the first half. We had energy to play against CSKA, which is not easy. We controlled the rebounds, had many assists; those are all good things we did. I wish CSKA all the best and good luck in the playoffs.”

Players

FRIDZON, VITALY
CSKA Moscow
“We began this meeting not as good as we wished. After Zvezda’s 0-9 start we began to play more aggressively, we were in our home arena and we had ­to show excellent basketball for our fans. We needed to be rehabilitated after the loss from Zalgiris and play only to win. Crvena Zvezda showed themselves very well this season, they won against the favorites and battled a long time for the playoffs, showing good results with a new coach.”
RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO
CSKA Moscow
“In the EuroLeague all the games are strong and difficult. Today we showed we are ready no matter what. It was not important for the standings, but important for confidence and to keep on working. There are games where you are not very good in the beginning. They played very strong in the first quarter, and we were not ready. But we made it up in the second quarter, and played a much better second half.”
HIGGINS, CORY
CSKA Moscow
“We just wanted to get back to playing our brand of basketball. We wanted to bounce back from our last poor performance in Kaunas. At halftime, we made some adjustments, and we were able to show that on the court.”