CSKA Moscow uses defense to beat Nizhny on the road
After trailing by as many as 15 in the second quarter, CSKA Moscow stepped up its defensive game in the third quarter to surge ahead en route to an 82-86 road win at fellow Russian club Nizhny Novgorod. CSKA improved to 10-2 to remain strong in the fight for home-court advantage in the playoffs, while dropping Nizhny to 3-9 and delivering a critical blow to its playoff chances. Nizhny played a masterful offensive first half and led 55-42 at the break. CSKA regrouped, held the home team to just 7 third-quarter points while putting a 3-17 charge together at one point. The lead reached 10 midway through the fourth quarter and though Nizhny rallied late, it never got within a shot of trying the score. Sonny Weems paced the winners with 21 points, Sasha Kaun scored 16, Milos Teodosic added 13 and Andrey Vorontsevich grabbed 11 boards to help his team outrebound the hosts 25-40. Taylor Rochestie led Nizhny with 21 points and 6 assists, Tarence Kinsey scored 17, Trey Thompkins 13, Rihards Kuksis 11 and Art Parakhouski 10.
First quarter: Lots of points and energy by both teams
The hosts won the opening tip and Kinsey found Parakhouski open inside for the first points of the game. Vorontsevich netted free throws for CSKA’s first points. Teodosic and Semen Antonov traded threes before Weems connected from outside for a 5-8 CSKA lead. Parakhouski rejected Teodosic and Thompkins drew Nizhny within 1 with a jumper. Parakhouski blocked Weems too, but the two CSKA stars came back with a Teodosic pass to a high-flying Weems for an alley-oop slam. Rochestie scored his first points with a shot from downtown. Teodosic and Parakhouski swapped jumpers to make it 12-12. Weems and Teodosic each added another bucket before Kaun blocked Rochestie. After a TV timeout, Nando De Colo left a pass to Kaun for a two-handed slam. Kinsey and Kuksis sandwiched threes around a De Colo layup to make it 18-20. Weems drove and fed a cutting Kaun for a basket. Gal Mekel buried a jumper and Weems scored 2 from the line. Kuksis and Thompkins each scored from downtown again to tie the game at 26-26 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Rochestie heats up and Nozhny storms ahead
Mekel scored in transition and Thompkins got a basket off the glass to start the quarter. After Weems broke loose for a slam, Thompkins’s perfect bounce pass to Kuksis for a layup kept the hosts in front. Andrey Kirilenko came off the bench and sank free throws; Mekel bettered him with a three-point play that made it 35-30. Kyle Hines hit back with a mid-range jumper. Thompkins kept the hosts rolling with free throws. After a nifty Teodosic layup and a tough bank shot by Rochestie, the score stood at 39-34 midway through the quarter. Parakhouski took a rebound at one end and scored at the other thanks to a feed from Rochestie for a 7-point lead. After Weems nailed a triple, Rochestie countered with a basket-plus-foul. The offense continued to flow as Weems hit a jumper and Parakhouski a free throw. Kinsey stole the ball from Weems, drew a foul and pushed the lead to 48-39. Rochestie took the lead into double figures with a three-pointer. After Kaun split free throws, Rochestie hit a long jumper. Rochestie then set up Parakhouski for a layup and a 15-point lead. Kaun’s free throws made it 55-42 at halftime.
Third quarter: CSKA defense dominates as visitors come all the way back
Kaun scored in the paint for start the second half. Parakhouski added to his blocks total and Thompkins drained a jumper. Weems sank a baseline jumper for the visitors, too. Weems reached 21 individual points with a three-pointer. Kaun split free throws to narrow the gap to 7. After Weems assisted Kaun, Nizhny called timeout. Little changed after the stoppage; Kaun rejected Thompkins at one end and dunked at the other. Kinsey ended CSKA’s run at 10 unanswered points with a three-pointer to restore some breathing room. But it was short-lived. Teodosic sank free throws, Vorontsevich hit a long jumper and Aaron Jackson fired in a three that put the visitors ahead 60-61. Thompkins beat the shot clock with a fadeaway jumper only to see Teodosic score with ease. Free throws by Fridzon put CSKA up 3. Thompkins was whistled for his fourth foul in the final minute of the quarter. Pavel Korobkov free throws put CSKA up 62-67.
Jackson found De Colo for a layup and Korobkov’s offensive rebound led to a Fridzon layup as CSKA capped a 0-10 run for a 9-point lead. Rochestie tried to spark the hosts with a three-point play. Kinsey added a long jumper, which prompted a CSKA timeout. Jackson hit a second-chance three over Parakhouski, but Kinsey answered with a four-point play to bring his team within a shot. Korobkov stopped Kinsey and connected from deep as CSKA regained control. De Colo’s baseline drive silenced the crowd at 71-81 with less than five minutes remaining. Rochestie’s three and Kuksis’s layup-plus-foul gave Nizhny hope at 77-82. Nizhny sent the poor free-throw shooting Kaun to the line and he made just 1. Rochestie drew the hosts within 4 with two minutes to go. A Vorontsevich triple with 1:20 remaining and an offensive rebound on CSKA’s next possession essentially sealed the outcome. Kinsey buried a three from the corner with 22.5 seconds left to make it a 4-point game. Weems missed 2 free throws, but Nizhny could not score again.
Friday, March 27, 2015