James, Strelnieks fire CSKA past Fenerbahce
In a battle of true Turkish Airlines EuroLeague giants, CSKA Moscow defeated Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 88-70 in the Russian capital on Friday. CSKA improved to 6-2 in the standings, joining a six-way tie for first place, while Fenerbahce dropped to 2-6. Mike James led CSKA with 31 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting. Janis Strelnieks added 23 points while making 4 of 5 from downtown for the winners. Kostas Sloukas paced Fenerbahce with 20 points while Derrick Williams added 19 for the guests, who were without superstar guard Nando De Colo. James and Kyle Hines shined early, allowing CSKA to take a four-point lead, 21-17, after 10 minutes. Sloukas and Williams helped Fenerbahce get within 24-23 early in the second quarter but Daniel Hackett, Kosta Koufos and an unstoppable James carried CSKA to a 39-34 margin at halftime. Strelnieks drilled 3 triples after the break to boost CSKA'S lead to 64-49 BEFORE James hit 5 shots from deep in the fourth quarter to keep CSKA out of trouble until the final buzzer.
James scored 5 points around Darrun Hilliard's three-pointer for a quick 8-2 CSKA lead. Tarik Biberovic sank A jumper and Sloukas followed a triple with a three-point play as Fenerbahce surged ahead 8-10. Hines stepped up with a tip-in and a reverse layup for the hosts, but Williams struck from downtown and Biberovic added a driving basket for a 12-15 score. Hines dunked next, igniting a 7-0 run that Strelnieks capped with a fastbreak layup as CSKA climbed back in front before Sloukas and Strelnieks fixed the score at 21-17 after 10 minutes. Hilliard struck again from the arc in the second quarter but Williams, Nikola Kalinic and Leo Westermann filled a 0-6 Fenerbahe run to get within 24-23. Strelnieks and Hackett got to the basket to boost CSKA's margin to 30-23. Kostas Koufos added a floater to the difference but Luigi Datome stepped up to bring Fenerbahce within 32-28. Williams with a layup and Datome a jumper soon made it a two-point game, 34-32. Williams took over with an alley-oop dunk but James beat the halftime buzzer with a triple that restored a 39-34 CSKA margin. Strelnieks buried a three-pointer right after the break and James gave the hosts their first double-digit lead, 45-34. Ali Muhammed answered from downtown and Williams brought Fenerbahce a bit closer, at 47-40. Jan Vesely and Kalinic tried to change things for the guests but Strelnieks struck twice from beyond the arc and added a three-point play for a 58-49 CSKA lead. Hines scored around the basket before an unstoppable Strelnieks hit another triple that broke the game open, 64-49, after 30 minutes. Nikita Kurbanov of CSKA bettered Kalinic's jumper with a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. James also struck from downtown but Biberovic and Sloukas kept Fenerbahce within 70-59 with over 6 minutes left. Koufos downed a jump hook, James insisted from beyond the arc and Hackett downed a fastbreak layup that made it 77-59, sealing the outcome as Fenerbahce never recovered.
Strelnieks had one of the best games of his EuroLeague career. He finished with 23 points by making 4 of 6 two-pointers, 4 of 5 triples and 3 of 3 free throws. He added 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 29 in just 24 minutes off the bench.
Fenerbahce managed to get within 52-46 midway through the third quarter before Strelnieks found plenty of answers for CSKA with a couple of three-pointers and a wild basket-plus-free throw. He got help from Hines and Hilliard to break the game open, 64-49, at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams took the same attempts from downtown, 28, but Fenerbahce hit just 7, or 25%, while CSKA downed 13 for 46.4%. CSKA also dominated the boards, outrebounding Fenerbahce by 39-31.
Friday, November 15, 2019