CSKA uses a late run to win in Malaga
CSKA Moscow pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn a hard-fought 80-89 road win over Unicaja Malaga on Friday night. The win improved CSKA to a 7-2 record, in a share of the first place in the standings, while Unicaja drops to 3-6. The two teams were trading leads early in the fourth quarter until Sergio Rodriguez took over, scoring 10 of his game-high 21 points in the final quarter, as CSKA put together a 4-15 run to pull away for good. Cory Higgins netted 14, Andrey Vorontsevich and Nando De Colo scored 13 apiece, and Othello Hunter had 10 points and 7 rebounds in victory. Unicaja’s James Augustine collected 18 points and 9 rebounds against his former teammates. Adam Waczynski netted 15 points, Carlos Suarez had 13, and Ray McCallum finished with 12 in the losing effort.
CSKA stormed out of the gate, scoring the first 7 points, including a runner by Higgins and a triple by Vorontsevich. Another penetration basket from Higgins, and Vorontsevich's second three helped open a 4-14 lead. Alberto Diaz hit from downtown for the hosts, but a three from De Colo provided a 7-19 margin. Waczynski answered with a three-pointer of his own, and then Augustine strung together three baskets from close range for Unicaja, but Hunter dominated the offensive boards and his put-back at the end of first made it 16-27. Higgins had an alley-oop assist and a three-point play to open it to 19-32, but Suarez had a triple, and Waczynski scored 7 points, including a triple, helping cut it to 31-32. The home fans got involved as Rodriguez made a tough runner, but McCallum made a tougher one, 34-36. However, the visitors had a strong finish to the half, with a three-pointer from Vorontsevich, and a pair of close-range baskets from Kyle Hines, making it 39-46 at halftime.
Unicaja kept it close in the third quarter, with Diaz making a runner off the glass and Waczynski sinking a triple, but a three from Higgins and close-range baskets from Vorontsevich and Clyburn opened a 46-55 margin. But Unicaja’s pressure on defense started paying off, with 3 steals and 6 forced turnovers in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter. Three consecutive triples – two from Suarez and one from Salin – tied the game at 55-55. Back-to-back fastbreak layup-plus-fouls from McCallum put Unicaja up 63-57. CSKA stopped the bleeding and a 17-2 run from the foul line, before Rodriguez hit a pair of threes, one at the end of third, and one to start the fourth quarter, giving CSKA a 65-66 lead. After the teams traded baskets, it was Rodriguez with a runner and another triple that made it 72-73 midway through the fourth, before Clyburn and De Colo also hit from downtown. A fastbreak layup from Rodriguez capped a 2-11 run, making it 74-81. Hines and Kurbanov scored inside to open a 9-point margin with 2 minutes to go, a lead CSKA comfortably kept until the final buzzer.
Friday, November 24, 2017