Despite being labeled as clear underdogs for the VTB League semifinal clash against CSKA Moscow, Lietuvos Rytas made the Russians work hard for the victory, but still came up short in the end, losing 72-79 (20-22, 18-19, 14-14, 20-24) in Vilnius.
Lietuvos Rytas will now face Lokomotiv Krasnodar in the third-place game tomorrow, while Unics Kazan will try to challenge CSKA in the title game in Siemens Arena.
With around two minutes left in the game, the Lithuanians were trailing only by single point (68-69), but CSKA leaders Andrei Kirilenko and Milos Teodosic stepped up late in the game, allowing CSKA to go on a quick 6-0, which decided the outcome.
The Russian star Kirilienko, who is reportedly close to signing a three-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, was the top-scorer in the game with 19 points and 7 rebounds, Milos Teodosic hit all 10 free-throw attempts for 13 points and also added seven assists, while Nenad Krstic chipped in with 12 points.
Lietuvos Rytas’ point guard Aleksandar Rasic hit 4-of-6 three-point attempts for a total of 16 points, Predrag Samardziski scored 15, as Tyrese Rice finished the game with 12 for the Lithuanians.