De Colo's late free throws lead CSKA to road win
In a fun-to-watch showdown that went down to the wire, CSKA Moscow moved on to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs in style by edging Olympiacos Piraeus 96-99 on the road in Group F on Friday. CSKA had locked up first place in Group F before the game and finished it with a 10-4 record; it will face Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade in the playoffs. Olympiacos placed seventh in Group F with a 6-8 record. Nando De Colo led the winners with 20 points - 12 of them in the final three minutes. Milos Teodosic and Aaron Jackson each added 13, Vitaly Fridzon and Nikita Kurbanov scored 11 apiece, while Andrey Vorontsevich had 10 for CSKA. Matt Lojeski led Olympiacos with 18 points, Vassilis Spanoulis added 17, Vangelis Mantzaris had 12 and Othello Hunter got 11 for the hosts. Jackson led a 0-11 run, which Fridzon capped with a three-pointer to give CSKA a 9-16 lead. CSKA extended its margin to 22-33 late in the first quarter, but Daniel Hackett struck twice from downtown in a 14-0 Olympiacos run that put the hosts in charge, 36-33. Vorontsevich and De Colo stepped up for CSKA, which went ahead 45-50 at halftime. Mantzaris took over after the break to help Olympiacos regain the lead, 54-52. He got help from Kostas Papanikolaou and Lojeski to give the hosts a 69-64 lead after 30 minutes. A three-pointer by Kurbanov and free throws by De Colo seemed to seal the outcome in the final minute. But Spanoulis struck from downtown and Lojeski added back-to-back triples for a 2-point deficit with 3.7 seconds left. De Colo made free throws and Olympiacos could not score on the final play.
First quarter: CSKA shines on offense, takes lead
Vassilis Spanoulis got Olympiacos going with a three-pointer and Nikola Milutinov matched Ivan Lazarev's put-back slam in traffic with a layup for a 5-2 lead. Nikita Kurbanov struck from downtown and Vorontsevich bettered Milutinov's free throws with a triple that gave CSKA its first lead, 7-8. Ioannis Papapetrou scored around the basket, but free throws by Nando De Colo and a layup by Aaron Jackson restored a 9-12 CSKA edge. Jackson scored again and a dunk by Vorontsevich boosted the guests' lead to 7. Vitaly Fridzon capped a 0-11 run with a three-pointer, as Vangelis Mantzaris answered with his own shot from beyond the arc. Spanoulis banked in an off-balance basket and Teodosic split free throws, but back-to-back triples by Milos Teodosic gave CSKA a 15-25 margin. Spanoulis and Matt Lojeski stepped up for the hosts, keeping their team within 22-28. Cory Higgins, Kyle Hines and Teodosic hit foul shots and a three-point play by Daniel Hackett fixed the score at 25-33 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: CSKA holds on to lead
Othello Hunter hit a turnaround jumper early in the quarter and a follow-up layup by Dimitris Agravanis brought Olympiacos within 4. CSKA was held scoreless for more than two minutes and a three-pointer by Darius Johnson-Odom caused Coach Dimitris Itoudis to call timeout at 32-33. Johnson-Odom split free throws and a three-pointer by Hackett capped a 14-0 run and put Olympiacos back in charge, 36-33. Demetris Nichols and Vorontsevich stepped up with consecutive layups, but a dunk by Hakim Warrick restored a 38-37 Olympiacos lead. De Colo immediately answered with a layup and Kurbanov restored a 38-41 CSKA lead. Jackson shined with a driving layup and De Colo added a six-meter jumper, which prompted Olympiacos to call timeout at 39-45. Papapetrou scored in penetration and Hunter added a fast break slam, but Vorontsevich gave the guests a 43-46 edge. Lojeski took over with a backdoor layup, but a close basket by Jackson and another slam by Vorontsevich helped CSKA reach halftime with a 45-50 lead.
Third quarter: Mantzaris, Lojeski put Olympiacos in charge
Milutinov shined with a tip-in immediately after the break and a free throw by Kostas Papanikolaou made it a two-point game, 48-50. Lazarev briefly silenced the crowd with an alleyoop dunk that Mantzaris improved that with a three-pointer and soon added a layup-plus-foul to put Olympiacos in charge, 54-52. De Colo stepped up with a backdoor layup that Lojeski erased with a one-handed jumper in the lane. Hines took over with a put-back basket and Teodosic matched Lojeski's free throws with a driving layup for a 58-58 tie. Mantzaris hit foul shots and Papanikolaou added a fast break layup but Teodosic and Hines kept CSKA within 62-60. Johnson-Odom stepped up with a corner triple that Fridzon matched with a layup-plus-foul. Agravanis followed another follow-up layup with a tip-in that boosted the hosts' lead to 69-63. A free throw by Teodosic fixed the score at 69-64 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Down to the wire drama
Kurbanov split free throws early in the quarter and a corner triple by Fridzon caused Olympiacos to call timeout at 69-68. Hunter made foul shots, but Fridzon matched it with a backdoor layup and Hines added a coast-to-coast basket for a 71-72 CSKA lead. Teodosic stepped up with a driving layup, which Agravanis erased with a fast break basket. Jackson scored in penetration and soon added a three-pointer to give CSKA plenty of fresh air at 73-79. Olympiacos kept struggling to score and Higgins struck from downtown to make it a 9-point game. Lojeski swished a mid-range jumper and Hunter added a three-point play that gave Olympiacos hope at 78-82. De Colo followed free throws with a three-point play, but Spanoulis and Hunter kept the hosts within 5. Spanoulis buried a three-pointer, but Kurbanov answered from downtown to seal the outcome at 85-90 with a minute left. De Colo hit 5 of 6 free throws, but Spanoulis and Lojeski struck from downtown and Papanikolaou added a close basket to make it 93-95. Kurbanov made free throws, but a three-pointer by Lojeski got the Reds even closer, 96-97, with 3.7 seconds left. De Colo hit foul shots and Olympiacos could not score on the final play.
Friday, April 8, 2016