CSKA Moscow showed its dominance at home again by downing Gescrap BB by 79-60
CSKA Moscow moved within one win of a trip to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four with a 79-60 victory over Gescrap BB Friday in the Russian capital to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five playoffs series. The Russian champs can wrap up the series and with it a ticket to Istanbul with a win next week when the series resumes in Bilbao, Spain. The trio of Andrei Kirilenko, Milos Teodosic and Viktor Khryapa starred for the hosts. Kirilenko tallied 20 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks, Teodosic produced 18 points and 9 assists and Khryapa added 13 points and 7 assists. Raul Lopez led Gescrap with 13 points, Aaron Jackson netted 12 and Alex Mumbru dished out a career-high 10 assists in defeat. CSKA was red hot from downtown early and rode Kirilenko to a 25-10 first-quarter lead, but Gescrap trimmed the deficit to 26-15 after 10 minutes and led by Lopez and Dimitrios Mavroeidis, clawed within 41-36 by halftime. The deficit closed to 3 at one point and Gescrap kept it close heading into the fourth quarter. CSKA eventually pulled away in the fourth with 5 straight points from Jamont Gordon breaking Bilbao’s back as the lead peaked in the closing minutes for the Russian champs.
CSKA came out firing as Khryapa knocked down a three on the opening possession. Teodosic followed suit before Jackson got the Men in Black on the scoreboard the same way. Jackson drove for the game’s first non-three-pointer after more than two minutes of play. Kirilenko kept CSKA ahead with the game’s first free throws. Kirilenko was next to hit from behind the arc to make it 13-5. Jackson and Teodosic traded triples as the Bilbao guard remained the only visiting player to score through the game’s first five minutes. D’Or Fischer changed that when he made a baseline jumper, however CSKA continued to pull away as Kirilenko finished a fastbreak with a basket-plus-foul. A brilliant Teodosic pass to Kirilenko set up the latter for a slam-and-foul, which gave him 10 points and CSKA a double-digit lead. Nenad Krstic soon got his name on the board from the line and Khryapa connected again from downtown to make it 25-10. A wave of substitutions came in and Mavroeidis had the first impact by scoring for Gescrap inside. And Janis Blum’s three-pointer closed the gap to 26-15 after 10 minutes.
Sasha Kaun tipped in a Gordon miss at one end and Mavroeidis scored from the other in the first minute of the second quarter. Great Bilbao ball movement got Lopez a three from the corner. Then Blums connected from behind the arc on the other side to close the gap to 28-23. Despite Alexey Shved free throws, Lopez kept the faith with a pretty jumper. Andrey Vorontsevich looked to stretch CSKA’s lead again with a triple, however Mumbru found Mavroeidis to keep his team within striking distance. A Siskauskas triple from the left elbow restored a double-digit CSKA cushion. Gescrap refused to go away as baskets from its smallest players, Lopez and Jackson, brought the visitors within 38-31. Khryapa made his third three of the night; Jackson countered with a layup on the break. Axel Hervelle further narrowed the gap to 41-36 and after both teams misfired on their final possessions of the half, they headed to the locker rooms with the hosts up 5.
The Bilbao momentum carried into the second half as Mumbru scored with a finger roll. Kostas Vasiliadis missed a three that would have tied the game. Krstic and Fischer traded baskets before Khryapa provided a highlight with a superb pass to a cutting Kirilenko for a slam. Teodosic free throws gave the hosts some breathing room, though a Fischer slam made it 47-42 at the midway point in the quarter. Great passes by Mumbru and Blums set up Marko Banis baskets for his first two baskets of the game, though Ramunas Siskauskas and Kirilenko free throws kept CSKA in control. Teodosic converted a basket-plus-foul to put CKSA back up by 10. Shved found Teodosic to make it 58-46, however Lopez countered with back-to-back threes, which eventually ended the third quarter at 58-52.
Vorontsevich spotted a hole in the Gescrap defense and exploited it with a great pass to Shved for a big basket. Mavroeidis was active at both ends with free throws and a pair of foul on defense. Shved took a seat with his fourth foul and Teodosic came in and promptly sank a three-pointer. Both Mavroeidis and Kirilenko split free throws before a Gordon three lifted CSKA to 67-55. Gordon’s next basket further crushed Gescrap’s dwindling hopes. After a Banic basket, Teodosic found a cutting Kaun for a two-handed jam. Kaun then matched CKSA’s biggest lead from the first quarter, 72-57. Banic and co. kept trying, but by the final three minutes, the outcome was quite clear and both team’s focus started to switch to Game 3 next week in Bilbao.
Friday, March 23, 2012