CSKA blasts Madrid for 10th win
CSKA Moscow re-established itself as the team to beat in Top 16 Group E with an 81-72 victory over Real Madrid at Alexander Gomelskiy Universal Sports Hall in the Russian capital. Sonny Weems scored 21 points and Milos Teodosic added 17 points and 7 assists to pace CSKA, which improved to 10-3 in Group E and can finish atop the group if it beats Panathinaikos next week. Madrid slipped to 9-4, but remains in the hunt for home-court advantage in the playoffs. CSKA led from start to finish, taking control with aggressive defense and easy fast break baskets in the first quarter and never looking back. The lead peaked at 18 in the second and third quarters. Rudy Fernandez heated up in the third and helped Los Blancos trim the deficit to single figures. Though Madrid to make a serious challenge for the win, a late charge put the tiebreak into play; Madrid beat CSKA by 8 earlier in the Top 16. However the hosts managed to snatch that too in the closing seconds. Nenad Krstic finished with 16 points and Viktor Khryapa hauled in 11 rebounds for the winners. Fernandez was the man for Madrid in defeat with 24 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting plus 6 rebounds and 3 assists – all team highs. Felipe Reyes added 10 points in defeat.
First quarter: Big lineup, great defense, fast breaks = CSKA control
CSKA used a new-look, big lineup from the start with Weems at shooting guard, Khryapa at small forward and Zoran Erceg starting at power forward. The hosts’ big guards, Teodosic and Weems, combined for 6 points on the first three possessions. In between Carlos Suarez broke the ice for Madrid with a three-pointer. CSKA continued to roll as Erceg nailed a triple before Madrid star Nikola Mirotic took a seat with his second foul just three minutes into the game. Suarez remained Madrid’s only scorer in the early minutes with a second three. After a Khyrapa basket on the break, all five CSKA starters had scored and the scoreboard showed 13-6 midway through the first quarter. Even after a timeout, CSKA’s defense suffocated Madrid, while the Khryapa/Teodosic duo teamed up to extend the lead to 11. Fernandez looked to revive the visitors with a three, though CSKA remained in control with more fast break points. Mirza Begic scored Madrid’s first two-point basket, Fernandez added free throws and Reyes netted a hook shot to trim the gap before Weems beat the first-quarter buzzer with a jumper that made it 24-15.
Second quarter: Hosts refuse to let up as lead hits 18
Marcus Slaughter scored inside to open the second quarter, but a pair of Weems scores restored a double-digit CSKA margin. Slaughter remained a nuisance as he took a lob from Sergio Rodriguez for a high-flying alley-oop slam. Krstic scored inside on consecutive possessions and then – after a TV timeout – added free throws to make it 34-19. Aaron Jackson extended the advantage to 17 before Rudy nailed a three-pointer. However two more easy baskets for Krstic inflated the lead to 40-22. Rodriguez’s first basket was matched by Jackson on the offensive glass. Rodriguez helped trim the gap some more with free throws and an alley-oop assist to Slaughter. Theo Papaloukas free throws left CSKA in control, 44-28, at halftime.
Third quarter: Rudy revives Madrid with 0-9 run
Weems found space in the corner for a three-pointer to open the second half, though Rudy soon matched him. Mirotic got involved with a block of Sasha Kaun on defense and an alley-oop layup off a Fernandez pass to trim the gap to 47-34. Rudy beat the shot-clock buzzer with a long three to complete a 0-9 run and get his team within 10. Kaun scored over Begic to revive the home team. Rudy’s third three of the quarter made it 51-42. Weems responded immediately with a layup-plus-foul and Khryapa followed with a driving layup as CSKA regained control. Mirotic answered with a three-point play, only for Krstic to do the same at the other end. A technical foul on Rodriguez allowed Weems to score 4 more points – 2 on free throws and 2 from a jumper – to make it 61-45. A Fernandez runner was cancelled out by Papaloukas as CSKA coasted into the fourth quarter ahead 63-47.
Fourth quarter: CSKA hangs on as final minute revolves around tiebreaker
Slaughter soared on the offensive glass for a slam, however with Jaycee Carroll struggling to complement the Madrid attack, the hosts had trouble making a run. Krstic sank a long jumper before Rudy and Teodosic traded threes. Carroll finally got his first points, a triple to make it 68-56. Fernandez scored an acrobatic layup to keep Madrid alive. Vladimir Micov fed Kaun for a slam to leave CSKA ahead by 14 midway through the quarter. Reyes gave Madrid hope with 5 points. Carroll followed with a pair of baskets – the second from a steal – to claw within 74-67. Weems hit back with a clutch jumper with a minute and a half to go. A Rodriguez layup flipped the lead to 7 again. Teodosic dished to a cutting Jackson. Rudy missed a pair of free throws, Teodosic split 2 and Reyes made 2 to make it 79-71. In the end Krstic free throws helped give Moscow the needed difference and an 81-72 victory.
Thursday, March 28, 2013