CSKA overpowers Efes at home
In a high-scoring showdown, CSKA Moscow survived a tough test by topping Anadolu Efes Istanbul 102-84 in the Russian capital on Thursday. CSKA improved to 11-3 in the standing to remain in third place, while Efes dropped to 9-5 and remained fourth in the standings. Will Clyburn led the winners with 24 points and 11 rebounds, Nando De Colo added 21 points, Othello Hunter had 13 and Daniel Hackett 12 for CSKA. Rodriguez Beaubois paced Efes with 24 points, Brock Motum added 16 and Krunoslav Simon 11 for the visitors.
Vasilije Micic and Adrien Moerman got Efes going with consecutive layups, but De Colo and Hackett soon gave CSKA its first lead, 5-4. De Colo scored in penetration and Alec Peters added a put-back layup, but Beaubois struck three times from downtown for a 9-13 Efes edge. De Colo had 4 points in a 6-0 CSKA run that Beaubois stopped with his fourth triple. De Colo kept pushing CSKA with a behind-the-back assist for a Clyburn dunk and a big basket in the low post. Beaubois hit a floater, but Clyburn followed a triple with free throws for a 26-20 CSKA lead. A put-back layup by Clyburn and a corner three-pointer by De Colo boosted the hosts' lead to 31-24 after 10 minutes. Cory Higgins sank a triple early in the second quarter, but Motum brought Efes a bit closer, 34-30. It didn't last long, as Sergio Rodriguez, Kyle Hines and Clyburn fueled an 8-1 run that gave CSKA a 44-33 margin. Motum followed a three-pointer with a jump hook in a 0-8 run that Shane Larkin capped with a bomb from downtown to bring his team within 44-41. Hunter took over with a three-point play and consecutive dunks, but Simon and Micic brought the visitors within 52-48. Hackett stepped up with consecutive baskets, however, Moerman and Micic answered from downtown to bring Efes even closer, 56-54, at halftime. Hunter dunked twice right after the break. A driving layup by Beaubois and a triple by Simon made it a 1-point game. Nikita Kurbanov took over with a tip-in, which De Colo followed with a bomb from downtown. A layup by Clyburn gave CSKA fresh air at 67-61. A layup by Hackett soon caused Efes to stop the game at 71-64. Kurbanov and De Colo stayed on fire and a put-back layup by Clyburn gave CSKA a 77-68 lead after 30 minutes. Kurbanov buried one from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter and an alley-oop dunk by Clyburn prompted Efes to call timeout at 82-68. Clyburn nailed a three-pointer that broke the game open, 85-68, with over six minutes left. Motum led a 0-7 Efes run, but Higgins and Hines answered as CSKA sealed the outcome with time to spare.
Kurbanov was all over the place on defense against Efes, getting 6 steals - twice as much as his previous career-high - to go with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 fouls drawn. Kurbanov finished the game with a performance index rating of 18.
Clyburn and Kurbanov combined for all the points in a 10-0 CSKA that bridged the last two quarters. It allowed CSKA to get an 82-65 lead and even though Efes kept fighting, the hosts were well on their way to a well-deserved win.
CSKA outrebounded Efes 41-24 in this game, including 21 offensive boards. CSKA has not taken more than 20 offensive rebounds in a EuroLeague game since March 2004, in a game against Cibona. It tied the second-best mark in club history; CSKA had 24 offensive boards against Montepaschi Siena in November 2003.
Did you notice?
Rodriguez became the fifth player to reach 1,000 assists in EuroLeague history. He reached the milestone early in the fourth quarter when he found Clyburn for an alley-oop slam. Vassilis Spanoulis, Dimitris Diamantidis, Milos Teodosic and Thomas Heurtel reached 1,000 assists before him. Congratulations, 'Chacho'!
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action next week. Efes visits FC Barcelona Lassa on Thursday. A day later, CSKA visits Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in a rematch of the 2007 and 2009 EuroLeague championship games.
Thursday, December 20, 2018