Higgins, Clyburn lead CSKA past Madrid
In a battle of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague powerhouses - and the two winningest teams in competition history, CSKA Moscow downed Real Madrid 88-93 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. CSKA improved to 9-1 in the standings, while Madrid dropped to 8-2. Cory Higgins led the winners with 24 points, Will Clyburn added 18, Nando De Colo had 15 and Alec Peters 11 for CSKA. Facu Campazzo led Madrid with 21 points, Rudy Fernandez added 18 and Felipe Reyes had 10 for the hosts.
Peters struck from downtown in a 0-7 opening run that Daniel Hackett capped with free throws. De Colo added consecutive three-pointers, Othello Hunter dunked and a layup by Clyburn caused Madrid to call timeout at 3-17. Campazzo and Jaycee Carroll stepped up for Madrid and a turnaround jumper by Anthony Randolph prompted CSKA to stop the game at 12-20. Fernandez hit a step-back triple and Campazzo added a three-quarters court bomb at the first quarter buzzer to make it 20-24 after 10 minutes. A layup by Reyes and a jumper by Jaycee Carroll gave Madrid its first lead, 26-24, early in the second quarter. Reyes kept pacing Madrid with a jump hook and Gustavo Ayon added a layup that boosted the hosts' lead to 32-24. Hunter rescued CSKA with a layup and three-pointers by Peters and Clyburn tied it at 32-32, after an 8-0 run. Peters sank another from beyond the arc and Hackett did the same for a 37-38 CSKA edge. Free throws by Ayon and a put-back layup by Fernandez restored a 41-38 Madrid lead at halftime. Gabriel Deck and Jeffery Taylor took over after the break, but Peters and De Colo kept CSKA within 49-47. A three-pointer by Higgins provided another lead change, 49-52. De Colo struck from downtown and found Hunter for a slam that boosted CSKA's lead to 55-62. Higgins stayed on fire to keep the visitors in charge, 61-67, after 30 minutes. Mikhail Kulagin nailed a triple early in the fourth quarter, but Carroll kept Madrid close at 66-72. Kulagin made free throws and Higgins struck from downtown for a double-digit CSKA lead, 66-77, with eight minutes left. Fernandez and Reyes tried to change things for Madrid, but Higgins and Kyle Hines kept CSKA ahead, 73-84. Nothing changed after that, as CSKA cruised to a well-deserved win.
Clyburn did a little bit of everything to lead CSKA to a big road victory - 18 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 27. He was solid all game long, finding answers at both ends.
Madrid led 49-45 early in the first half, but Higgins, Clyburn and De Colo combined for all the points in a 6-19 run that put CSKA ahead for good, 55-64. In a critical moment, CSKA's perimeter stars stepped up to make the difference. Madrid never led after that.
Three-point shots made the difference in this game. CSKA hit 15 of 26 shots from downtown (57.7%), limiting Madrid to just 8 of 22 three-pointers (36.4%). De Colo and Higgins each hit four shots from beyond the arc.
Did you notice?
Higgins scored 20 of his 24 points in the final 16 minutes. He was there for CSKA in crunch time and had a new season-high in scoring. Higgins had already scored 23 points against AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano and Zalgiris Kaunas.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action on Friday, December 7 - Madrid visits Anadolu Efes Istanbul and CSKA returns to Spain to face KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Thursday, November 29, 2018