By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Over one month undefeated in all competitions, CSKA Moscow claimed yet another victory, 96-87, over Khimki Moscow Region Friday. Mike James fell one rebound short of a triple-double.
“We are in a good mood right now,” he noted after the game, “We are playing well together and we got a little streak going. So I think we played well today, played some defense, shared the ball really well, and I made some shots. I got some shots to go.”
James dominated the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 13 contest. His career-high 36 points and the ten assists were game-highs, while the nine rebounds matched his personal-best in Europe’s premier club continental competition.
“Mike was amazing tonight, maybe one of the best games from one player that I ever saw in my life, so congrats to him,” said teammate Nikola Milutinov, “But also the other guys really tried, fought, hustled, and we deserved to win tonight.”
“Outstanding performance, definitely, from Mike; he didn’t have a triple-double for one rebound,” added Dimitris Itoudis, “He had 8 defensive rebounds in the first half and after he rebounded one more time, so I am going to go on him because he relaxed on that and didn’t rebound a 10th time.”
Darrun Hilliard followed with 15 points and Milutinov posted an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double. Daniel Hackett missed the Leningradka Derby at the Mytishchi Arena due to illness.
“Definitely, I think we outrebounded them and hustled,” mentioned the winning head coach referring to the 43-36 rebounding edge, “We managed, pretty much. We had some similarities. We were dominant and controlled the first half but then in the third quarter, Khimki was coming, playing strong and more physical. We showed that we desperately wanted to win this game.”
Alexey Shved going for 26 points off 10/19 field goals did not prevent the fifth consecutive EuroLeague loss and the drop to 2-11. The team coached by Rimas Kurtinaitis is only 1-6 at home.
“We gave a lot of effort and energy but some decisions were not right. First, we let them grab 17 boards under our hoop. Then we made 16 turnovers, and I think it’s impossible to win with these numbers,” noted Kurtinaitis, “I don’t even speak about 11 missed free throws. These numbers speak about the whole game. Other things were not bad. The guys tried to come back and we were close to getting back, but at that time we made some turnovers. Then the game was done.”
Khimki was actually the last team to take down its Moscow rival, on November 9 in a VTB United League encounter. Itoudis’ side has since won nine in a row in all competitions and is also riding an eight-game streak focused on EuroLeague tilts.
The visitors improved to 10-3 will host Anadolu Efes Tuesday and Zenit Saint-Petersburg Friday aiming to further extend the undefeated run.
Khimki will be on the road next week matching up with FC Barcelona Wednesday and LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Friday.