Photo Gallery: Khimki vs CSKA

Chatzivrettas vs Ershov (photo G.Philippov)
Khimki prepared for the third game of the series, as it was the critical game. The stadiums new sound system played the suburban teams hymn. The video-tron showed Khimki making shots from everywhere, but in order to piece together enough highlights, they had to take clips from as far back as when Andrei Kirilenko was playing.

The Army teams starting lineup saw a change. Viktor Khryapa once again started at small forward. Thanks to him, CSKA got the first possession, as Khryapa won the opening tip against 220-centimeter center Denis Yershova. CSKAs American center Viktor Alexander scored the first four points. But the visitors werent able to break open a big lead. It was an even battle nine minutes into the game. But in the final minute of the period, CSKA went on an 8-0 run to close out the period with a 22-16. In contrast to the previous game, Greek shooter Hatzivrettas finally found his rhythm, hitting for 19 points on the evening.

After the first quarter, Dusan Ivkovic put a fresh squad on the floor, substituting Sergey Monya and Alexander Bashminov. With 5 minutes gone in the quarter, CSKA held a 12-point lead (30-18), but three straight baskets by Khimki, including 3-pointers by Soloveva and Kuchinsky, cut the CSKA lead to 30-26. After a timeout, Sergey Monya quickly answered from behind the 3-point arc. CSKA slowly began building momentum. In the final minute of the half, Hatzivrettas knocked down a 3-pointer, giving CSKA another double-digits lead (41-30). However, the Greek guard fouled Kurtenko and was replaced by his countryman. With Papalukas playing the point - and dishing of 10 assists for the game - CSKA began to take control in the third quarter. After his 3-pointer with the shot-clock winding down and free throws by Bashminov, the Army team came close to a 20-point lead (58-40). And CSKA built their largest lead - 19 points - of the night with three minutes gone in the fourth quarter, when Hatzevrettas drilled his 5th 3-ball of the night to give the Army team a 76-57 lead.

With four minutes to play, Khimki made their run. Vadeyev and Kurtenok hit back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting the lead to 8. After a basket by Demina, CSKAs lead became even more tenuous - 84-78. But Papalukas helped seal the victory. The Greek point guard twice stole the ball from Alexei Vadeyev, ending any hopes the home team had of winning the game. The final score was 89-78 in favor of CSKA, giving them a 2-1 lead in the series.

Dusan Ivkovic, PBC CSKA head coach:

CSKA was stronger tonight. We controlled the game for 37-38 minutes. Im basically happy with my teams performance. But Id still like to congratulate Khimki on a good game. The suburban team plays great. And without their leaders - Savkov and Petrenko - by the way. But that shouldnt stop CSKA. Nonetheless, were better. That is an objective fact. An I dont want the games with Khimki to be seen as a warmup for the Euroleague Final Four. They dont have anything to do with one another. First of all, the Khimki defense is nothing like the Barcelona defense. Secondly, were playing right now in the semifinals of the Russian Championship. When this series is over, then well start thinking about how to play in Spain.

Sergei Yelevich, BK Khimki head coach:

Im very please that my team is battling with a giant like CSKA. But Krasnikov was disappointing tonight. He scored 26 points on Saturday, and he didnt show up tonight. We could have won. Today, and in the first game. But there is just something missing. You all know quite well that my team isnt as talented as CSKA, but we play, first and foremost, as a team. Thats where our strength lies. Minimum goal now? The team had a goal: to finish in the top five. Weve accomplished that. Now we just want to win tomorrows game. I think that if CSKA can get past us, they will probably go on to win the championship.
Alexander vs Kurtenok (photo G.Philippov)
Victor Khryapa (photo G.Philipov)
J.R. Holden (photo G.Philippov)
Sergey Monya (photo G.Philippov)
Chatzivrettas vs Ershov (photo G.Philippov)
Darius Songaila (photo G.Philippov)