Hackett inspires CSKA against battling ASVEL
CSKA Moscow held off a big challenge from LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, earning an entertaining 90-83 win in the Russian capital on Friday night. There was nothing between the teams during the first half, which ended with CSKA leading 40-39. After a similarly close third quarter it was 62-61 heading into the final period, which saw CSKA briefly surge into a double-digit lead before ASVEL fought back to keep it close until the end. Daniel Hackett was the chief inspiration for CSKA with 27 points, while Nikola Milutinov provided 12 points and 9 rebounds. Alexey Shved scored 17, and Marius Grigonis added 16. ASVEL was led by a career-high 16 points from Marcos Knight. Elie Okobo added 15, James Gist scored 14 and Chris Jones contributed 12 in defeat. CSKA improves to 12-7, while ASVEL is now 8-10.
Toko Shengelia opened the scoring inside but Youssoupha Fall sent ASVEL ahead with an alley-oop layup and one. Shved, Hackett and Milutinov scored inside, but Fall and Dylan Osetkowski responded for another ASVEL lead, 8-10. Shved hit the game’s first three-pointer and soon added another for a 19-12 advantage, before Antoine Diot and Grigonis were also on target from deep. Two scores from Knight pulled ASVEL closer, and Okobo beat the first quarter buzzer to tie it, 23-23, after ten minutes. Iffe Lundberg’s transition layup opened the second quarter and Grigonis added a three-pointer, before Gist scored twice to spark ASVEL. Hackett kept CSKA ahead with a deep three, but Gist scored again and Paul Lacombe netted an offensive rebound for a 33-33 tie. Hackett and Gist stayed hot by trading baskets, before two dunks from Milutinov helped make it 40-39 at the break.
Milutinov showed muscle to score the opening basket of the second half, but free throws sent ASVEL ahead, 42-43. Jones, Knight and Okobo kept the French team ahead despite a three-pointer from Ukhov and it was 48-49 midway through the third. Two more baskets from Hackett and a Grigonis triple gave CSKA some breathing room, but two baskets from Charles Kahudi and a threeball by Jones sent ASVEL in front, before Shved’s three-pointer ended the third quarter 62-61. A three-point play from Voigtmann and 5 fast points from Grigonis gave CSKA a fast start to the final period, but a triple from Knight kept ASVEL fighting, 71-66. Hackett nailed his fourth triple and added a driving layup for a double-digit lead, 78-68. Consecutive triples from Knight and Okobo gave ASVEL fresh hope, but Shved hit from deep and it was 83-76 with three minutes left. A three-point play by Jones and two scores from Gist kept ASVEL alive, but the unstoppable Hackett added a layup-and-one to seal the deal.
CSKA and ASVEL keep it close
This was an exceptionally closely contested game, with neither team able to take real control or enjoy a big run at any stage. CSKA had a brief 7-point lead towards the end of the first quarter but ASVEL immediately fought back and there was never more than 5 points between the teams until the end of the third quarter. The hosts then threatened to pull away in the early stages of the fourth, taking a 78-68 lead with five minutes remaining, but again ASVEL responded strong and it was only inside the last minute that CSKA truly felt comfortable.
2k up for Hackett
CSKA’s veteran guard Daniel Hackett enjoyed a milestone evening as he passed a career total of 2,000 points in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. The 34 year-old scored 27 points, 2 short of his career best, to help his team to victory over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, taking his overall tally to 2,017. Hackett first appeared in the competition with Montepaschi Siena in the 2012-13 season, and has now made 239 appearances with Siena, AX Armani Exchange Milan, Olympiacos Piraeus, Brose Bamberg and CSKA, where he has spent the last four years and won the title in 2019.
Three-point shooting lifts CSKA…again
For the second time in a week, CSKA was lifted by excellent three-point shooting to overcome ASVEL in a close battle on Friday night. Two days earlier CSKA had struck 17 triples in a comfortable victory at Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, and this time Dimitris Itoudis’s team made 13 of its 27 attempts from beyond the arc. Daniel Hackett led the way with 4-of-6, while Alexey Shved also converted 4 of his 9 attempts and Marius Grigonis made 3-of-4. In contrast, ASVEL could only make 5 of its 19 three-point attempts.
Friday, January 14, 2022