Efes Pilsen topped CSKA Moscow 86-72
Efes Pilsen stayed undefeated at home and improved to 3-2 in Turkish Airlines Euroleague Group D by knocking off CSKA Moscow 86-72 in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday night. Efes is third in Group D, right behind Panathinaikos and Union Olimpija, that tie for first place at 4-1 apiece. CSKA, that reached the Euroleague Final Four in each of the last 8 seasons, dropped to 1-4 and needs to start winning right away to improve its chances to make it to the Top 16. Igor Rakocevic led the winners with 21 points. Nikola Vujcic added 14, Lawrence Roberts had 13 while Bostjan Nachbar got 12 for Efes. Rakocevic became the ninth player to reach 2,000 in competition history. Meanwhile, Vujcic was the second player to grab his 1,000th rebound and also broke the 500-assist mark in the Euroleague. Andrey Vorontsevich led CSKA with 15 points. Jamont Gordon added 14 while Boban Marjanovic had 13 for the guests. Rakocevic shined early to give Efes a 26-16 after 10 minutes. Efes boosted its margin to 48-35 at halftime and then again to 63-48 late in the third quarter, but CSKA was not done. Vorontsevich and Trajan Langdon fueled a 0-16 run that J.R. Holden capped with a jumper to give CSKA its only lead of the night, 63-64. It didn't last long, however, as Kerem Tunceri and Roberts combined for 15 points in a 17-2 run
Kerem Gonlum got Efes going with a backdoor dunk and Vujcic added free throws for an early 4-0 lead. Vujcic banked in a mid-range shot that forced Efes to call timeout at 6-0. Rakocevic shined with a layup off an inbound pass, as CSKA tried to change things with Viktor Khryapa on the floor for the first time this season. CSKA, however, missed its 7 opening shots until Vorontsevich hit a five-meter jumper. Rakocevic nailed a stop-and-pop jumper, however, and a three-pointer by Andrew Wisniewski gave Efes its first double-digit lead, 13-2. Gordon, Bootsy Thornton and once again Vorontsevich joined the three-point shootout for a 16-8 score. Vujcic buried a five-meter shot and Rakocevic scored in transition to keep Efes way ahead, 20-8. Gordon provided a highlight with a wild driving layup in traffic that Rakocevic bettered with a triple. Khryapa dunked it off a steal and added a fast break layup to bring CSKA back to life, 23-14. A step-back jumper by Langdon and a ttriple by Roberts fixed the score at 26-16 after 10 minutes.
Rakocevic drew a foul and calmly made free throws to boost the hosts' lead to 28-16 early in the second quarter. Efes stayed all over the place in defense and a foul shot by Vujcic made it a 13-point game, 29-16. CSKA tried a tall lineup with Khryapa at small forward but Rakocevic - who else? - buried a triple off a screen and free throws by Roberts broke the game open, 35-16, after a 12-0 run. CSKA went scoreless for more than 3 minutes but Gordon stepped up with a baseline jumper. Marjanovic added a dunk-and-foul and Gordon shined with a layup off a steal that got CSKA within 35-23. Marjanovic capped a 0-9 CSKA run with free throws, as Thornton quickly stepped up with a power basket. Nachbar took over with a put-back layup that Marjanovic matched with more foul shots. Nachbar kept pacing Efes with back-to-back layups but a triple by Holden and free throws by Vorontsevich kept CSKA within 44-32. Nachbar found space for an easy dunk and Vujcic added a layup in penetration but a step-back jumper by Holden got CSKA within 48-35 at halftime.
Rakocevic swished a four-meter shot immediately after the break and soon added a stop-and-pop three-pointer to boost Efes' lead to 53-35. CSKA did not find the way to the basket almost 2 minutes until Marjanovic stepped up with an easy dunk. Gordon scored in penetration but a corner three-pointer by Sinan Guler kept the hosts away from trouble at 56-40. Marjanovic kept trying to change things with foul shots and Vorontsevich nailed a big triple to bring CSKA back to life, 57-45. Vujcic shined with a second-chance layup - getting his 1,000th Euroleague career rebound in the process - that Marjanovic erased with another dunk. Rakocevic sank an off-balance jumper to reach the 2,000-point mark in the competition and free throws by Vujcic gave Efes a 63-48 margin. Vorontsevich struck from downtown and Alexey Shved added a tip-in to force Efes to call timeout at 63-53. Langdon followed free throws with a bomb from downtown and a left-handed driving layup by Vorontsevich brought CSKA as close as 63-60 after three quarters.
Dimitry Sokolov scored in the paint and a mid-range jumper by Holden completed the guests' comeback, 63-64, after a game-changing 0-16 run. Tunceri rescued Efes with a three-pointer, as the hosts adjusted its man-to-man defense and started to play much more aggressive, stopping CSKA's transition game. Roberts stepped up with a driving layup and soon added a critical triple that made it a seven-point game, 71-64, with under 6 minutes left. Shved shined with a driving layup that an unstoppable Roberts matched with a spin move in the low post. Tunceri sent the crowd to their feet with a left-handed layup that boosted Efes' lead to 75-66 with 4 minutes to go. Tunceri downed a three-pointer off a CSKA timeout and Guler dunked it off a steal to seal the outcome, 80-66, after a 17-2 run. CSKA kept trying in the final 3 minutes but all Efes fans were already celebrating a big win that improved their team's chances to return to the Top 16!
Thursday, November 18, 2010