The good times continue to roll in Moscow after CSKA won its fifth consecutive Group C game in comfortable fashion on Wednesday, blowing out the guests from Partizan 89-58. CSKA raised its record to 5-2 at the halfway point in the regular season and will be sure to share a piece of second place in the group standings. Partizan fell to 1-6. David Vanterpool led the show at both ends of the floor with 17 points, almost all in the first half, and 6 of CSKA's 26 steals on defense. Theodoros Papaloukas was right behind him with 15 points, 5 steals and 2 blocks, while J.R. Holden completed CSKA's backcourt dominance with 10 points. But it was the defense of CSKA that really ruled as only Nikola Pekovic, with 11 points off the bench, and Predrag Suput , with 10, scored in double digits for the visitors. CSKA held Partizan star Dejan Milojevic to 6 points by limiting him to just 5 shots attempted in his 32 minutes on the floor.
CSKA came out mixing up defenses on Partizan, who could not buy a basket, despite several second chances. For the first 4 minutes, the visitors only scored when Vanterpool registered a monster block in the paint on Kota Perovic that was ruled to be goaltending. In the meantime, Vanterpool's three-point play, a later free throw by him and a pair of Holden jumpers gave the hosts a 10-2 lead and forced Partizan to take a timeout. After that, Predrag Suput nailed a three-pointer to get the guests moving, and soon Loncar's jumper made it 12-7. Still, with Vanterpool in charge at both ends of the floor, CSKA blanked the visitors for awhile more. In the final minute of the quarter, however, Nikola Pekovic hit consecutive layups, the second coming with a free throw with 3 seconds remaining, as Partizan trimmed the CSKA lead to 20-15 after 10 minutes.
CSKA kept up the defensive pressure in the second quarter, with Papaloukas forcing turnovers and Alexey Savrasenko blocking 2 shots and capping off a 7-2 run with a dunk and free throw to put the hosts up 27-17. Milojevic stopped the bleeding for Partizan with a driving laying over Savrasenko, but Papaloukas blocked Bojan Bakic and went in for a fastbreak dunk, forcing Partizan to take another timeout, down 30-19. CSKA took its biggest lead yet, 38-22, on a steal and reverse dunk by Papaloukas with 2:25 left in the half. Luka Bogdanovic drained a three-pointer and Milojevic hit free throws, but CSKA coasted to 40-27 lead at the break.
Behind Pekovic's three-point play and Suput's steal and layup, Partizan cut the CSKA lead to 43-32 with 7:38 to play in the third quarter. But CSKA reacted with a 7-0 run punctuated by a three-point play from Andersen off a fastbreak feed from Holden, good for a 50-32 lead. CSKA tightened up on the defensive glass after giving up 8 offensive boards in the first half, and with Partizan's shooting woes returning, the hosts began to run away with the game, stretching its lead to 56-32 on a Langdon three-pointer from the right corner. Despite a triple from Bogdanovic, Partizan could muster little resistance, and behind Langdon's shooting and Paploukas's third and fourth fastbreak dunks of the game, CSKA closed out the third quarter with a 73-40 lead.
With the game all but decided already, Partizan played loose on offense to start the final quarter, with Loncar draining two three-pointers to cut the CSKA lead to 81-50 with 6 minutes to play. But the home fans were treated to a rare sight as Zakhar Pashutin — hardly known for his above-the-rim exploits — soared in for a one-handed dunk and youngster Vasily Zavoruyev hit a three-pointer. The last few minutes were simply a matter of technique for CSKA, as coach Ettore Messina cleared his bench and the hosts wrapped up an 89-58 victory.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005