CSKA beats ASVEL to clinch second place
CSKA Moscow finished second in the 2020-21 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by downing LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 88-70 at home in Megasport Arena on Thursday. CSKA improved to 23-10 in the standings, registered its fifth consecutive victory, and clinched second place due to its potential tie-break advantage against Anadolu Efes Istanbul (1-1, +5), which ranks third at 22-11. ASVEL finished its EuroLeague campaign with a 13-21 record. Iffe Lundberg led the winners with 23 points. Michael Eric added 21 points and Johannes Voigtmann 13 for CSKA. Guerschon Yabusele led ASVEL with 23 points while Norris Cole added 15. CSKA was up 18-15 after 10 minutes and extended its lead to 39-26 shortly before halftime. ASVEL got within 42-36 at the break and took a 56-60 lead at the end of the third quarter. Lundberg, Eric, and Daniel Hackett combined for all points in an 18-0 run that sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Moustapha Fall got ASVEL going with a layup but Eric and Darrun Hilliard quickly put CSKA ahead, 6-2. Hilliard struck from downtown before Yabusele and Cole kept the guests within 9-7. Eric kept pacing CSKA with a put-back layup and Daniel Hackett matched Antoine Diot's floater with a jumper. Ismael Bako stepped up for ASVEL and Derrick Walton took over with a four-point play but Voigtmann and Lundberg kept CSKA ahead, 18-15, after 10 minutes. Voigtmann and Lundberg kept pacing CSKA early in the second quarter. Bako detonated an alley-oop slam but Voigtmann struck from beyond the arc and added a tip-in to make ASVEL call timeout at 28-17. Janis Strelnieks scored in penetration and Lundberg added a jumper but Cole and Yabusele each hit a triple to keep ASVEL within 32-23. Yabusele and Semen Antonov traded three-pointers and Eric scored twice in the paint to restore a 39-26 CSKA margin. Cole followed a jumper with a triple and got help from Diot and David Lighty to bring ASVEL within 42-36 at halftime.
Fall scored down low soon after the break. Will Clyburn followed a jumper with a coast-to-coast layup and Eric dunked twice for a 50-42 CSKA lead. Diot buried a three-pointer and Yabusele scored in the paint but Eric and Nikita Kurbanov each dunked to give CSKA fresh air at 54-47. Yabusele and Cole hit their third three-pointers, Lighty added a three-point play and Paul Lacombe's driving layup completed the guests' comeback, 56-58. Bako hit free throws and Lundberg kept CSKA within 58-60 after 30 minutes. Lundberg buried a floater early in the fourth quarter. Charles Kahudi and Yabusele each struck from downtown to let ASVEL regain a 62-66 lead. Lundberg joined the three-point shootout and fed Eric for a wild alley-oop dunk. Daniel Hackett swished a jumper and a red hot Lundberg added a huge four-point play and a floater that boosted CSKA's lead to 75-66. Eric made a put-back layup and Hackett sealed the outcome with a three-pointer that capped an 18-0 run, 80-66, allowing CSKA to lock up second place in the regular season standings.
Michael Eric was a dominant force at both ends, especially on offense, getting as many as five dunks. He finished the game with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals for a PIR of 27. His 10 two-point shots made are the most for CSKA player since Nenad Krstic had 11 against Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul on February 14, 2014.
ASVEL led 62-66 early in the fourth quarter, but when CSKA needed answers on offense, Iffe Lundberg stepped up. He hit a three-pointer, found Michael Eric for an alley-oop slam, and soon added a four-point play and a floater in an 18-0 run that put CSKA ahead for good, 80-66.
CSKA limited its turnovers to just 6 and forced ASVEL to pick up as many as 15. CSKA had a much better shooting percentage than ASVEL inside the arc, hitting 23 of 39 two-pointers (59.0%). ASVEL hit 14 of its 30 attempts for a 46.7% two-point shooting rate.
Did you know?
CSKA continues its great run against French teams in the Russian capital. It has a 22-1 record against French squads in Moscow. ASVEL was the only French team to ever beat CSKA in Moscow, 83-91 on March 8, 2001, behind 34 points from Bill Howard. Those 22 CSKA home wins against French teams were by an average margin of 22.4 points.
CSKA will play a rescheduled Round 25 game against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Wednesday, April 14 before it gets set to start its EuroLeague Playoffs series in the Russian capital on Tuesday, April 20. ASVEL has played its final game in its 2020-21 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season.
Thursday, April 8, 2021