CSKA gets huge road win in Barcelona
CSKA Moscow bounced back from recent losses by thrashing host FC Barcelona 67-96 at Palau Blaugrana on Friday. CSKA improved to 7-4 in the standings while Barcelona dropped to 8-3. Mike James led the winners with 14 points. Darrun Hilliard added 13, Nikita Kurbanov and Kyle Hines each had 12, while Janis Strelnieks and Johannes Voigtmann got 10 apiece for CSKA. Brandon Davies and Nikola Mirotic led Barcelona with 19 points each and Adam Hanga had 10 for the hosts. Voigtmann stepped up early to give CSKA a 6-10 lead but Mirotic and Pierre Oriola fueled a 7-0 run that allowed Barcelona to get a 20-18 lead after 10 minutes. Joel Bolomboy and Strelnieks rescued CSKA, then an outstanding Kurbanov allowed CSKA to get a 38-51 margin at halftime. CSKA kept excelling on defense after the break and found new go-to guys in Daniel Hackett, Andrey Voronstevich and Hilliard to seal the outcome, 50-76, at the end of the third quarter. Barcelona kept trying but CSKA had cruised to a well-deserved road win.
Hines and Mirotic traded jumpers to get their teams going, then Hanga scored in penetration for a 4-2 Barcelona lead. CSKA ran its offense through Voigtmann, who followed a layup with a triple for a 4-7 edge. Hanga and Kurbanov exchanged dunks, then Rolands Smits hit a jump hook to get Barcelona within 8-10. Mirotic struck from downtown and Cory Higgins added a driving layup, but Hilliard and an unstoppable Voigtmann restored a 13-15 CSKA lead. Mirotic and Davies fueled a 7-0 run that Oriola capped with a three-point play for a 20-15 Barcelona lead. A three-pointer by Hilliard fixed the score at 20-18 after 10 minutes. CSKA's backup frontcourt, Bolomboy and Vorontsevich, joined forces to give the guests a 21-23 edge early in the second quarter. Davies followed a tip-in with a jumper but Semen Antonov and Strelnieks answered for a 25-27 CSKA lead. Bolomboy scored down low, Strelnieks sank a triple and James found his first points to boost the guests' lead to 28-35. Higgins ignited the crowd with a big dunk, then got help from Mirotic and Delaney to keep Barcelona within 34-37. Kurbanov followed a dunk with a three-pointer and Hines soon made it a double-digit game, 36-46. Kurbanov struck again from downtown and Hackett added a layup to boost CSKA's lead to 38-51 at halftime. Mirotic took over with 5 quick points soon after the break to get the crowd involved at 43-51. But James and Kurbanov led a 0-6 run that kept CSKA way ahead, 43-57. James struck from way downtown, Hackett scored again and Vorontsevich sank a jumper that made it a 16-point game, 48-64. Hackett and Vorontsevich kept pacing the guests, Bolomboy scored down low and Hilliard sank a buzzer-beating three-pointer to break the game open, 50-76, after 30 minutes. The outcome was clear but both teams kept fighting for points differential. Davies led a 7-0 Barcelona run but James buried a huge triple for a 57-79 CSKA lead. James got help from Strelnieks to make it 61-86 midway through the fourth quarter, allowing CSKA to celebrate a big road win way in advance.
Kurbanov did a little bit of everything and played his best basketball when CSKA started to get a significant lead. He finished the game with 12 points by making 3 of 5 two-pointers and 2 of 2 threes, added 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 rebounds for a team-best PIR of 19.
CSKA led 34-37 late in the first half but improved its defense over the next 4 minutes. Meanwhile, an outstanding Kurbanov dunked and sank a couple of triples, Hines added 4 quick points and by the time Hackett scored around the basket, CSKA led 38-51 edge at halftime. Barcelona never recovered, and CSKA kept full control of the game after the break and until the final buzzer.
CSKA finished the game with a season-high 24 assists, 10 more than Barcelona. Three-point shots made the difference in this game, too. CSKA hit 14 of 30 from downtown (46.7%) and Barcelona made just 2 of 18 attempts. That 11.1% three-point rate is the club's lowest in the EuroLeague since January 11, 2013 against Olympiacos Piraeus, when Barca's tally was 1-for-9.
Did you notice?
Speaking on shots from beyond the arc, it took Hines 264 career games -- and four championships -- but he finally hit his first three-pointer in EuroLeague action. Hines buried it from the top of the key with 3:13 left in the game. It was just the seventh three-point attempt of his career and his second this season. He missed from downtown was against FC Bayern Munich in Round 2.
In Round 12, CSKA hosts archrivals Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday, December 5. A day later, Barcelona visits Khimki Moscow Region.
Friday, November 29, 2019