Monaco erases 22-point deficit, ends up rolling past CSKA
AS Monaco came up with a victory for the ages, erasing a 22-point deficit to eventually roll past CSKA Moscow 97-80 at home. Monaco trailed 13-35 in the second quarter but then took control of the game with a 24-5 run in the third quarter and started the final frame with a 16-7 surge to win its second straight game at home and move to 4-3. It was a real team effort for Monaco, who had seven players score in double figures, topped by Donta Hall’s 17 points while Danilo Andjusic had 16 points, Brock Motum scored 12, Dwayne Bacon and Paris Lee both picked up 11 and Mike James and Alpha Diallo chipped in 10 points. This was not the result CSKA was looking for after coming back from an 18-point deficit to lead against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne earlier in the week only to lose in the end. The Russian powerhouse dropped to 4-3 despite Will Clyburn scoring 19 points with Alexey Shved tallying 15 points and 5 assists and Joel Bolomboy contributing 13 points.
Bolomboy started the game in style with an alley-oop dunk, the first of three dunks to start the game for CSKA and a 0-6 lead. Lee finally got Monaco on the board with free throws. Iffe Lundberg countered with five points and the CSKA lead was double digits early at 4-15. Things didn’t get any better for the hosts as Shved sandwiched three-pointers around a Bolomboy three-point play in a 0-10 run for a 7-25 lead. Dwayne Bacon knocked down a triple to end the drought and Rob Gray added a three-pointer at the buzzer as Monaco found itself down 13-25 after 10 minutes. The ground Monaco made up at the end of the first quarter was gone early in the second frame with back-to-back three-pointers from Clyburn as CSKA went up 13-35. The hosts again needed more than 2 minutes to score before Hall hit for the first time. He added five more points and Andjusic pitched in five points of his own before James’ steal and layup got Monaco within 33-45. Clyburn nailed another triple though, and it was 39-52 at the break.
Bolomboy once again started a quarter with a big alley-oop dunk and Shved knocked down a three-pointer as CSKA pushed the advantage to 41-57. But Monaco was not impressed and started to mount a comeback with Motum hitting a three-pointer and Paris Lee converting a three-point play and draining a triple in a 14-0 run to get within 55-57. Bolomboy converted a follow-up dunk to end CSKA’s scoreless run of 3:29 but Monaco had tasted blood with Lee hitting another three-pointer and Bacon finishing a fast break layup as Monaco went up 60-59. Shved’s three-pointer put CSKA back ahead but Bacon answered from deep and Monaco was up 67-64 after 30 minutes. Motum took the initiative to start the final frame with a three-pointer and layup, before James went coast to coast for a layup and Monaco suddenly was up 76-66. Diallo converted a three-point play, and Donatas Motiejunas made it 83-71. Hackett answered with a three-point play but Andjusic punched right back from long range and James’ fall-away jumper had the hosts up 90-76 with under 2 minutes left. Monaco’s defense finished the deal, not allowing the guests to get within 12 points the rest of the way.
Pivotal performer - Donta Hall the energizer, despite broken nose
It seemed fitting that the Monaco fans and club were celebrating Halloween on the night as Donta Hall was a major reason for the win. Hall was donning a mask to protect his broken nose, but there was no protection for CSKA from his game. Hall converted 8-of-9 shots - most of them on dunks - and his only free free for a team-high 17 points. He also led Monaco with 10 rebounds, not to mention dishing out 1 assist, grabbing 1 steal and picking up 2 blocks. All told, it was a performance that earned him game MVP honors as he registered an index rating of 26. One extra thing that didn’t show up in the box score was that he helped Monaco just as much with the great energy he provided.
Monaco shut down Clyburn in fourth
Will Clyburn was a major reason why CSKA Moscow built its big lead, as he scored eight straight points en route to the 22-point advantage early in the second quarter. The former Final Four MVP was then a big factor in keeping CSKA ahead and close. But Clyburn scored his last two points - numbers 18 and 19 - with 8:41 minutes left in the game, making it 70-66. The Monaco defense shut him down the rest of the way. Sure, he did dish out two assists but also committed three turnovers and missed a three-pointer before being called to the bench with 3:37 minutes left and CSKA down 83-73. And Clyburn never came back into the game.
Telling numbers - Defense does the job for Monaco
Monaco won the game with its defensive performance. It held CSKA to just 48.6% on 2-pointers while hitting 65.0% on its end. Monaco also forced CSKA into 21 turnovers, turning them into 27 points - while CSKA created 12 points off Monaco’s 12 turnovers. Monaco really got out and ran with 17 fastbreak points to four for CSKA. Monaco also did a solid job not allowing CSKA to really take advantage of its 13 offensive rebounds as the guest converted them into 14 points - not that many considering Monaco had 10 second chance points from 6 offensive rebounds.
Friday, October 29, 2021