CSKA rolls over Maccabi 99-80 in rematch from semis
Revenge for a late loss in last season's semifinals was sweet on Thursday as CSKA Moscow blew out visiting champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 99-80 to stay undefeated in regular season Group B. CSKA is now 2-0 while Maccabi's record fell to 1-1. The expected showdown turned into a runaway as CSKA could do no wrong in a 32-13 third quarter and protected big leads the rest of the way. Andrey Vorontsevich was the catalyst early for CSKA and finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, leading CSKA's devastating 45-25 advantage on the boards. Sonny Weems led all scorers with 18 points, while Sasha Kaun scored 17. Milos Teodosic had 15 points and 11 assists. Maccabi, which had opened the game leading 4-11 but soon suffered a 10-2 run by CSKA, had a bright spot in Brian Randle, who had 18 points, while Sylven Landesberg added 14 and Guy Pnini 12. Both teams were short-handed, with Maccabi having travelled without Devin Smith or Alex Tyus, just as Viktor Khryapa, Manuchar Markoishvili and Demetrius Nichols were in street clothes for CSKA.
Vorontsevich leads CSKA rally
Maccabi started the game in style, with Jeremy Pargo's slick pass to Randle for a transition dunk. Pargo swished his first three-pointer, too, but was immediately answered from the corner by Vorontsevich. After Marcus Haynes drilled a jumper, Pargo and Randle repeated their earlier fastbreak play from a longer distance. By the time Aleks Maric joined the scoring with a put-back, Maccabi was up 4-11 and CSKA needed a timeout. Teodosic came off the bench to restart CSKA's offense with a layup to which Weems added a fastbreak basket off a block by Vorontsevich. Despite a jumper by Pnini, Kaun scored a second-chance basket and Vorontsevich nailed a deep two-pointer for CSKA. And when Kyle Hines downed free throws, the hosts were ahead 14-13 after a 10-2 run. Maccabi needed new scorers, so Landesberg and Yogev Ohayon filled the bill. After Hines completed a three-point play, Teodosic dropped a mid-range shot and Vorontsevich hustled to put back his own three-point miss as CSKA pulled in for a 21-19 lead after 10 minutes.
CSKA hangs tough as Randle pushes Maccabi
Aaron Jackson drilled a triple to open the second quarter for CSKA and Teodosic soon fed Weems for a backdoor reverse to make it 26-19. Pargo returned to hit Maric for his own reverse, but Teodosic answered with a catch-and-shoot triple. Randle matched that with a three-point play, then added a tip-in before Weems drilled a triple. When Randle made it 7 points in a row for himself, it was 32-28. After Kaun and Landesberg exchanged inside baskets, Pnini got Maccabi within one point on a three-pointer, but seconds later, Teodosic did the same. The long-range shooting contest continued with another by Pnini from almost the same spot that Weems answered from deep to make it 40-36. Teodosic found Jackson for another backdoor reverse before Landesberg copied Pnini from the same wing for a 42-39 scoreboard. Weems drove untouched for a splendid slam before Sofoklis Schortsanitis got his first points at the foul line. But after his great offensive rebound let Weems score again, Vorontsevich finished his great half with a basket inside for a sudden seven-point difference, 48-41, for CSKA.
Teodosic, Weems send CSKA soaring
Teodosic and Vorontsevich combined to start the second-half scoring for CSKA, while Ohayon challenged inside to get Maccabi's going. Teodosic found Vitaly Fridzon alone for a corner triple in transition and the game's first double-digit lead, 53-43, to which Kaun quickly added a layup and free throw. Vorontsevich downing 2 free throws and Teodosic drilling a second-chance triple made it a 61-43 advantage and an 13-2 start to the second half for CSKA. Landesburg stopped Maccabi's offensive slide, but Kaun answered with a three-point play and a slam for a 68-45 advantage. CSKA kept pouring on the points with a Teodosic layup, triples by Jackson and Fridzon, plus a reverse by Hines that made it 76-54. The hosts didn't stop until they had scored 32 third-quarter points and led by 80-54 when it finished.
Kaun and bench add finishing touches
Maccabi showed some fight to open the fourth quarter as Randle scored a third-chance basket and Landesberg struck from downtown. Pavel Korobkov joined CSKA's scorers with the first of his 2 fourth-quarter triples but Randle matched him with a great shot in a crowd of defenders plus the free throw that came with it. CSKA then entertained the crowd with a high-flying alley-oop from Teodosic to Kaun, while Zozulin blasted a three-pointer at 92-69. After that it was only a question of time and what, if any, influence the big difference would mean at the end of the regular season.
Thursday, October 23, 2014