CSKA seals Top 16 spot with big home win over Partizan
CSKA Moscow became the second team to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 from Group D by downing Partizan mt:s Belgrade 78-61 in the Russian capital on Thursday. CSKA improved to 6-1 and earned the right to keep fighting for Euroleague glory. Partizan dropped to 1-6, but will play two of its last three games in Belgrade. Sonny Weems paced the winners with 14 points. Dionte Christmas added 13, Andrey Vorontsevich 12, Aaron Jackson and Viktor Khryapa each scored 11 and Milos Teodosic dished 11 assists for CSKA. Dragan Milosavljevic and Vladimir Lucic each scored 12 points for Partizan and Drew Gordon added 11. Teodosic and Khryapa fueled a 10-2 opening run, but a great team effort allowed Partizan to take its first lead at 16-17. Jackson beat the buzzer with a jumper to put CSKA ahead 23-22 after 10 minutes. CSKA improved its defense late in the first half and an outstanding Vorontsevich allowed the hosts to take a 48-36 margin at halftime. Milosavljevic managed to bring Partizan within 52-44 midway through the third quarter, but Weems and Christmas stepped up to keep CSKA out of trouble, 61-48, after 30 minutes. CSKA boosted its margin to 68-50 and never looked back.
First quarter: a run and gun show!
Viktor Khryapa got CSKA going with a basket from close range, but Drew Gordon quickly answered with a two-handed dunk. Khryapa insisted with a five-meter jumper to give CSKA a 4-2 lead. Milos Teodosic fed Sasha Kaun for a layup and free throws by Sonny Weems soon boosted the hosts' lead to 8-2. Teodosic capped an 8-0 CSKA run with a one-handed jumper. Vladimir Lucic stepped up with a put-back layup and Dragan Milosavljevic shined with a backdoor layup before a five-meter jumper by Gordon brought Partizan within 11-8. Gordic and Weems traded layups and a three-point play by Dejan Musli tied it at 13-13. Dionte Christmas struck from downtown, but Milosavljevic took over with a power layup and Djordje Gagic soon gave Partizan its first lead, 16-17. Kaun brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk, however Gordon erased it with a high-flying layup. Andrey Vorontsevich joined the three-point shootout and a driving layup by Gordic tied it at 21-21. Gagic split free throws before a buzzer-beating jumper by Aaron Jackson put CSKA back ahead, 23-22, after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: defense, Jackson help CSKA take off
Lucic took over with a fast break layup early in the second quarter and soon added a wild three-pointer to boost Partizan's margin to 23-27. Vorontsevich rescued CSKA with a layup-plus-foul, but Nikola Milutinov scored in the paint for a 26-29 Partizan edge. Weems followed free throws with a turnaround jumper as CSKA regained the lead. Partizan struggled to score against the hosts' well-adjusted defense. Meanwhile, Vorontsevich and Jackson hit foul shots to give CSKA a 33-29 lead. Jackson collected a steal and sent an electric no-look pass to Weems for an easy basket, but CSKA faced foul trouble as Kaun and Dimitriy Sokolov had picked up 3 apiece. Gagic, Gordon and Lucic split free throws, however a three-pointer by Jackson kept the hosts way ahead, 38-32. Musli hit a jump hook, which Vorontsevich matched with foul shots. A three-pointer by Vladimir Micov soon caused Coach Dusko Vukosevic to call timeout at 43-34. Teodosic fed Khryapa for an easy layup and bettered Musli's dunk with a triple for a 48-36 CSKA lead at halftime.
Third quarter: CSKA gives Partizan no chance
Both teams struggled to score after the break until Khryapa sank a five-meter jumper. Partizan picked up consecutive 24-second violations and was held scoreless for more than three minutes without Gordic, its only point guard tonight, on the floor. Musli hit a four-meter jumper, as Partizan tried a more dynamic lineup with Branislav Djekic at power forward. Weems scored around the basket, but a three-pointer by Milosavljevic brought the guests a bit closer, 52-41. Milosavljevic insisted from downtown, however Weems quickly answered with a catch-and-shoot jumper and a triple by Christmas allowed CSKA to get some fresh air at 57-44. Milosavljevic kept pacing Partizan with free throws, but Jackson and Christmas boosted the hosts' lead to 60-46. Lucic drew a foul and did not miss from the line, but he didn't find much help around. A free throw by Christmas fixed the score at 61-48 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: The home fans get to celebrate early
Milutinov stepped up with a put-back basket early in the fourth quarter as Partizan kept trying to slow down the game tempo to look for open shots. Micov buried a corner three-pointer to give CSKA a 64-50 margin with eight minutes to go. Khryapa provided a highlight with a fast break slam and a layup by Jackson sealed the outcome, 68-50. Gordon made free throws, which Kaun erased with a dunk. Teodosic fed Jackson for an acrobatic layup as both teams sped up the game tempo in the final minutes of the game. Gordon banked in a turnaround shot, but Weems sank a baseline jumper and Christmas added a fast break layup to allow the CSKA fans to start celebrating at 76-54. By the time Teodosic delivered his 11th assist to Vorontsevich, everything was said and done. CSKA had clinched a Top 16 berth!
Thursday, November 22, 2012