CSKA takes charge late to win in Tel Aviv
CSKA Moscow kept its hopes of winning Group F a live with a hard-fought 76-81 road victory over Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv at Nokia Arena. The game was tied twice in the closing minutes, but back-to-back threes from Aaron Jackson and Sonny Weems gave CSKA the lead for good and the visitors held strong down the stretch. CSKA improved to 12-2 and will win Group F if Zalgiris Kaunas beats Real Madrid on Friday. If Madrid wins, CSKA will finish the Top 16 in second place. Maccabi dropped to 8-6, but had already clinched third place in Group F and will face EA7 Emporio Armani Milan in the playoffs. Jackson paced CSKA with a season-high 18 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting. Weems added 14 points and Sasha Kaun scored 12 for the winners. Tyrese Rice paced Maccabi with 15 points and 7 assists, David Blu scored 14, Sylven Landesberg 13 and Sofoklis Schortsanitis 11.
First quarter: Jackson in action as CSKA grabs lead
Jackson drained a three from the corner for the first points of the game. Kyle Hines held of Schortsanitis at one end and dunked at the other. Maccabi came back as Sofo scored inside and Blu sank free throws. A second Jackson triple from the same spot made it 4-10, but Yogev Ohayon responded for Maccabi on the ensuing possession. A red-hot Jackson scored a basket-plus-foul in transition. Kaun took charge with 6 points to give CSKA an 11-21 advantage. Jackson grabbed a loose ball and coasted for a layup to cap a 0-8 run. Joe Ingles ended Tel Aviv’s scoring drought and Rice added a floater. Landesberg’s fade-away jumper brought the hosts within 17-23 at the end of the quarter.
Second quarter: Blu, Rice spark Maccabi comeback
Vitaly Fridzon started to make an impact with a basket. After Schortsanitis completed a three-point play, Fridzon sank an open three and assisted to Jeremy Pargo on the break as CSKA restored a double-digit lead. After a timeout, Rice scored and Blu nailed a three to wake Nokia Arena up. Ohayon followed with a three-point play to narrow the gap to 28-30. An easy basket for Hines kept CSKA in control. Weems attacked the basket to give the visitors a 30-37 advantage midway through the quarter. Ingles and Khryapa traded foul shots. Landesberg scored in the paint and Rice nailed a triple to bring Maccabi within 38-40. Ingles tied the game from the line. A crowd-pleasing alley-oop slam from Alex Tyus capped a 9-0 run and gave the hosts their first lead. Jackson tied the score once more, but Blu nailed a last-second three to give Maccabi a 45-42 lead at halftime.
Third quarter: Krstic, Hines keep CSKA close
Schortsanitis opened the second half with a basket inside, but followed that up with his third foul. Hines and Sofo traded scores. A Landesberg three gave Maccabi a 52-46 cushion. Khryapa fed Weems for a bucket at the other end. Rice attacked the basket for a basket-plus-foul before Weems dished to Nenad Krstic for the center’s first basket. Schortsanitis overpowered Krstic to make it 56-50 midway through the quarter. Khryapa answered from downtown for CSKA. A minute later, Guy Pnini tripled from the elbow. A Krstic jumper and Hines slam on the offensive glass closed the gap to 59-57. Another Tyus alley-oop kept Maccabi in front. Vladimir Micov’s basket and a Hickman free throw left 63-59 on the scoreboard through three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Weems, Jackson make big shots
Pargo scored for CSKA, but Blu’s third three kept Maccabi ahead. Kaun scored on the offensive glass. Micov tied the game at 66-66 with a three from the corner. Andrey Vorontsevich, who shined with an offensive rebound, made another big play with an assist to Kaun as CSKA regained the lead. Rice scored in transition to even things with 3:20 remaining. Jackson converted a wide-open three. Hickman sent a pass out of bounds and Weems drilled a step-back three for a 68-74 CSKA lead. Landesberg weaved his way inside for a layup, but Kaun went through Tyus for a score at the other end. CSKA took 23 seconds off the clock before Jackson’s basket with 43.3 left in the game made it 70-78. Pnini gave the hosts hope with a three, but Weems free throws essentially wrapped up the win.
Thursday, April 10, 2014