CSKA claims playoff berth by pummeling Partizan
CSKA Moscow avenged its lone loss of the Top 16 and stormed into the playoffs with an 84-52 rout of visiting Partizan NIS Belgrade on Thursday. A 16-0 second-quarter run put the game out of reach and CSKA coasted the rest of the way. The victory ensured CSKA at least a share of first place in Group F at the end of the round with a 9-1 record. Partizan dropped to 2-8 after getting blown out in the Russian capital for the second time this season. Vitaly Fridzon and Sasha Kaun led a balanced CSKA attack with 13 points apiece and Victor Khryapa contributed 11 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. All 12 CSKA players in uniform scored and nine different players dished at least 1 assist. Joffrey Lauvergne paced Partizan’s attack with 17 points and Milenko Tepic added 9 in defeat.
First quarter: Lauvergne, Milutinov keep Partizan close
Jeremy Pargo stepped into the starting lineup in place of the injured Milos Teodosic. Both teams missed before Khryapa fed Nenad Krstic for the game’s first basket. Lauvergne dished to Nikola Milutinov for a slam to get Partizan going and Lauvergne followed as the visitors took an early lead. Sasha Pavlovic and Khryapa traded triples, before Khryapa scored after a nice assists from Sonny Weems to tie the score at 7-7. Both teams briefly switched to zone defense as Milutinov scored a layup on one end, before Weems buried a three-pointer for the hosts. Lauvergne beat the shot-clock with a short off balance shot, making it 10-11, but CSKA regained the lead with a long jumper from Pargo. Bogdan Bogdanovic got on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws. A Krstic jumper gave the hosts a 16-15 edge through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Fridzon, Kaun lead 16-0 CSKA charge
Andrey Vorontsevich extended the lead with a triple, but the Partizan defense denied CSKA for a few minutes. Dejan Musli’s hook shot brought the visitors bask within 1. Aaron Jackson got on the scoreboard with a three-pointer. Bogdanovic buried an off-the-dribble jumper. Kaun stood out with an emphatic block of Musli at one end and a sweet hook shot at the other to make it 24-20 midway through the quarter. Fridzon added a floater before nailing a triple, after which Partizan coach Dusko Vujosevic called timeout with his team down 9. The stoppage of play did not alter the momentum; Kaun scored twice inside and Fridzon nailed a three. Jackson sank a pair of free throws to cap a 16-0 charge. A Lauvergne slam with 5 seconds remaining in the half ended a five-and-a-half-minute scoreless stretch for Partizan and left the hosts with a 38-22 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Khryapa helps hosts ice game early
CSKA picked up where it left off. After a Partizan turnover on the inbounds pass, Jackson darted inside for a floater and Vujosevic burned a timeout just 23 seconds into the half. Kaun gave the hosts a 20-point lead from the line. Pavlovic pulled up for a jumper and Tepic found Lauvergne for a layup. Kaun and Tepic traded points in the paint before Fridzon’s third three of the night made it 47-28. Kaun muscled his way to a basket-plus-foul. Jackson shined with a steal – after which he tiptoed by the sideline – before dishing a pass to Khryapa for a basket-plus foul and a 25-point lead. Lauvergne countered from downtown, but before long a Khryapa triple made it 60-33. Lauvergne remained aggressive and got to the line for a pair of free throws only to see Vladimir Micov further extend the lead with a three from the corner. Lauvergne rose high for an offensive rebound, basket and foul drawn. Krstic dunked at the other end. Bogdanovic and Pargo traded layups. After Tepic free throws, Pargo’s three-point play gave the hosts a 70-41 edge.
Fourth quarter: CSKA celebrates playoff berth
Kyle Hines and Krstic baskets put the game completely out of reach. Micov completed a 10-0 CSKA run with a three that made it 77-41. Pavlovic drove for a layup. Milutinov soon fouled out and Krstic added the CSKA Lead, which peaked at 80-43. Lauvergne added to his tally and Djordge Gagic scored on the offensive glass. Aleksey Zozulin drilled a three before Gagic made another tip-in. A free throw by Grigory Shukhovtcov with a minute to go ensured that all 12 CSKA players scored in a blowout win that sent the hosts into the next round.
Thursday, March 13, 2014