CSKA Dominates Avtodor To Take Russian Title 3-2

CSKA defeated Avtodor 103-93 to capture the Russian basketball championship in Saratov in the final game of a best of five series.

The Red Army team was in control throughout the entire game Sunday, pulling away in the second half after top scorer Valery Daineko (22 points) knocked in a short banker and American Marcus Webb (18 points) slammed in a dunk.

"We knew we needed at least a 10-point lead or else the referees wouldn't have allowed us to win," said CSKA point guard Sergei Bazarevich, who helped spark the Red Army's sixth consecutive post-season championship.

Avtodor captured first place during the regular season, earning home -court advantage in the best-of-five championship series with CSKA. But the army side complained the stadium in Saratov was too small and unsuitable for the playoffs.

The small arena with a junior high school-sized court and referees who favored the home team were two obstacles CSKA had to overcome in the championship game, Bazarevich said

It was aggressive defense that unraveled the top-rated team Sunday, Bazarevich said. Avtodor's top player Yintiras Einikis, who scored 31 points in his team's victory Saturday, was held in check in the final game.

CSKA pulled out to an early 21-10 lead before Avtodor rallied to tie the game at 23 apiece. Another CSKA flurry of points gave the Red Army a 55-48 halftime lead.

Avtodor took its first lead at 67-66 after the game's leading scorer Andrei Maltsev (28 points) nailed a jumper. But as soon as it looked as if Avtodor was ready to surge ahead, CSKA regained its composure with a well-balanced scoring attack that eventually wore down Avtodor.

Sergei Panov added 20 points for CSKA.