Unicaja's red-hot shooting takes CSKA down
Unicaja Malaga snapped a three-game losing streak by routing CSKA Moscow 81-94 in the Russian capital on Friday evening. The loss ended the Russian champs’ nine-game winning streak and vaulted Unicaja back into playoff contention at 2-3. Unicaja's point tally represented the most CSKA has ever allowed in a Euroleague home game. CSKA, 4-1, visits Group E leader Real Madrid in the Spanish capital next week. Marcus Williams starred for Unicaja with a season-high 28 points on 6-of-12 three-point shooting. The visitors heated up from downtown early to take a 10-point lead after the first quarter. It reached 17 before Milos Teodosic fueled CSKA comeback with 8 points and 2 assists in 15-2 run to finish the half at 43-47. CSKA briefly led in the third, but Williams and co. kept scoring to soar back ahead. The lead peaked at 18 in the fourth quarter and CSKA never threatened again. Krunoslav Simon added 14 points and 5 assists for the winners, Luka Zoric scored 12 and Sergi Vidal had 11 for Unicaja, which also outrebounded the hosts 24-33, despite no player having more than 5 boards! Nenad Krstic posted 23 points to lead CSKA, Milos Teodosic tallied 17 points and 8 assists, Viktor Khryapa finished with 15 points and 6 assists and Vladimir Micov netted 13 points.
First quarter: Three-point shooting lifts Unicaja to double-digit advantage
CSKA won the opening tip and got going with a triple from Micov on the game’s opening possession. A Zoran Dragic tip-in after a Zoric steal represented the visitors’ first basket. A second basket by Dragic and a Vidal triple sandwiched a missed slam by Sasha Kaun as the visitors moved ahead 3-7. But Sonny Weems threw down a highlight reel slam to soon even things and then put the hosts back ahead. Weems drew Vidal’s second foul and split free throws to make it 10-7 midway through the opening quarter. Zoric went hard inside to end Unicaja’s three-and-a-half minute scoring drought and then added a pair of jumpers to put his team ahead. A triple by Simon lifted the visitors to 11-16. Zoric took a seat on the bench after fouling Krstic at the rim for his second foul. However back-to-back three-pointers by Augusto Cesar Lima and Williams put Unicaja in the driver’s seat at 13-22 and resulted in a CSKA timeout. After Weems sank a jumper, Williams nailed a second bomb from behind the arc to give Unicaja a double-digit lead. CSKA, which went big with both Kaun and Krstic on the floor, got a bucket from the later, but Earl Calloway free throws left the visitors ahead 17-27 through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Unicja builds 17-point lead, Teodosic carries CSKA back
Simon kept the pressure on the hosts with another three-pointer. Krstic answered with a jumper, but Unicaja kept rolling as Fran Vazquez’s offensive rebound allowed Williams to convert a basket-plus-foul for a 19-33 lead. The crowd groaned when Simon knocked down his third three for a 15-point lead, even though Teodosic and Weems continued to generate points for the hosts on offense. Nevertheless, the Unicaja lead continued to grow, hitting 28-45 as Simon tipped in a miss by Lima. Teodosic got a on a roll with 8 points in the span of one minute. Zoric fed Lima for a slam to silence the CSKA crowd, but it was short-loved as Teodisc drained a triple to trim the deficit to 9. Then Aaron Jackson scored off an inbounds pass, forced a turnover and then Teodosic fed Khryapa for a triple to cap a 15-2 surge to end the half with CSKA within 43-47.
Third quarter: Williams takes over to keep Unicaja ahead
Lima threw down a slam to restore Unicaja’s confidence early in the second half. However CSKA forced a pair of 24-second violations, Krstic sttod tall on offense and then Micov scored a three for his first points since the first minute of the game to put CSKA ahead 50-49. Micov scored and pushed CSKA ahead by 2, but Williams fourth triple of the night made it 52-53. Zoric rocked the rim with a two-handed jam thanks to a perfect pass from Williams and then the playmaker then used some streetball moves to free himself for a jumper and a 54-57 edge. Vidal nailed a triple to make it a 4-point game, but Unicaja soon ran into trouble when Vazquez went to the bench for good with his fifth foul. Krstic scored the next 3 points, but before CSKA could move ahead, Williams pulled for a triple, soon after knocked down a pair of free throws and then a baseline jumper to make it 61-67. Even after a timeout, Williams remained red hot with his sixth three and his 10th straight Unicaja point to make it 61-70 through three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Unicaja raises lead as high as 18 en route to victory
Lima extended the Unicaja lead to double figures on the first possession of the quarter. The pressure reached the hosts as Khryapa threw up an airball from downtown. Calloway drained his first triple of the night to put his team up 62-77 three minutes into the fourth quarter. And Dragic gave Unicaja an even bigger lead with a three on the ensuing possession. Still Dragic took a seat with 5 fouls and Teodosic make the resulting 2 free throws. Khryapa got going with a triple, Zoric committed an offensive foul and Krstic scored at the other end, 69-82. Vidal and Khryapa traded triples. Micov cut the deficit to 12, but a Calloway steal and Vidal layup with three minutes to go made it 75-91 and essentially wrapped up a sig win for Unicaja.
Friday, January 25, 2013