CSKA, which beat Asseco Prokom 84-73
CSKA took the big showdown between undefeated teams in Top 16 Group G by downing Addeco Prokom Gdynia 84-73 in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday night. CSKA registered its 10th consecutive Euroleague win - the longest active streak in the competition - and is now the exclusive leader atop Group G with a 3-0 record, but Prokom is right behind at 2-1. Sasha Kaun led the winners with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. J.R. Holden added 17 points, Trajan Langdon scored 14, Viktor Khryapa 13 and Ramunas Siskauskas and Zoran Planinic each contributed 11 each. Siskauskas also dished 6 assists for CSKA. Qyntel Woods had 16 points to lead Prokom, while David Logan and Ratko Varda each added 15. Prokom stayed in the game for the better part of it. A jumper by Logan kept the guests within 22-21 after 10 minutes. Holden and Kaun stepped up late in the first half to keep the hosts ahead, 40-36, at halftime. Three-pointers by Logan and Woods allowed Prokom to get its last lead at 51-54. A three-pointer by Khryapa ignited a game-breaking 15-0 run that he capped with another shot from downtown for a 72-57 CSKA lead. The hosts soon boosted their margin to 79-61 and cruised to a well-deserved win.
Prokom head coach Tomas Pacesas surprised everyone by placing Junior Harrington in the starting lineup to guard Planinic. Jan Jagla got the guests going with a turnaround jumper, as CSKA struggled to score in the opening two minutes. Langdon buried his trademark fade-away jumper to get CSKA going. Prokom tried to slow down the game tempo to find Logan or Woods at the end of each possession. Siskauskas fed Kaun for a big dunk and Langdon added a layup off a steal for a 6-2 CSKA lead. The hosts were all over the place in defense and a fast break layup by Khryapa make Prokom call timeout at 8-2. Khryapa found Planinic for a backdoor layup that capped a 10-0 run. Jagla and Logan rescued Prokom with a consecutive three-pointers, as Prokom improved its aggressiveness on defense. A three-point play by Woods put the guests back ahead, 10-11, capping a 0-9 run. Planinic scored in penetration, but Varda answered from downtown for a 12-14 Prokom lead. Langdon took over with a wild driving layup and Planinic scored over Woods in the low post to knot the game at 16-16. Kaun shined with a dunk-and-foul which Daniel Ewing erased with a triple. Holden joined the three-point shootout, but a baseline jumper by Logan got the guests within 22-21 after 10 minutes.
Holden shined with a big basket in transition early in the second quarter. CSKA tried to open the court with Andrei Vorontsevich at power forward. Holden soon sank a six-meter jumper for a 26-21 lead. Varda stepped up with free throws as Prokom tried to get him and Ronnie Burrell involved now. Siskauskas picked up his third foul and went to the bench. CSKA tried twin point guards with Holden and Planinic together on the court to find good options for Langdon against Logan. Langdon sank free throws, but Woods bettered that with a triple to bring Prokom within 28-26. Holden sank his second triple and Kaun added a put-back dunk to keep CSKA out of trouble at 33-26. Woods banked in a close shot that a red-hot Holden matched with a fade-away jumper. Prokom struggled to score, but improved its offense once Logan returned to the floor. Varda scored down low and the guests tried a 2-3 zone defense. Langdon hit free throws, but a three-pointer by Przemyslaw Zamojski and a layup-plus-foul by Burrell brought Prokom back to life, 37-36. Kaun split free throws but Khryapa grabbed the offensive board and fed him for an outstanding dunk, good for a 40-36 CSKA lead at halftime.
Both teams struggled to score immediately after the break until Siskauskas stepped up with a three-point play. Varda shined with a turnaround jumper and soon added a put-back layup to keep Prokom as close as 43-40. Prokom kept following its game plan, using long possessions and getting its superstars involved. Woods capped a 0-7 run with a triple that tied the score. Planinic and Logan traded three-pointers and Woods struck again from downtown, causing CSKA to call timeout at 46-49. Langdon stepped up with a jumper and Khryapa added free throws to put CSKA back ahead, 51-49. Adam Hrycaniuk shined with a reverse layup. CSKA tried to speed up the game tempo. Logan downed a corner three-pointer, but Khryapa paced CSKA at both ends. Planinic sank a turnaround jumper, but Ewing quickly tied it at 55-55. Kaun hit free throws that Woods matched with an outstanding driving basket. Khryapa downed an open three-pointer and Kaun dunked again to force Prokom to call timeout at 62-57. A fast break layup by Holden boosted the hosts' lead to 64-57 at the end of the third quarter.
Kaun scored inside early in the fourth period and Varda went back to the bench once he picked up his fourth foul. Siskauskas set the crowd on fire with a seven-meter bomb and fed Khryapa for his own shot from downtown that broke the game open, 72-57, capping a 15-0 run that bridged between the last two quarters. Prokom urgently called timeout and Ewing stepped up with a layup-plus-foul, but CSKA kept its momentum going with strong defense and finding Kaun in the low post. He sank free throws and a three-pointer by Holden sealed the outcome, 77-60, midway through the fourth quarter. Both teams fought now for point differential, a critical issue to finish first in the group. Siskauskas scored in transition and soon added a fast break layup to keep CSKA way ahead, 82-65, with two minutes to go. Everything was said and done already, as CSKA had sent a statement and remained the top candidate to win Group G.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010