Teodosic leads CSKA over Efes and into playoffs
CSKA Moscow became the first team to claim a playoffs spot from Top 16 Group F by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 88-83 in the Russian capital on Friday. CSKA improved to 8-2 in the group and mathematically advanced to the next round, while Efes dropped to 4-6. Milos Teodosic led the winners with 20 points and 9 assists. Sasha Kaun added 16 points, Sonny Weems scored 13, Kyle Hines 11 and Vitaly Fridzon contributed 10 for CSKA. Stratos Perperoglou and Dontaye Draper led Efes with 14 points apiece. Nenad Krstic added 13 against his former team, Dario Saric had 12 and 9 rebounds, while Thomas Heurtel scored 10 points and dished 9 assists for the guests. Efes had a strong start and a three-pointer by Perperoglou gave the guests a 4-13 lead. A 12-2 run that Hines capped with a layup put CSKA briefly ahead, 16-15, but Cedi Osman and Draper helped Efes restore a 21-27 lead after 10 minutes. CSKA improved its defense in the second quarter and found a go-to guy in Weems to get a 33-30 lead. Teodosic and Fridzon helped the hosts to a a 43-39 edge at halftime. Efes bounced back after the break and a jump hook by Krstic tied it at 56-56. It didn't last long, however, as Fridzon and Kaun fueled a 10-1 run, which gave CSKA a 66-57 margin. Efes never gave up and a three-pointer by Draper brought the guests within 84-81 in the final minute, but a big basket by Nando De Colo and free throws by Weems helped CSKA seal the victory.
First quarter: Brilliant offense put Efes ahead
Kaun got CSKA going with a layup but Thomas Heurtel swished a one-handed floater and Dario Saric scored in transition for a 2-4 lead. Heurtel took over with an acrobatic fast break layup, before Kaun hit a jump hook. Krstic followed a close basket with a two-handed dunk after which CSKA called timeout at 4-10. CSKA brought in Teodosic and Nando De Colo to improve its ball circulation. Perperoglou struck from downtown, but Teodosic erased that with a three-point play. Aaron Jackson made free throws and a dunk by Andrey Vorontsevich brought the hosts within 11-13. After Saric scored down low, De Colo took over with a layup-plus-foul and then found Hines for an easy basket and a 16-15 CSKA lead. Cedi Osman stepped up with a coast-to-coast layup that Teodosic bettered with a three-pointer. Draper shined with a layup-plus-foul and Saric and Osman added free throws, but a dunk by Hines kept CSKA within 3. A foul shot by Stephane Lasme and a buzzer-beating layup by Osman gave Efes a 21-27 advantage after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Weems, Teodosic rescue CSKA
Hines stepped up with a power layup early in the quarter, as CSKA improved its defense to hold Efes scoreless for more than two minutes. Weems found space for an uncontested three-pointer. Lasme scored around the basket, but Teodosic found Kaun for an alley-oop slam. CSKA brought Victor Khryapa off the bench to play aggressive defense on Milko Bjelica. Meanwhile, a big dunk by Weems restored a 30-29 CSKA lead. Efes could not find the way to the basket and a three-pointer by Weems put CSKA back ahead, 33-30. Heurtel hit a technical foul shot and Draper sank a running shot to tie it at 33-33. Krstic provided a highlight with a big slam in traffic, but Teodosic answered from downtown in transition. Krstic scored again before Fridzon nailed one from beyond the arc. An off-balance basket by Hines gave CSKA a 41-37 lead. Free throws by Perperoglou and a jumper by Fridzon fixed the halftime score at 43-39.
Third quarter: Late run extends CSKA's lead
Vorontsevich shined with a tip-in immediately after the break. Perperoglou hit his trademark four-meter jumper from the elbow and a three-point play by Draper brought Efes within 45-44. Teodosic buried a corner triple and bettered Perperoglou's six-meter jumper with an outstanding four-point play for a 52-46 CSKA lead. Bjelica scored around the basket and Lasme brought Efes closer. Hines ignited the crowd with a ferocious dunk that Bjelica erased with a backdoor layup. De Colo stepped up with free throws, but Matt Janning matched him with a six-meter jumper and a jump hook by Krstic tied it at 56-56. Kaun dunked and Vorontsevich gave CSKA a 59-56 edge. Fridzon took over with a corner three-pointer off a screen and free throws by Kaun boosted the hosts' lead after an 8-0 run. Saric split free throws and a backdoor layup by Fridzon gave CSKA a 66-57 margin.
Fourth quarter: CSKA wins, seals playoffs berth
Perperoglou nailed a three-pointer early in the quarter. Vorontsevich hit a six-meter jumper, but Janning answered from downtown and Perperoglou hit free throws to close the gap to 68-65. Teodosic found Kaun for another alley-oop dunk, but Draper nailed one from beyond the arc to make it 70-68. Efes entered the foul bonus midway through the quarter and CSKA chose to play with more aggressiveness. Teodosic split free throws and sank a corner three-pointer for a 74-68 lead with four minutes left. Saric rescued Efes with a power layup. After Kaun split free throws, a three-pointer by Heurtel brought Efes within 75-73. Weems answered from downtown and a layup-plus-foul by Kaun seemed to seal the outcome at 81-73 with over 2 minutes left. However Saric hit a three-pointer, Krstic made free throws and Draper struck from downtown to make it 84-81 with 38.3 seconds left. De Colo took over with a driving layup, which allowed CSKA to win the game and claim a playoff spot.
Friday, March 13, 2015