CSKA Moscow, Russia vs. «Lokomotiv-Kuban» Krasnodar, Russia

Game statistics




Lokomotiv-Kuban claims Victory Day!

In Game 1 of their quarterfinal series, Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar knocked off CSKA Moscow on the road, 87-83. The Army Men got off to a fine start, jumping ahead by 22 points. But they couldn’t hold on, as the Red and Blue got confident too early and let the Railwaymen come storming back to steal the win in the fourth quarter. Loko earns a crucial victory on the holiday, stealing home-court advantage from the Muscovites.

Prior to the game, VTB United League President Sergey Ivanov presented Alexander Kaun with his Defensive Player of the Year award. Inspired, the center began the game aggressively, shaking off his defenders twice under the basket. Overall, the reigning champions looked terrific, bulldozing through the opposition. Every player in blue posed a threat with the team sharp offensively, while also immoveable on their own half of the court. Lokomotiv wasn’t ready for the shock and looked helpless, unable to prevent a 20-6 CSKA run to start the game.

Nothing changed after the short break. Vladimir Micov and Nenad Krstic faced little opposition, knocking down two shots apiece, as Lokomotiv dropped into a gaping 28-6 hole. But Loko finally found its rhythm, waking up midway through the second quarter, following another Evgeny Pashutin timeout. Derrick Brown came back on the court and played well, while former Army Man Anton Ponkrashov also chipped in to get Lokomotiv back in the game. Brown woke his team up with a few powerful dunks, but the best news for Pashutin came in the transformation on defense. Having made life difficult for the home team on offense, Krasnodar cut the deficit to 10 points. The shift in momentum came suddenly, though the half finished off with the two teams trading buckets. Sonny Weems’ 3-pointer at the buzzer made it a 44-33 game, advantage CSKA, heading to halftime.

After switching sides, the tempo slowed, though it did nothing to lessen the excitement on the court. Pashutin’s squad largely benefitted, with Marcus Williams leading the way thanks to several ridiculous 3-pointers. Loko, though, was hurt by early foul trouble. The Army Men were persistent driving to the basket and earned numerous trips to the free throw line. Krasnodar’s offense in the third quarter worked like a charm, but the visitors couldn’t get much closer. Another uncanny 3-ball from Williams moments from the end of the quarter, however, did make it a six-point game, 67-61.

The fourth quarter mimicked the first, only with opposite results. Now Lokomotiv began to cruise, with Krunoslav Simon tying the game, 69-69, on two 3-pointers. The Railwaymen soon took the lead, as the Red and Blue struggled with turnovers, leading to Lokomotiv fast breaks. After Williams drained a ‘3’ and got fouled, it looked like Loko would not be stopped (81-74).

Turning Point
The game did get close again in the final minutes, but CSKA was unable to catch back up all the way. Ettore Messina hardly made any substitutions. Milos Teodosic led the offense, but the Serb’s rushed shots weren’t falling. Lokomotiv didn’t blink, converting on several key possessions and holding onto the advantage. Krasnodar secures an incredible win, having erased the 22-point 2nd quarter deficit, and takes the home-court advantage.

Star of the Game
Marcus Williams. Lokomotiv trailed by 22 points on the road against the reigning champions, but stil won. That’s a shock, just like Williams’ play, as he caused nightmares for CSKA’s defense. Marcus converted six of eight shots from beyond the arc, with nearly every shot a mini-miracle. The American continually shot off-balance or while being closely guarded. He scored 22 points in the end, just what his club needed!

Stat of the Game
22 – CSKA’s biggest advantage during the game.

CSKA head coach Ettore Messina:
- I'd like to congratulate our opponent, which believed that it could get back in the game, having trailed early. As for our play, it's hard to give commentary. How to explain, when your team allows the opponents to score six points in the first quarter and 81 in the next three? We couldn't use Viktor Khryapa or Aaron Jackson. Both were feeling pain from previous injuries. Viktor said that he could play, but I saw how he was bothered the leg that was hurting him before, how he held himself back and wasn't as quick. I didn't want to risk our captain ahead of the Final Four. Aaron had a serious problem with his leg. Without those two guys, we would have completely lost control of the game and tomorrow I expect we'll leave both in reserve. We were completely rudderless psychologically and that's where my greatest disappointment lies - I wasn't able to change anything. But, nothing new happened. We've had slip-ups like this during the season before. 

Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Evgeny Pashutin:
- Congratulations to our players and the whole club. This is an historic win for Lokomotiv. We defeated CSKA in Moscow for the first time. We prepared to not allow their shooters open shots, but in the first quarter we didn't manage to do it. We weren't on time on defense and couldn't score ourselves. That's where the 20-6 deficit to start came from. But after that players started to do their job. Everyone who took the court played very smart on defense and on offense. There weren't rushed or unwise decisions. In the second half, we demonstrated the level of a Euroleague playoff team. Right now there shouldn't be any euphoria. The second game's tomorrow. We need to figure things out, what mistakes we made, so that the typ of collapse we had in the first quarter isn't repeated. 

Top Performers
CSKA: Nenad Krstic – 16 points, five rebounds; Sonny Weems – 12 points, five rebounds; Milos Teodoisc – 12 points, five assists.

Lokomotiv-Kuban: Marcus Williams – 22 points; Derrick Brown – 20 points, five rebounds; Krunoslav Simon – 16 points; Aleks Maric – 12 points, six rebounds.



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