Barcelona remains perfect after handing CSKA record-setting loss
FC Barcelona Regal kept its perfect Turkish Airlines Euroleague record untouched and handed CSKA Moscow its worst Euroleague home loss with a dominating 60-81 victory in a clash of undefeated teams on Thursday in Moscow. Barcelona now holds sole possession of the first place in Group D with a 5-0 record, while CSKA drops to 4-1 and into second place. Marcelinho Huertas and Juan Carlos Navarro each scored 8 points in a crucial 5-19 third quarter run, which Barcelona used to open up a 15-point lead after three quarters. The visitors then played lockdown defense the rest of the way to cruise to big victory. Navarro led the way with 21 points – including 4 three-pointers – and Huertas finished with 12. Erazem Lorbek added 15 points and Nathan Jawaii chipped in with 10 points plus 7 rebounds for Barcelona. Nenad Krstic led CSKA with 18 points, Milos Teodosic scored 12 and Anton Ponkrashov netted 9 in defeat. CSKA’s previous worst loss was 73-90 against Tau Ceramica (now Caja Laboral) in April 2002.
First quarter: Teodosic leads mini-run for a slim CSKA lead
Ponkrashov split free throws on the opening possession and Viktor Khryapa hit a turnaround jumper that made it 3-0 early. Navarro’s signature La Bomba shot opened Barcelona’s account before Sasha Kaun scored twice inside for hosts, but Lorbek answered with a layup and a three-pointer. Ante Tomic made a hook shot for first Barcelona’s advantage, 7-9, but the lead was short-lived. Teodosic ignited a CSKA run; After sinking a triple from the right corner, Teodosic then assisted for easy layups to Ponkrashov and Krstic, and finally scored a driving layup himself making it 18-13. Barcelona came back through Lorbek in the low post and with Jawaii scoring inside to make it 19-17 at the end of first quarter.
Second quarter: Navarro heats up to give Barca haltime edge
Krstic hit a layup in the crowd to start the scoring in the second quarter, but aggressive defenses got the best of both teams as baskets did not come often. Andrey Vorontsevitch and Pete Mickeal traded basket inside and Sonny Weems hit a long jumper to make it 25-21. CSKA did not make a use of Jawaii’s unsportsmanlike foul, and C.J. Wallace hit a triple at the other end that cut it to 26-24 and started a 2-9 run that also included a floater from Huertas and a triple from Navarro. Another Navarro floater put Barcelona up 30-32. Khryapa immediately hit a jumper and Teodosic scored a layup-plus-foul to make it 35-32, but a 0-6 run with Navarro making another floater and Victor Sada scoring twice inside gave Barcelona as 35-38 halftime advantage.
Third quarter: Defense, three-pointers put visitors in control
Huertas hit 2 free throws to start the second-half scoring, and inside buckets from Tomic and Lorbek kept Barcelona at a 5-point lead. CSKA scored on four straight possessions, including a jumper and a dunk from Krstic that got brought the hosts within 43-44, however back-to-back triples from Navarro and Lorbek opened up a 44-52 Barcelona advantage. Before Vladimir Micov ended CSKA’s scoring drought, Navarro extended the lead into double digits; his triple made it 46-59. Barcelona’s stiff defense allowed only one field goal rest of the quarter while Huertas hit all 4 of his free throws to make it 48-63 going into the final 10 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Barcelona’s defense closes out a big night
It took CSKA one minute to score in the fourth quarter as Ponkrashov made a fastbreak layup and Krstic scored in a crowd, but Navarro hit his fourth triple of the night and Jawaii threw down a monster dunk to open up a 16-point lead. Navarro’s 2 free throws and a triple from Victor Sada put Barcelona up 54-73 as it was clear the Spanish champs would be coming out on top in this game. CSKA was held scoreless for nearly six minutes, and by that time Joe Ingles and Jawaii had already extended the lead to the biggest margin of the night, 54-77. In the final two minutes of the game, Krstic and Vorontsevich tried to cut into the deficit, but Jawaii replied with an alley-oop slam to put the finishing touch on Barcelona’s big night.
Thursday, November 8, 2012