De Colo lifts CSKA past Baskonia in Game 3
CSKA Moscow regained control of its playoff series with a 77-84 victory over KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in Game 3 at Fernando Buesa Arena, site of the 2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four. The victory gave CSKA a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. CSKA lead for the vast majority of the game, but after Matt Janning buried a pair of threes to give Baskonia a 65-62 lead early in the fourth quarter, Nando De Colo took control and scored 14 of his season-high 28 points in the final 10 minutes to lead the visitors to victory. Cory Higgins added 11 points and Will Clyburn and
Kyle Hines scored 10 apiece for the winners. Vincent Poirier was a one-man wrecking crew for Baskonia with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Darrun Hilliard scored 13 before fouling out and Johannes Voigtmann netted 12 in defeat.
Andrey Vorontsevich made an early impact for CSKA with a pair of three-pointers as CSKA jumped out to a 4-10 start. Sergio Rodriguez came off the bench and dished 3 quick assists before Baskonia called timeout down 8. De Colo knocked down a triple that established a double-digit lead, 6-17. Poirier entered the game for Baskonia and got together with Marcelinho Huertas on an alley-oop-and-foul. Hilliard added a three as Baskonia started to close the gap. Clyburn helped keep CSKA comfortably ahead despite a second three from Hilliard. Othello Hunter's put-back slam left CSKA ahead 18-28 after 10 minutes. Higgins further extended the difference with a three-pointer. Rodriguez committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Hilliard on a fast break and through free throws by Hilliard and Poirier trimmed the deficit to 7. CSKA got threes by De Colo and Daniel Hackett to remain in control at 30-39. Baskonia drew within 39-46 at the break thanks to free throws by Poirier and Luca Vildoza.
Voigtmann connected from downtown and then fed Poirier for a slam as Baskonia got within 44-48 early in the second half. Clyburn and De Colo stretched back to 9 only for Huertas and Patricio Garino to spark a 6-0 Baskonia surge to make it 51-54. Higgins helped the visitors regain their composure, but Voigtmann carried Baskonia back again and the sides parted at 59-62 at the end of the third quarter. Matt Janning drained back-to-back three-pointers to start the fourth and give Baskonia its first lead of the night. De Colo answered from deep to even things at 65-65. De Colo remained hot with CSKA's next three baskets as it built a 67-71 edge. De Colo was whistled for a technical foul, after which Baskonia got back within 1 through a Poirier putback, but De Colo rifled in another triple for a 70-74 lead with 5 minutes remaining. Joel Bolomboy brought energy and defense off the bench to slow down Baskonia, while De Colo got Hilliard to foul out and sank free throws for a 71-79 advantage with 2 minutes to play. Baskonia battled hard and a second-chance triple by Garino made it 77-81 with 27 seconds left in regulation. Free throws by Higgins and Hines finished things off for CSKA.
It's pretty tough to win on the road when you commit 16 turnovers, but CSKA claimed the W because it was the superior shooting team. CSKA was 20 for 38 on two-pointers (52.6%) and 9 for 24 on threes (37.5%). It held Baskonia to 43.6% on twos (17 of 39) and 29.2% on threes (7 of 24). Nearly identical numbers of shots, but the visitors simply made more.
CSKA's revamped lineup
CSKA started the game with a different look. Coach Itoudis called on Nando De Colo, Daniel Hackett, Nikita Kurbanov, Andrey Vorontsevich and Kyle Hines to start. Not only was it the first time these five had started together, but it was also just the third start all season for Vorontsevich and the fourth for Hines. All but Hackett were members of CSKA most-recent EuroLeague-winning squad in 2016. The shakeup surely worked, because CSKA raced out to a 6-17 lead.
The teams meet again on Friday for Game 4. A CSKA victory will punch its Final Four ticket, which a Baskonia victory forces a Game 5 in Moscow next week.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019