2020-21Regular SeasonRound 15
December 18, 2020 CET: 18:00
Local time: 20:00 MEGASPORT ARENA

CSKA nabs 10th straight win

In an all-Russian showdown, CSKA Moscow confirmed its outstanding form by downing Zenit St Petersburg 83-65 at home in Megasport Arena on Friday. CSKA improved 12-3 with its 10th consecutive win. CSKA had not won 10 consecutive games in the same season since the 2014-15 campaign. Zenit dropped to 8-5 and is now 6-2 on the road. Mike James paced the winners with 20 points. Nikola Milutinov and Darrun Hilliard each added 13, Will Clyburn got 11 and Toko Shengelia 10 for CSKA. Milutinov added 13 rebounds for a double-double. Kevin Pangos led Zenit with 14 points. KC Rivers and Alex Poythress each added 12 while Will Thomas got 11 for the guests.CSKA led 24-17 after 10 minutes, boosting its margin to 45-31 at halftime and then again to 66-49 at the end of the third quarter to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.

James and Hilliard got CSKA going but Thomas followed a jumper with a three-pointer for a 4-5 Zenit lead. Hilliard scored in penetration and struck from downtown in a 7-0 run that James capped with a layup. Mateusz Ponitka scored off a Zenit timeout and Pangos added a triple and a jumper to keep the guests within 15-12. James struck from way beyond the arc, getting help from Hilliard to restore a 21-14 CSKA lead. Pangos and Clyburn exchanged three-pointers to fix the score at 24-17 after 10 minutes. Rivers followed a floater with a triple early in the second quarter. Hilliard and a red-hot Rivers traded jumpers, then Janis Strelnieks buried a three-pointer for a 29-24 CSKA lead. Billy Baron found his first points and fed Poythress for a huge dunk. Clyburn and Nikita Kurbanov each hit triples and Milutinov buried a jumper to give CSKA fresh air at 37-30. Kurbanov and Shengelia stepped up for CSKA and James beat the halftime buzzer with a triple that boosted CSKA's margin to 45-31. Thomas and James traded layups right after the break, then Rivers sank a three-pointer at 47-36. Pangos took over with a driving layup and Poythress scored three times around the basket but James and Shengelia kept CSKA in charge, 55-44. Johannes Voigtmann and Clyburn buried one triple apiece to break the game open, 61-44. Shengelia joined the three-point shootout but Baron brought Zenit a bit closer, 66-49, after 30 minutes. Voigtmann bettered Arturas Gudaitis's layup with a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Kurbanov soon added a layup that made it a 20-point game, 71-51. Andrey Zubkov followed a triple with a fastbreak layup but Shengelia and James gave Zenit no chance at 75-56. James found Milutinov for a dunk that sealed the outcome, 77-56, as Zenit did not recover in the final 4 minutes.

Pivotal performer

He has been on fire in recent weeks and CSKA's game against Zenit was no exception. James had yet another outstanding performance, finishing the game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 32.

Game-changing moment

A tip-in by Poythress brought Zenit as close as 32-30. It didn't last long, however, as Kurbanov and Milutinov ignited a 13-1 run that James capped with a spectacular stop-and-pop triple at the halftime buzzer. CSKA reached the break with a 45-31 lead and never looked back.

Stellar stat

CSKA only allowed Zenit to pull down 3 offensive rebounds, a new club low. Zenit had always grabbed at least 6 offensive rebounds in any previous EuroLeague game. That allowed CSKA to outrebound its opponent by 34-25.

Did you know?

CSKA remains undefeated against Zenit in Europe's top competition. CSKA had previously beaten Zenit twice last season, by 70-87 on the road Sibur Arena behind 16 points from James and 14 from Voigtmann; and again at home by 86-78 as James and Voigtmann led the way again with 27 and 13 points, respectively.

Next game

Both teams return to EuroLeague next Tuesday, December 22. CSKA visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at the Astroballe. Zenit hosts Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade as Baron and Rivers face their former team.

Mike James - CSKA Moscow - EB20
Friday, December 18, 2020
Attendance: 2713
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow24212117
Zenit St Petersburg17141816
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow24456683
Zenit St Petersburg17314965
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 KHOMENKO, ALEXANDER 0:49                         1   -1
5 JAMES, MIKE 31:42 20 6/10 2/4 2/2 1 5 6 7 4 3     2 6 32
6 HILLIARD, DARRUN 26:18 13 4/9 1/6 2/2   2 2   1     1   3 8
7 UKHOV, IVAN 0:05                              
11 ANTONOV, SEMEN 6:19   0/1               1 1   3   -4
13 STRELNIEKS, JANIS 9:18 3   1/2         1         3    
17 VOIGTMANN, JOHANNES 17:47 6   2/2   1 5 6     2       1 11
21 CLYBURN, WILL 24:16 11 0/3 3/7 2/2   1 1 2   1     1 1 6
23 SHENGELIA, TORNIKE 28:56 10 2/5 1/1 3/4   1 1 2 1 1     1 5 13
28 LOPATIN, ANDREI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 27:03 13 6/8   1/2 7 6 13     1     1 3 24
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 27:27 7 2/2 1/2     3 3       1   2   8
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 83 20/38 11/24 10/12 10 24 34 12 6 9 2 1 14 19 99
        52.6% 45.8% 83.3%
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
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 RIVERS, KC 31:26 12 3/4 2/6     4 4 1         3   9
4 PANGOS, KEVIN 30:17 14 4/6 2/4     2 2 2   2     3 4 13
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 6:39   0/1 0/1         1 1       2 1 -1
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 7:45   0/1 0/2     1 1 1   1 1   1   -2
10 THOMAS, WILL 25:16 11 3/3 1/1 2/3 1 2 3 1         2 4 16
12 BARON, BILLY 17:28 7 1/5 1/1 2/2   2 2 4       1   3 11
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 1:50   0/1             1 1         -1
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 13:24 5 1/3 1/2             1     2   -1
22 POYTHRESS, ALEX 23:49 12 6/9     1 4 5     1     3   10
25 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 24:35 2 1/5     1 3 4 3   3   1 2 2 1
77 GUDAITIS, ARTURAS 17:31 2 1/1       2 2 1   1     1   3
Team             2 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 65 20/39 7/17 4/5 3 22 25 14 2 11 1 2 19 14 59
        51.3% 41.2% 80%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI

Head Coaches

CSKA Moscow
"We don't count the 10th or 11th victory in a row, but the fact that we are playing good basketball lately. We take care about what we are doing, and care for each other. We are, I would say, in the circle of trust. When our pack, when our group of people, players, are trusting each other, then we can do great things. And this is how we are playing now, we trust each other in this safety circle, even though we always miss some significant players. But the others, they really bring energy and everybody who is over here steps up and helps the team, so congratulations to my players for that. We know it is a long season and are approaching each game individually and actually differently. In today's game, it was very important to reduce the creativity of Pangos and Ponitka because they are great at that. And if you can see, Kevin (Pangos) had 2 assists in 30 minutes when he was at 12, 10, 8 in previous games. He is averaging 6 assists and making things possible for the others. And we had to dominate the rebounds. I think that we accomplished both goals, which is significant. For the second game in a double week, we kept our opponents below 70 points, and that is also the key. Defensively, we were there and this intends to be our identity. This is very important for us. Congratulations, we are playing good basketball. We said we needed time and we need to be all together to work and play better. And we are playing better."
Zenit St Petersburg
"First of all, I want to congratulate CSKA for this win, they were much better than us. On our side, more or less, we were fighting for the game in the first 17 minutes. The last 3 minutes of the quarters, we killed ourselves. We made too many mistakes on defense and offense and everything. We were in a timeout, I think, 2 minutes and 50 seconds before halftime and talked about this: 'Hey guys, if we want to be in the game, these 2 minutes and 50 seconds will be crucial.' And we couldn't do it, and it was the crucial moment. After that, when you are playing against a team like CSKA, it is very difficult to go to halftime losing by 14 and change the game. Nothing to say in the second 20 minutes: we tried, we fought. We tried to be back to the game, and tried to play. But I want to repeat it: when you play against a team like CSKA, Madrid or Barcelona, you need to play for 40 minutes. If not, it is impossible to be into the game. On the other hand, we can say that one of the main proposals we have today was controlling the rebounds. Some moments, we didn't control that- I think that CSKA finished with 10 offensive rebounds, which is too much. We also wanted to destroy a little bit their creation and we did this more or less OK. CSKA had 12 assists and we had 14, so in this point we were more or less OK, but the combination with rebounds and one-on-one situations, in which today they were extremely effective, at the end of the third quarter they had hit 55% three-pointers, was probably some of the kesy to the game. In our offense, we did a lot mistakes close to the basket. We missed easy baskets, easy open shots. We could have scored 20 points more but this is basketball, you have to score, and tonight we didn't do it."


CSKA Moscow
"When we play defense and share the ball, we're really good. They're a good team. They play defense and run a lot of stuff. I think us sharing the ball, making some shots and controlling the rebounds made the difference. I think we're just playing well. We're in a nice rhythm. I hope we can keep it going."
CSKA Moscow
"Tonight, we really played good defense for 40 minutes. We hustled, we played hard, and we didn't allow them many easy points. I am most happy that we are playing good lately, and we are really looking like a team. From game to game, we are improving and playing better, so I am more happy about the team success than I am about my personal performance."
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