CSKA fends off Bayern's comeback
CSKA Moscow bounced back from a tough home loss by downing FC Bayern Munich 77-84 on the road on Friday. CSKA improved to 12-6 in the standings while Bayern dropped to 7-11 with its fourth consecutive defeat. Mike James led the winners with 27 points. Darrun Hilliard added 20 and Kyle Hines 12 for CSKA. Greg Monroe led Bayern with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Vladimir Lucic and Josh Huestis each added 17 points and Petteri Koponen 12 for the hosts. Johannes Voigtmann, James and Semen Antonov combined for all points in a 0-8 run to a 10-18 CSKA lead after 10 minutes. Hilliard took over in the second quarter as the guests extended their margin to 25-41 at halftime. Huestis and Lucic emerged after the break to bring Bayern within 39-50 midway through the third quarter. They got help from Zan Sisko to get Bayern even closer, 52-59, after 30 minutes. Bayern cut the difference all the way to 69-70 with 3:30 left but Hines, James and Nikita Kurbanov made the difference in crunch time.
Hines got CSKA going with a fastbreak layup and Hilliard added a corner triple but Monroe kept Bayern within 4-5. Hines kept pacing the guests with a backdoor layup but Huestis sank consecutive jumpers to give his team its first lead, 8-7. Voigtmann and James each struck from downtown, igniting a 0-8 run that Antonov capped with a jumper for an 8-15 score. Nihad Dedovic stepped up with a driving layup that James bettered with his second triple, boosting CSKA's lead to 10-18 after 10 minutes. Hilliard buried back-to-back three-pointers and banked in a running shot to make it a 16-point game, 10-26, early in the second quarter. Huestis rescued Bayern with a layup, getting help from Monroe to bring Bayern a bit closer, 16-28. Antonov hit a mid-range jumper off a CSKA timeout but Koponen improved that with a triple. James found Andrey Vorontsevich for a layup and scored in penetration to keep CSKA way ahead, 19-34. Koponen insisted from beyond the arc but Hilliard found space for an uncontested layup and James added a high-flying three-point play and a floater for a 25-41 CSKA lead at halftime. James and Hines soon made it a 20-point game, 25-45, after the break. Lucic responded with a fastbreak layup and a three-point play, igniting an 8-0 Bayern run that Huestis capped with a bomb from downtown. The same players soon struck from beyond the arc to make CSKA call timeout at 39-50. Vorontsevich hit a triple but Bayern kept running its offense through Lucic and Huestis, who brought the hosts within single digits, 46-53. Ron Baker swished a step-back three-pointer but Huestis and Sisko kept Bayern as close as 52-59 after 30 minutes. Monroe followed a layup with a dunk and soon added a put-back basket to get Bayern within striking distance, 58-61, early in the final quarter. Kostas Koufos finished a three-chance CSKA offense with a layup and Joel Bolomboy dunked but Koponen and Paul Zipser each struck from downtown for a 64-65 score with under 6 minutes left. Hilliard found answers for CSKA with 5 quick points but Monroe and Lucic kept Bayern within 69-70. Hines took over with a layup-plus-free throw, getting help from Voigtmann to boost CSKA's lead to 69-75. Monroe scored again but James hit free throws and fed Kurbanov for a triple that sealed the outcome, 71-80, in the next-to-last minute.
James was the difference-maker in the game, hitting tough shots and creating for others. He finished the game with 27 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block and 10 fouls drawn for a PIR of 29. A true all-around performance.
A jumper by Huestis gave Bayern its only lead of the game, 8-7. That's when CSKA used a rain of three-pointers to get full control of the game. James and Hilliard buried a couple apiece and Voigtmann added another one in a 2-19 run that gave the guests a 10-26 margin. Even when Bayern returned to the game, it never completed its comeback.
CSKA's aggressiveness and accuracy set the tone in the first half. CSKA outrebounded Bayern by 11-23 before halftime, shooting the ball with excellent percentages (64.7% 2FG, 40% 3FG) and forcing Bayern to struggle from all distances (41.2% 2FG, 18.2% 3FG). CSKA finished the game with 7 blocks, matching its season-high against Efes on December 20, 2019.
Did you notice?
CSKA remains perfect against Bayern, with six wins in as many games. Moreover, since the EuroLeague started in the 2000-01 season, CSKA has been almost invincible on German soil. It now has a 14-1 road record against German teams. Its only loss came against Brose Bamberg, 91-83, on March 24, 2016. CSKA also won the 2016 EuroLeague title at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin
Both teams return to EuroLeague action quickly in Round 19, the first of two games next week. CSKA hosts Real Madrid on Tuesday in a rematch of last season's semifinals. Bayern visits Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Wednesday
Friday, January 10, 2020