2018-19Regular SeasonRound 6
November 08, 2018 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MEDIOLANUM FORUM

CSKA rallies past Milan in a thriller

In one of the best games so far this season, CSKA Moscow remained undefeated in the competition by topping AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 85-90 on the road on Thursday. CSKA improved to 6-0 in the standings, while Milan dropped to 4-2. Cory Higgins led the winners with 23 points, Nando De Colo added 18, Will Clyburn had 14, Alec Peters 10 and Sergio Rodriguez dished 10 assists for CSKA. Vladimir Micov led Milan with 24 points, Mike James and Arturas Gudaitis each added 16 and Dairis Bertans 12 for Milan. James added 12 assists for a double-double.

Clyburn and Othello Hunter combined for all the points in 0-7 opening run. Micov and James rescued Milan and a three-pointer by Bertans tied it at 11-11. James followed a layup with free throws, but Kyle Hines and De Colo tied it again, 16-16. A three-pointer by Jeff Brooks and a layup by Gudaitis helped Milan get a 21-16 lead after 10 minutes. Higgins followed a triple with a layup and back-to-back dunks by Hines and Clyburn caused Milan to stop the game at 23-25. Gudaitis kept pacing Milan, but Clyburn and Rodriguez allowed CSKA to boost its margin to 29-36. Gudaitis and Bertans fueled a 7-0 run that tied it again, 36-36. Bertans insisted from downtown and a layup by Micov saw the hosts regain the lead, 41-40, at halftime. Micov took over after the break and a power layup by Tarczewski made it 48-40. Tarczewski scored in transition and a red-hot Micov made it a double-digit game, 56-45. CSKA kept struggling at both ends and a driving layup by James prompted the visitors to call timeout at 64-51. De Colo struck twice from downtown in a 0-10 run highlighted by Higgins's huge dunk as CSKA returned to the game at 66-63 after 30 minutes. Free throws by Peters completed CSKA's comeback, 66-68, early in the fourth quarter. A jumper by Higgins and a big triple by Peters made it 71-77. A corner triple by James turned the game into a thriller at 80-80 with two minutes remaining. Higgins hit a mid-range jumper, which Hines followed with a layup for an 80-84 CSKA edge. Higgins and Hines sealed the outcome down the stretch.

Pivotal performer

Higgins was just unstoppable in the second half, scoring 16 points in the final 12 minutes to make sure CSKA went back home with a valuable road win. He finished the game with 23 points, hitting 6 of 8 two-point shots and 8 of 8 free throws for a PIR of 28.

Game-changing moment

CSKA trailed 64-51 late in the third quarter but De Colo and Higgins each had 12 points in a 2-17 run that gave the visitors the lead, 66-68. The game went down to the wire, but CSKA's comeback came in a critical moment for the Russian powerhouse.

Stellar stat

CSKA shot better from all distances in this game. It hit 57.1% inside the arc, 40% from downtown and 85.7% from the foul line. Milan scored 52.3% of its two-point shots, 34.8% from beyond the arc and 79% from the foul line.

Did you notice?

James set a new career high in assists. His previous record was 8 when Milan faced Khimki Moscow Region earlier this season, on October 25.

Next game:

Both teams return to EuroLeague action next week. Milan visits Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul on Thursday. A day later, CSKA travels to Germany to face FC Bayern Munich.

Cory Higgins - CSKA Moscow - EB18
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: JAVOR, DAMIR; CORTES, CARLOS; PEERANDI, RAIN
Attendance: 8936
By Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan21202519
CSKA Moscow16242327
End of Quarter1234
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan21416685
CSKA Moscow16406390
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
00 DELLA VALLE, AMEDEO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2 JAMES, MIKE 39:20 16 5/10 1/9 3/3 2 4 6 12 2 4   1 2 3 19
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR 35:09 24 6/10 3/8 3/3   3 3 4 1 4 1   3 4 21
7 GUDAITIS, ARTURAS 24:08 16 5/8   6/9 5 2 7   1 3 2 1 2 7 21
9 BERTANS, DAIRIS 31:23 12 1/2 3/3 1/2 1 1 2 1 2     1 4 3 13
13 FONTECCHIO, SIMONE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 TARCZEWSKI, KALEB 15:49 8 4/4     1 3 4     2 1       11
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 13:28   0/2 0/1             3   1 4   -11
20 CINCIARINI, ANDREA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 BURNS, CHRISTIAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 BROOKS, JEFF 31:23 7 1/7 1/2 2/2 5 8 13 1   1     3 1 11
55 JERRELLS, CURTIS 9:20 2 1/1                     1   1
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 85 23/44 8/23 15/19 16 23 39 18 6 17 4 4 19 18 90
        52.3% 34.8% 78.9%
Head coach: PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 DE COLO, NANDO 28:59 18 3/5 4/7   1 3 4 4   2     2 4 21
5 PETERS, ALEC 27:21 10 1/1 2/4 2/2   2 2   2 2       1 11
11 ANTONOV, SEMEN 2:57                         1   -1
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 22:10 5 1/3 1/4         10 1 2   1 1   7
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 4:36   0/1     2 1 3 1   1     1   1
21 CLYBURN, WILL 23:12 14 5/8 1/3 1/1 1 3 4     1   1 3 4 12
22 HIGGINS, CORY 30:20 23 6/8 1/3 8/8   2 2 2 2 2     2 7 28
23 HACKETT, DANIEL 8:26   0/3 0/2   1 2 3   1 1     1 1 -2
30 KULAGIN, MIKHAIL 8:43 3   1/2         3   1     3   1
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 1:05                              
42 HINES, KYLE 22:18 9 4/9   1/2 3 2 5   1   3 2 2 1 9
44 HUNTER, OTHELLO 19:53 8 4/4   0/1   4 4     1 1   2 1 10
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 90 24/42 10/25 12/14 10 21 31 20 7 13 4 4 18 19 101
        57.1% 40% 85.7%
Head coach: ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS

Head Coaches

PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
"I think it is very clear that we played one of our best games. We played a solid game for 30 minutes, also with the problems that we have now. We shared the ball and in the moment that we built an unbelievable gap, double-digits, up by 13, this is exactly the picture of what is the difference with a team that plays to win the EuroLeague. When you forget two things, in less than two minutes it was 0-10 and this is something that you cannot prepare, something that you cannot stop. It is just not losing the momentum and after that, when the game is tight again, it is normal that, to have the right matchup with this kind of team, you cannot have longer rotations and in the fourth quarter, it goes down to details and they scored some extra shots to win the game. I think we had a chance before and of course, we are not happy for this, but looking at the big picture, I have to say to my players that, for sure, we played a great game. There is a room for us to be better in these details that they know exactly how to manage, also when they are down, how they manage to find points when we were playing really good defense. Congratulations to them, but also to my players. This game can gives us the chance to see clearly the long way we need to go to be better."
ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
CSKA Moscow
"[We managed to play well] with the deep bench that we have and the deep roster we have. We believe that nothing is over, with all respect to Milan, which is a great team and has proved that throughout these years, especially this year, we were giving them too much. The fact that we managed to force the team with least turnovers in the league to make 17 tonight - I think they were averaging 10 - is a great accomplishment for us. The fact that we kept believing, although they hurt us a lot with a good rhythm, a good pace they had and a lot of offensive boards. We kept believing and changed a couple of details, but I think that, defensively, we were there. We managed to come back from a big deficit in quick time, I would say. That gave us the boost and they stayed solid until the game, but I have to say that the game was open. I give credit to Milan as well. The outcome could have been different, but I have to give credit to my players. They kept believing no matter what the result was, because the momentum was on Milan's side in the third quarter. They kept believing and we executed well, so congratulations to my players."

Players

DE COLO, NANDO
CSKA Moscow
"It is a great win. We knew that Milan had a great start of the season and they have a pretty good team. They play pretty good and tonight, we played a good game. In the second half, we were down 13 points and came back to this game, so this is good. We did it all together. We stepped up on defense and after that, we got more options on our offense. Like we say all the time, a game is never finished and we need to play until the end."