CSKA beats Barca to finish season on the podium
CSKA Moscow held on to beat FC Barcelona Regal 74-73 to win the third place game at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four at The O2 in London. The game came down to the very last shot before CSKA stopped Barcelona to claim the victory. Victor Khryapa led the way with 16 points, Sonny Weems scored 14 and Aaron Jackson 13, including the go-ahead free throws with 26.9 seconds remaining. Juan Carlos Navarro carried Barca in the fourth quarter and his triple put the team ahead in the final minute. He finished with 17 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting. Marko Todorovic added 11 points and Alex Abrines and Ante Tomic netted 10 apiece. CSKA started fast and led 11-2 before Barcelona got going. Alex Abrines got going in the second quarter with 8 points to rally his team back. Bacra led briefly and eventually the teams reached halftime knotted at 35-35. CSKA came out hot in the third with 13 unanswered points, but Barcelona rallied again. Navarro’s hot hand set up an exciting finish, but even after regaining the lead, Barcelona was unable to hold on in the final minute.
First quarter: Khryapa, Kaun lead CSKA to strong start
CSKA won the opening tip and got on the scoreboard first through a Khryapa turnaround jumper on the baseline. Barcelona missed 4 free throws in the first three and a half minutes before Erazem Lorbek broke the ice with a pair from the charity stripe. Khryapa, Sasha Kaun and Weems led the CSKA charge as the Russian champs stormed out to a 9-2 lead. Barcelona turned to its star, but even Navarro’s shots rimmed out. After the first TV timeout, Khryapa extended the lead to 9 before Xavi Rabaseda looked to ignite his side with a three-pointer. Barca found some momentum as Ante Tomic scored down low and C.J. Wallace from behind the arc to make it 13-10. After baskets by Nenad Krstic and Sarunas Jasikevicius, CSKA led 15-12 through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Abrines sparks Barcelona rally
Weems provided a highlight as he blocked Abrines, scooped up the loose ball and went straight to the rim for a slam. Barcelona fought back and soon tied the score at 17-17 with an Abrines triple. Tomic remained a central factor at both ends as the teams traded scores. Joe Ingles finally gave Barcelona its first lead, 23-25, with a runner in the lane that came with four minutes left in the half. Jackson tied it again before Abrines connected from downtown a second time. Before long, Vladimir Micov’s first three knotted the game again, 32-32. Khryapa sank a three too, but Todorovic’s first basket left things all square, 35-35, at halftime.
Third quarter: CSKA takes charge with 13-0 run
Weems drove to beat the shot clock and open the second half scoring. Back-to-back threes by Weems and Milos Teodosic made for a 9-0 run and resulted in a Barcelona timeout just 103 seconds into the quarter. Kaun and Khryapa made it 13 unanswered points. Tomic scored for Barcelona from the line and Ingles drained a three. Todorovic added to a 0-7 Barcelona surge before Khryapa netted a jumper. Weems restored a double-digit CSKA lead only to see Navarro get going, first with a fade-away three and then his trademark “la bomba.” A tomic tip-in made it 56-51. Another Navarro three – and the Euroleague debut of 22-year-old Papa Mbaye – came before the third quarter ended at 59-54.
Fourth quarter: Heroes shine at both ends as game comes down to final shot
Andrey Vorontsevich kept CSKA in front, but the veteran duo of Navarro and Jasikevicius were not going to give in. A Navarro three made it 62-57. Krstic inside and Jackson from the line maintained a safe cushion. Pascual was whistled for a technical foul, after which Jackson made it 67-59. The TV timeout allowed Barcelona to regroup. Abrines sank free throws and Erazem Lorbek scored in the paint to bring Barca within 4. A hard foul by Rabaseda on Khryapa followed and the CSKA forward made only 1 of the resulting free throws. Lorbek banked in another shot to make it 68-65 with three minutes remaining. After a wild sequence with turnovers at both ends, Khryapa soared to stuff a Kaun miss and stare down Tomic in the process. But Barca showed no fear; Navarro bettered him with his fourth three of the game to make it 70-68. Then Tomic tossed in a lefty hook at the one-minute mark to even the score. Kaun put CSKA back up with a tip-in, only to see Navarro lift his team with a clutch three with 36 second left. Jackson got to the line and made it 74-73 with 26.9 seconds remaining. Barcelona decided to go for the won with one last shot. After Marcelinho Huertas wound the clock down, he passed to Tomic, who gave it back to him, but the guard missed his jumper and CSKA raced off with the win.
Sunday, May 12, 2013