CSKA Moscow downs the champs in Madrid
CSKA Moscow scored 32 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for an 87-96 victory over defensing Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Real Madrid on Wednesday night at Barclaycard Center in the Spanish capital. The victory was CSKA’s fifth in a row and ensured it at least a share of first place in Group F by the end of the week with a 7-2 record, while Madrid slipped to 5-4 and will be tied for third place. Kyle Hines led the way with 16 points in 7-of-9 shooting. Milos Teodosic added 15 points, Vitaly Fridzon scored 13, Nando De Colo recorded 12 points and 8 assists and Cory Higgins netted 10. Gustavo Ayon led Madrid with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals, Sergio Rodriguez scored 15, Sergio Llull tallied 14 points and 10 assists and Felipe Reyes added 13 points. CSKA went into the fourth up 2 points, but a back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Fridzon, De Colo and Higgins created a 12-point margin. Madrid rallied to within 5 in the final minute, but CSKA held on.
First quarter: Nothing separates these teams early
After a quiet first minute, Nikita Kurbanov’s pull-up jumper and Llull’s free throws opened the scoring. Ayon scored off an inbounds play for Madrid’s first lead, but Joel Freeland’s put-back followed by a layup made it 4-6. Llull found Ayon for a big slam. Andrey Vorontsevich drilled a triple, but Ayon’s jump hook and a Reyes free throw evened the score at 9-9 midway through the quarter. Vorontsevich buried another long jumper to put the visitors ahead. Rodriguez came off the bench and soon let a fast break, which Reyes finished with a layup. Reyes again split free throws, after which Kurbanov made 2 of his own. Llull split free throws with two minutes left in the quarter to tie the game at 13-13. Teodosic’s crosscourt pass left Higgins open for a three, but Andres Nocioni’s finger roll and a deep three by Rodriguez gave Madrid the lead. However Victor Khryapa’s tip-in after Teodosic’s nifty drive in the final seconds of the quarter made it 18-18.
Second quarter: Hines makes impact inside as CSKA jumps in front
Teodosic fed Hines for a slam and Khryapa then did the same. August Lima’s tough finish and foul brought Madrid back. As the game grew physical, Nocioni rejected Hines at one end to start a break that Rivers finished with a triple seconds later. However Hines scored twice more to give the visitors a 23-26 edge. Nocioni blocked another shot and Rodriguez added a finger roll, but Khryapa found Hines for an easy slam. Jeffrey Taylor knocked down a three to tie the game at 28-28. But Higgins split free throws and Teodosic nailed a triple to put the visitors in front. Teodosic found Fridzon for an alley-oop layup and a 6-point lead, which prompted Madrid to call timeout. Taylor dunked on the fast break. After some great CSKA passing, Khryapa beat the 24-second clock with a hook shot. Fridzon took advantage of an offensive foul by Reyes with a three-pointer. Ayon scored inside and drew a foul. He missed the free throws, but Reyes got the rebound, drew a foul and sank the resulting 2 shots. Teodosic and Llull traded threes to end the half at 37-42.
Third quarter: Madrid closes gap in physical, intense stretch
Reyes’s basket-plus-foul sent Freeland to the bench with 4 fouls in the first minute of the second half. Hines and Ayon traded baskets inside and then Vorontsevich and Jaycee Carroll each made threes. Kurbanov drove for a layup and foul. A second three by Carroll brought the Madrid fans to their feet. After Kurabanov found Hines for a ferocious slam over Ayon, Hines was called for an unsportsmanlike foul and a technical foul, which led to free throws by Ayon and Carroll. Then Reyes capped a 6-point possession to tie the game at 52-52. De Colo stepped up with a three – his first points – to put CSKA back ahead. Llull converted a tough layup and De Colo countered with free throws. It was a 1-point game after Reyes sank free throws, but soon Hines and Teodosic made foul shots, too. Then Rodriguez netted a pair for the line to make it 58-60 with two minutes left in the quarter. After Khryapa split free throws, Llull used a burst of speed to get a layup. Higgins nailed a three, but Rodriguez’s tough layup made it 62-64.
Fourth quarter: A series of threes helps CSKA pull away for good
Teodosic and Rodriguez traded threes before Teodosic added a layup. Fridzon’s offensive rebound led to 2 free throws and a 65-71 lead. But Teodosic was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Nocioni, who made the resulting free throws. Then Ayon added a foul shot. But Fridzon buried a three at the other end and De Colo followed suit to give CSKA a 9-point lead. After a Madrid timeout, Higgins made CSKA’s third three in a row. Rodriguez tried to rescue Los Blancos with a three, but Fridzon stole a Rodriguez pass and nailed another three in transition for a 71-83 lead. Llull hit a tough jumper, but Madrid could not get any traction. Teodosic extended the lead to 13 when he made 3 free throws. A tip-in by Ayon and floater by Carroll gave the Madrid fans hope. However Freeland’s basket with two minutes left all but secured a CSKA win. Free throws by Ayon and Reyes were matched by a De Colo layup. Madrid refused to lay down and after baskets by Taylor and Reyes, an Ayon steal and Llull basket made it 85-90 with 47 seconds left. Khryapa split free throws, but after a Madrid timeout, Carroll missed a three and De Colo sank free throws with 33 seconds remaining. A three-point play by Khryapa was the finishing touch as CSKA left the court with another big win.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016