CSKA outscores Zalgiris 94-91 to keep streaks alive
CSKA Moscow extended its home winning streak to 13 games with a fine offensive performance in a 94-91 win over Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday night. It was the 10th win for CSKA over Zalgiris in as many Turkish Airlines EuroLeague matches at home this century, a victory which boosted CSKA's record to 4-1, while Zalgiris dropped to 2-3. The hosts took the lead for good in the second quarter behind Nando De Colo and Will Clyburn, building a 15-point halftime lead. But Zalgiris fought back in the third, and closed to within 4 points midway through the fourth quarter. CSKA then nailed 4 consecutive triples in a 2-minute, 14-2 run to build another insurmountable advantage. Clyburn tied his career-high with 26 points, and De Colo netted 25 points and dished 10 assists for his career-high performance index rating of 37. Andrey Vorontsevich finished with 14 points, including 3 consecutive three-pointers that fueled that fourth-quarter run. Vasilije Micic led Zalgiris with 20 points and 7 assists, Edgaras Ulanovas added 14 points, and Paulius Valinskas scored all of his 11 points in the final minute.
Ulanovas opened the scoring from close range, then hit a pair from deep. When Micic followed from long range, the visitors led 5-11. Kyle Hines scored CSKA's first 5 points, but Kevin Pangos scored twice on the other end, and a second effort from Paulius Jankunas made it 9-18. De Colo came off the bench to spark CSKA's offense. He scored 7 straight points, including a basket-plus-free throw, then assisted for a Clyburn triple that cut the difference to 17-18. A three-point play from Hines put CSKA in front for the first time before Clyburn's jumper capped a 13-0 run as the hosts led 22-19 after 10 minutes. Arturas Milaknis opened the second with a three-pointer and Jankunas put Zalgiris back in front with a layup in the lane, 22-24, but that's when CSKA started a new run. Vorontsevich and De Colo hit triples before Cory Higgins raced for a fastbreak dunk that opened the first double-digit lead of the night, 39-28. Micic stopped the bleeding with a reverse layup, and Aaron White had a dunk, getting Zalgiris within 41-34. But De Colo nailed another three and Clyburn scored 5 points, including a last-second three-pointer that made it 51-36 at the break.
Othello Hunter extended the lead to 17 points at the start of the third quarter, but Zalgiris answered with 7 straight points on triples from Micic and Ulanovas. Clyburn, De Colo and Sergio Rodriguez kept the lead in double digits, but a driving layup from Micic sparked another Zalgiris run. Axel Toupane hit a baseline jumper and Milaknis nailed a triple that cut the deficit to 64-55. Clyburn hit a three for the hosts, but Toupane had a three-point play that got Zalgiris even closer, 67-62. Higgins finished the third quarter with a basket from close range, and opened the fourth with a three-pointer, restoring a 10-point lead, 72-62. However, the visitors held CSKA scoreless for the next 4 minutes, during which time Micic and Toupane cut the lead to 72-68. The hosts needed little more than 90 seconds after that to bury 4 three-pointers and run away once again. Vorontsevich ended the drought with a corner triple, then added two more in a minute for an 81-70 lead. After a timeout, De Colo nailed one from downtown himself and added an easy layup at 86-70. The 14-2 run all but sealed the deal. Pangos and Gytis Masiulis did hit from long range for the visitors to make it 86-78, but with 2:20 to go, there was not much time left for a comeback. In the final minute, Valinskas scored back-to-back triples that made it 92-88 with 16 seconds left, but CSKA held on.
Friday, November 3, 2017