CSKA scores season-high, wins fifth straight
CSKA Moscow was without its two top scorers, but registered its highest-scoring game of the season, easing past visiting Herbalife Gran Canaria 107-85 on Thursday night. CSKA improved to 18-5 to remain in second place in the standings, while Gran Canaria dropped to 6-17. CSKA took control early on behind Will Clyburn and Sergio Rodriguez, built a double-digit lead and kept cruising to a big win. Rodriguez paced the winners with 18 points and 8 assists, Clyburn had 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Alec Peters scored 15 with 6 rebounds. Marcus Eriksson and Kim Tillie netted 13 apiece in the losing effort.
Xavi Rabaseda hit a pair of corner triples for the visitors in the early going, but CSKA quickly took control. Clyburn hit a triple before Nikita Kurbanov had a three-point play to spark a 9-0 run that opened an 18-10 lead. Siim-Sander Vene and Tillie each hit a triple to bring Gran Canaria within one possession, but Kyle Hines scored twice from close range to help CSKA to 29-20 at the end of first quarter. He then added another basket inside early in the second to extend the difference to 33-20. Eriksson scored 8 points, including a pair of three-pointers, to get the visitors within 37-30, but Ivan Ukhov fueled a 9-2 run, capped by a triple from Rodriguez for a 46-32 cushion. The teams kept trading baskets and CSKA took a 56-42 lead into halftime. Two triples from Rodriguez and a three-point play from Othello Hunter made it 70-50. Eriksson and Clevin Hannah each hit once from long range for Gran Canaria, but CSKA kept a big lead and a tough jumper from Daniel Hackett extended it to 81-59 late in the third quarter. The hosts cruised the rest of the way, with Ukhov and Joel Bolomboy getting extended minutes and youngsters Andrei Lopatin and Alexander Khomenko making their respective debuts. Tillie and D.J. Strawberry hit from downtown to help get Gran Canaria within 96-81, but never closer than that.
CSKA scored a season-high 107 points despite playing without the third- and fourth-best scorers in the league, Nando De Colo (14.8 ppg.) and Cory Higgins (14.7 ppg.). Gran Canaria, on the other hand, due to different injuries missed Albert Oliver, Anzejs Pasecniks, Luke Fischer and Eulis Baez, all in addition to the previously injured Luke Nelson and Nikola Radicevic.
Scoring triple-digits against Gran Canaria
This was the third time this season that CSKA scored more than 100 points and the second time against Gran Canaria. In their Round 4 clash, CSKA scored 106.
CSKA made 34 of 45 two-point shots, or 75.55%, which was the third best shooting percentage in 451 games CSKA has played this century.
Entering this game, 23-year old rookie point guard Ivan Ukhov had played 26 minutes and accumulated 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and a performance index rating of 3. In this game alone, Ukhov played just under 23 minutes, scored 12 points on 6-for-7 two-point shooting, dished 5 assists and had 3 rebounds for a PIR of 17. Meanwhile, two 20-year olds, forward Andrei Lopatin and guard Alexander Khomenko made their respective EuroLeague debuts in the final 5 minutes.
In Round 24 next week, both teams will meet Greek teams. CSKA travels to face Olympiacos Piraeus, while Gran Canaria will be at home to welcome Panathinaikos OPAP Athens.
Thursday, February 21, 2019