CSKA outguns Gran Canaria in high-scoring showdown
CSKA Moscow stayed undefeated in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by downing Herbalife Gran Canaria 91-106 on the road on Friday. CSKA improved to 4-0 in the standings with the comeback win, while Gran Canaria dropped to 1-3. Nando De Colo paced the winners with 22 points. Cory Higgins added 17, Othello Hunter got 16, Will Clyburn and Alex Peters both scored 15 while Sergio Rodriguez contributed 11 and 8 assists for CSKA. Clevin Hannah led Gran Canaria with 17 points. D.J. Strawberry added 16 while Chris Evans had 14 for the hosts.
Eulis Baez and Strawberry shined early and a three-pointer by Evans made CSKA call timeout at 10-4. Strawberry and Evans each struck from downtown and a jumper by Hannah made it a double-digit game, 18-8. De Colo and Rodriguez stepped up for the guests and a fastbreak layup by Higgins brought CSKA within 22-21. Ondrej Balvin and Kim Tillie kept Gran Canaria in charge, 29-26, after 10 minutes. Xavi Rabaseda took over early in the second quarter and a dunk by Balvin made it 41-35. Strawberry hit a triple and Hannah added a close basket to make the guests stop the game at 46-38. Hunter, De Colo and Higgins brought CSKA as close as 55-52 at half-time, and a fastbreak layup by Clyburn gave CSKA its first lead, 55-57, soon after the break. Strawberry and Baez pulled back the hosts but Hunter stayed unstoppable, Rodriguez downed a three-pointer and a layup by Kyle Hines made Gran Canaria call timeout at 67-71. A jumper by Rabaseda tied it again, 73-73, but Higgins and Clyburn put CSKA back in charge, 77-80, after 30 minutes. A three-pointer by Strawberry kept Gran Canaria within 84-86 midway through the fourth quarter. But Peters struck twice from beyond the arc and another three-pointer from Higgins sealed the outcome, 88-97, with over 2 minutes left.
De Colo scored 13 of his 22 points in the final 11 minutes, making the difference down the stretch. He also had 6 assists, 4 steals and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 27.
It was a close game for 35 minutes, until Peters buried a couple of three-pointers. Higgins and De Colo joined the three-point shootout to put the victory on ice as Gran Canaria never recovered.
CSKA had 12 turnovers before halftime, but just 3 in the second half. Perimeter defense made the difference, too: Gran Canaria hit 7-of-10 three-point shots (70%) in the first half but just 1-of-14 (7.1%) after the break.
Did you notice?
De Colo missed his first free throw attempt this season – he is now 18-of-19 for the season, 94.7%. He is the best free throw shooter in EuroLeague history, hitting 579 of his 618 attempts – 93.7%.
CSKA hosts Olympiacos Piraeus on Thursday, November 1 at 18:00 CET. It is a rematch of the 2012 EuroLeague Championship Game, which Olympiacos won 61-62. Gran Canaria visits Khimki Moscow Region, in a rematch of the 2015 7DAYS EuroCup Finals. Khimki swept the two-way series and lifted the EuroCup trophy for the second time.
Friday, October 26, 2018