CSKA Moscow survived a tough battle and stayed undefeated in Group D by edging Real Madrid 54-58 in the Spanish capital on Thursday night. CSKA leads Group D with a 3-0 record, one win away from Partizan and Efes Pilsen, that tie for second place at 2-1. Meanwhile, Madrid dropped to 1-2 and ties with Panionios On Telecoms for fourth place. Zoran Planinic led the winners with 13 points, including two critical three-pointers in the fourth quarter to put CSKA ahead for good. Ramunas Siskauskas added 11 while Terence Morris pulled down 9 rebounds and had 4 blocks for CSKA. Felipe Reyes and Alex Mumbru each had 10 points for Madrid, that were limited to 14-for-34 two-pointers and 2-for-18 triples tonight. Raul Lopez and Quinton Hosley allowed Madrid to get a 28-23 edge at halftime. CSKA improved its defense after the break, while Planinic and an outstanding Ramunas Siskauskas allowed the guests to get a 38-39 edge after 30 minutes. Planinic buried consecutive triple to make it an eight-point game, 40-48. Madrid managed to get within 50-53 with a minute to fo but Planinic, Trajan Langdon and Nikos Zisis allowed CSKA to seal the outcome from the foul lines.
Morris fed Planinic for an easy layup and soon had a block on Mumbru, as CSKA made Madrid go scoreless in the opening 2 minutes. Reyes stepped up with a layup and soon added a jump hook to give the hosts its first lead, 4-3. Jeremiah Massey finished a long, patient Madrid offense with an easy basket but Morris answered with a jumper to keep CSKA within 6-5. Madrid failed to get Louis Bullock involved, as Langdon was all over the place in defense. Siskauskas fired in a wide open triple and collected a steal in a 0-6 CSKA run that he capped with a foul shot. Lopez sank free throws, as the game turned into a physical battle, just as expected. Bullock took over with a long two-pointer from the right corner, as CSKA could not find the way to the basket, even missing open shots now. Erazem Lorbek scored in the low post, however, allowing CSKA to get a 10-11 edge after 10 minutes.
CSKA kept trying to slow down the game tempo as much as possible, powering the offensive board for second and third-chance offenses. Its shooters were off-target, however, while Sergio Llull struck from downtown to put Madrid back ahead, 13-11. Aleksey Savrasenko took over with a put-back layup but Axel Hervelle scored off a high pick-and-roll with Pepe Sanchez and soon added a power basket for a 17-13 Madrid edge. Victor Khryapa made free throws, as CSKA kept dominating the boards. Khryapa kept pacing CSKA with a bomb from downtown to restore a 17-18 CSKA edge. Hosley made free throws while Venson Hamilton added a tip-in to provide another lead change, 21-18. Lopez took over with a driving layup but Langdon banked in a jumper - his first points - off a CSKA timeout. Mumbru scored off a backdoor pass from Reyes and even when Siskauskas shined with an off-balance jumper, Hosley beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to fix the halftime score at 28-23.
Morris scored in transition right after the break that Hosley erased with free throws. Morris insisted with a second-chance layup while Savrasenko added an easy basket to bring CSKA as close as 30-29. Madrid kept struggling to score while Planinic beat the hosts' zone defense with a three-pointer. Siskauskas capped a 2-11 run with a layup, making Madrid call timeout at 30-34. Reyes scored in penetration, as Madrid regroup in defense. Siskauskas and Bullock traded driving layups, but both teams kept struggling to score in an intense, defensive third quarter. Mumbru made free throws that Nikos Zisis matched with a jumper, as CSKA stick to its game plan - a patient offense and its trademark man-to-man defense. Reyes sank foul shots to get Madrid as close as 38-39 at the end of the third quarter.
Zisis beat the shot clock with an easy basket early in the fourth quarter, as Madrid did not find the way to the basket right when it mattered. Planinic stepped up with a big three-pointer to boost the guests' lead to 38-44. Mumbru kept pacing Madrid with a driving basket but he didn't much help around. Defense kept Madrid in the game, however, but Planinic buried another critical triple to make it an eight-point game, 40-48, with under 6 minutes to go. Madrid collapsed against CSKA's outstanding defense until Lopez and Reyes made free throws to give the hosts some hope at 43-49. Khryapa and Lopez traded foul shots while more free throws by Hosley made CSKA call timeout at 47-51. Khryapa was next on the foul line and did not miss for a 47-53 CSKA edge wit h2 minutes to go. Reyes made a free throw while Mumbru added a put-back layup for a 50-53 score with a minute to go. Langdon committed a turnover but Lopez missed a three-meter jumper. Planinic made 1-for-2 foul shots but Mumbru sank his two attempts for a 52-54 Madrid deficit with 12.2 seconds remaining. Free throws by Langdon and Zisis sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Thursday, November 6, 2008