CSKA handles Besiktas to stay in hunt to win Group D
CSKA Moscow pulled away in the second half for an 87-72 victory over Besiktas JK Istanbul on Thursday night in the Russian capital. Besiktas played strong and led for much of the first two-and-a-half quarters. It was 56- 61 midway through the third quarter, but in the next nine minutes of game time, CSKA went on a 19-2 romp to put the game away. Milos Teodosic orchestrated a balanced CSKA attack with 11 assists as the Russian champs improved to 8-1 and will have a shot at first place in Group D when they visit FC Barcelona Regal next week. Besiktas, which dropped to 4-5, has already cemented third place in the group. Sonny Weems led all CSKA scorers with 20 points, Sasha Kaun tallied 19 on 8-of-9 shooting in just 18 minutes, Nenad Krstic scored 15 and Viktor Khryapa collected 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Patrick Christopher paced Besiktas with 14 points, Damir Markota netted 12 and Curtis Jerrells finished with 10 points and 6 assists.
First quarter: Besiktas lights up from outside to take lead
Christopher started things with a three-pointer, but Dionte Christmas countered with a long jumper for the hosts. Teodosic kept CSKA cruising with a behind-the-back assist to Kaun inside and mid-range jumper of his own to make it 9-5. After settling for jumpers early, Besiktas started to attack the rim and closed the gap through Jerrells free throws and a Gasper Vidmar slam over Khryapa – and a foul. The momentum remained with the visitors as Muratcan Guler hit from downtown and Christopher added a free throw as Besiktas grabbed an 11-13 lead midway through the quarter. The lead changed sides as Sonny Weems converted a three-point play and Guler hit another three. More triples by Cevher Ozer and Jerrells put Besiktas in charge 16-23. CSKA turned to Krstic inside, but Serhat Cetin also knocked down a Besiktas three. Krstic added 2 more free throws to trim the difference to 24-28 through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: After CSKA makes run, Markota keeps visitors on top
Markota scored twice early in the second quarter before Fikret Can Akin made it a 10-point game. Vladimir Micov helped CSKA out of its slump with a three from the corner. Vidmar flashed his athleticism by rejecting Krstic at the rim from behind. CSKA kept Beiktas out of the paint on defense and got going with the ball as a Christmas steal led to a Weems layup and then Christmas knocked down a triple to make it 11 straight points for the hosts, who regained the lead at 35-34. After a timeout, Krstic took the run to 13 points before Christopher came alive with a pair of baskets to end a five-minute Besiktas drought. Free throws by Krstic and then Kaun kept CSKA ahead. Falker and Markota kept Besiktas within 43-42. Khryapa and Cetin exchanged threes. A steal by Jerrells set up Markota for another three. The Besiktas forward added 3 free throws on the final play of the half to make it 46-51 at the break.
Third quarter: Kaun, Khryapa lead 11-0 CSKA charge
Weems went to work with a pretty move for a three-point play and then nailed a long jumper as CSKA fought its way back. Christmas completed the comeback with a three-pointer as CSKA went up 54-53. Ozer connected from behind the arc, but the hosts kept rolling as Khryapa dished to a cutting Kaun for a two-handed jam. Cetin shot Besiktas to a 56-61 lead with his third triple of the night midway through the third quarter. Kaun converted a three-point play and Weems drained a three for his 20th point as CSKA went on top. Khryapa set up Kaun for a slam. Then Teodosic notched his 10th assist with a cross court pass to Khryapa, who knocked down a three from the wing to cap an 11-0 run. After a scoreless final minute, the third quarter ended at 67-61.
Fourth quarter: Defense comes through as hosts pull away
CSKA looked to put the game away as Akin committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Krstic, who made the resulting free throws. However Akin ended a nearly seven-minute scoring drought for the visitors and closed the gap to 69-63. Krstic set up Micov for an easy layup, then Micov dished to Krstic underneath and 2 free throws later the hosts had their first double-digit lead. Khryapa added a jumper to extend the lead to 12. Christopher and Jerrells came together to cut that deficit in half, but Khryapa came to CSKA’s rescue with a three-pointer. Akin countered with a three to keep Besiktas in the hunt at 78-72. Teodosic, fresh off the bench, came through with a clutch triple. An offensive rebound and layup from Kaun with 90 seconds left essentially sealed the outcome as CSKA remained in the hunt for first place in Group D.
Thursday, December 6, 2012