CSKA Moscow beat Panathinaikos 76-78
CSKA Moscow survived an overtime thriller to remain undefeated by beating Panathinaikos 76-78 in the latest classic showdown between the Euroleague powerhouses. CSKA took sole possession of first place in Group B with the come-from-behind win. It was an all-around effort for the Russian champs, who got the job done at both ends of the intense contest. Former Euroleague MVP Ramunas Siskauskas scored 14 to lead CSKA against his former team. Nenad Krstic posted 13 points and 11 rebounds, Viktor Khryapa posted 11 points, 4 assists and 3 blocks, Alexey Shved netted 10 and Andrei Kirilenko tallied 9 points, 11 rebounds and 5 rejections. Kostas Kaimakoglou scored 13 and Nick Calathes 11 for the the defending Euroleague champs, who had the ball with a chance to win at the end of regulation, but missed twice in the closing seconds.
Panathinaikos set up Steven Smith for a triple to open the scoring. Former Euroleague MVP Ramunas Siskauskas answered back with a three from the corner. The OACA crowd roared when Andrei Kirilenko was called for an early foul and it got louder when Dimitris Diamantidis fed Aleks Maric for a string two-handed jam. Diamantidis and Maric connected again, but Siskauskas came back to tie the game midway through the opening quarter. Viktor Khryapa assisted Nenad Krstic and then scored himself to complete a 0-8 CSKA charge for a 7-11 lead. A jumper-plus-foul from Khryapa extended the lead to 5. Kostas Tsartsaris went to work on the offensive glass and Romain Sato battled in the paint for a score as the Greens stayed within 3. Tsartsaris was helped off the floor with a leg injury, but the hosts kept plowing away. Ian Vougioukas made it 15-16. After Sarunas Jasikevicius put Panathinaikos on top and the Greens stopped Kirilenko in a dunk attempt, Jamont Gordon struck from downtown. Diamantidis tied the score from the line and Kostas Kaimakoglou followed with a three to make it 22-19 at the end of the quarter.
Andrey Vorontsevich scored on the offensive glass to boost CSKA back ahead early in the second quarter. The lead switched hands as Sato scored for the hosts and Gordon answered from downtown. Fresh in the game, Mike Batiste made 2 from the line to even the score at 26-26. As the pace picked up, both teams missed some ruched shots. Nick Calathes brought the crowd to its feet with a three-pointer. The Panathinaikos defense went into lockdown mode, during which David Logan floated in for a layup and Kaimakoglou scored from the line. More free throws from Diamantidis and Calathes made for a 12-0 run and a double-digit lead. Khryapa tried to revive the visitors with a dunk. However CSKA faced severe foul troubles, as Krstic left to the bench with 3. Khryapa stayed hot with a high-flying reverse layup that Batiste erased with a one-hander in the lane. Gordon sank free throws, but Sato answered from downtown to fix the halftime score at 41-32.
Sasha Kaun down low and Siskauskas with a runner narrowed the gap to 6 within two minutes of the break. Smith sank a jumper for the Greens. Kirilenko got going with his first points of the night. On the other end Smith was fouled shooting a three and pushed the hosts up to 46-38. Kaun fought for a basket-plus-foul and Siskauskas flipped in a one-hander as CSKA got to within 4. Calathes’s response brought a round of cheers, 48-42, midway through the quarter. Milos Teodosic silenced the crowd with a triple and Kaimakoglou got them going again with a three. Incredible defense denied both teams. Alexey Shved broke through first with penetration to make it 51-49. Soon Kirilenko netted a three to make it a 1-point game. Jasikevicius lifted the Greens to 57-54 at the end of thequarter.
A pair of Kaimakoglou free throws and a Logan triple put Panathinaikos ahead 62-56. Diamantidis took a seat with his fourth foul and Krstic dunked, but a Calathes basket kept the momentum with the Greens. A Jasikevicius jumper started the Panathinaikos faithful in song. And after Logan stripped Siskauskas, the dong grew even louder. Kirilenko spun inside and drew a foul to end a nearly four-minute CSKA scoring drought from the line. Khryapa soared to reject Calathes and start a fast break that led to a Shved basket-plus-foul and a 67-63 margin with three-and-a-half minutes to play. Calathes answered quickly with a floater. Shved attempted an alley-oop to Kirilenko, but even though the pass was dropped, the CSKA forward still got to the ball for a slam. But Diamantidis put the Greens up 5 from the line. CSKA answered as Shved sank a three on a broken play to make it 71-69 with 1:29 to go. CSKA then stopped Panathinaikos on a 24-second violation and Diamantidis fouled out sending Krstic to the line with 52 seconds left. The center evened the score to set up a dramatic finish. A bad pass by Sato gave CSKA the ball with 32 seconds left, but the visitors came up empty. A timeout left Panathinaikos the final ball with 6.3 seconds to play. The ball went to Saras, who drove and dished to Batiste, who missed. Vougioukas missed the follow and the game went to overtime.
Krstic opened fire in the extra session a layup for 71-73, but got a reply by Vougioukas from the line, even though he only scored one attempt. Khryapa drove aggressively to the basket for the bucket and then Sato miscalculated and turned the ball over, but the hosts got the ball back and Kostas Kaimakoglou blasted a three to tie the game at 75-75 with less than two minutes to go. CSKA was not finding the way to the basket now, but luckily, Kirilenko blocked a clear drive by Batiste to keep things as they were, and then Siskauskas managed to find the space to drill a new bomb that put the guests ahead, 75-78 with less than one minute on the clock. Both teams were all heart now and Sato went all in looking for the rim, but he missed and there were only 33 seconds to go. In the following play, the guests played long, also suffocated by the Greens' defense, and finally Khryapa had the ball in his hands when the 24-second buzzer sounded. With less than 9 seconds left, Calathes had the ball when he was fouled by Siskauskas in midcourt. He scored only one attempt, 76-78,missing the second intentionally, but a violation gave the ball to CSKA with 5 seconds left. The guests managed to put the ball inbounds and escape the fouls as the clock ticked away to a new CSKA Moscow win at the always difficult OACA.
Thursday, November 10, 2011