James shines as CSKA rolls in derby
CSKA Moscow remained dominant in the Leningradka derby with a 99-86 victory over Khimki Moscow Region on Thursday night at Megasport Arena in the Russian capital. CSKA led from tip to buzzer thanks to Mike James, who produced 18 points and 3 assists in the first quarter alone to put his team in control. The CSKA lead got as big as 16 and the visitors never got closer than 6 in the remaining three quarters. The result kept CSKA undefeated through three games, while Khimki fell to 2-1. James finished with 28 points and 5 assists, Will Clyburn netted 21 points, Darrun Hilliard scored 13 and Daniel Hackett 11. Alexey Shved shot 6 for 11 from downtown en route to 25 points for Khimki. Devin Booker posted 18 points and 7 rebounds and Janis Timma scored 12 in defeat.
The hosts caught fire early with Hilliard scoring 5 straight points to make it 9-3 and causing Khimki to burn a timeout after less than 3 minutes. The stop did not change much as James's three-point play and later a three-pointer put CSKA ahead 15-5. Shved drained a pair of threes, but Khimki had no answer for James, who tallied 15 points in less than 6 minutes. The CSKA guard finished the quarter with 18 points and 3 assists and his team in control 29-20. Dairis Bertans opened the second quarter with a three from the corner as both teams heated up from the outside, but it was a put-back by Andrey Vorontsevich and a Clyburn slam after a Hilliard steal that restored a double-digit lead for CSKA, 39-28. Khimki kept pace, but could not close the gap much. A three by Nikita Kurbanov left CSKA in charge, 54-44, at the break. Khimki used a strong start to the second half to get within 6, but Clyburn connected from downtown to take the CSKA advantage up to 64-52. Kurbanov and James added triples to stretch the difference to 70-55. Ron Baker became the sixth CSKA player with a three-pointer when he beat the third-quarter buzzer to make it 76-60. Back-to-back threes by Shved and Anthony Gill to start the fourth quarter drew Khimki within 10 and strong play by Vyacheslav Zaytsev and Booker made it 84-77. Hilliard and James came to CSKA's rescue and Hackett put the finishing touches on the victory.
Mike James put on a show for the ages with 18 points and 3 assists in the first quarter alone. His early dominance put Khimki on its heels and the visitors never fully recovered. James finished with 28 points and 5 assists. He made 6 of 12 two-point shots and 3 of 7 from downtown. James also drew 6 fouls, went to the foul line 8 times and missed just once. The reigning Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner has not skipped a beat with his move to CSKA.
CSKA corraled 18 offensive rebounds and turned them into 31 second-chance points. Khimki only captured 8 offensive boards and had 14 second-chance points. No numbers had as big an impact on the game as those few.
The three-point weapon
Both teams pull up from behind the arc often, but CSKA spread it around more with seven players making at least one three-pointer. The team totaled 14 triples from 29 attempts (48.3%). For Khimki, Alexey Shved was 6 for 11 from behind the arc and Jannis Timma 4 for 10. The remainder of the Khimki team was 2 for 10. Collectively, Khimki shot 38.7%.
Both teams will be on the road in Germany next week. Khimki visits FC Bayern Munich on Thursday, October 24. CSKA looks to remain undefeated after its trip to ALBA Berlin on Friday.
Thursday, October 17, 2019