CSKA beats Khimki on career night for James
In a legendary chapter of the Leningradka Derby, CSKA Moscow stayed unstoppable by downing Khimki Moscow Region 87-96 at Arena Mytishchi on Friday. CSKA grabbed its eighth consecutive win to improve to 10-3 in the standings. Meanwhile, Khimki dropped to 2-10 and is now on a four-game losing streak. Mike James paced the winners with career highs of 36 points and 10 assists. Darrun Hilliard added 15 points, Nikola Milutinov had 11 and 11 rebounds while Joel Bolomboy got 10 points for CSKA. Alexey Shved led Khimki with 26 points. Jonas Jerebko added 16, Jordan Mickey 11 and Greg Monroe 10. CSKA led from start to finish and an unstoppable James made sure his team went back home with a huge win.
Hilliard got CSKA going with 7 points, including a three-pointer and a layup, in a 0-9 opening run that made Khimki call timeout. Janis Timma and Shved each struck from downtown but Milutinov and Toko Shengelia kept CSKA fully in charge, 8-16. Shved downed a jumper and Jerebko and Monroe each added three-point plays to make it 16-19. Jerebko and Sergey Monia each hit from the arc before Johannes Voigtmann's bank shot let CSKA lead 22-25 after 10 minutes. James followed a triple with a sensational four-point play, getting help from Bolomboy to make it a double-digit game, 25-36, early in the second quarter. Will Clyburn scored from deep and Bolomboy dunked again to break the game open, 27-41. Jerebko followed a corner triple with a layup before Shved and Mickey each struck hit triples as Khimki crept closer, 41-47. James sank his fourth triple and fed Milutinov for a dunk, however, boosting CSKA to a 43-52 advantage at halftime. Hilliard followed a jumper with a three-pointer soon after the break. Mickey scored twice down low but Hilliard and Milutinov kept CSKA way ahead, 47-62. Mickey kept pacing Khimki, then Errick McCollum and Jerebko got their team within 56-64. James buried a step-back jumper and Voigtmann dunked in a 0-9 run that Alexander Khomenko capped with a layup. Shved and Jerebko nailed back-to-back three-pointers, then Monroe and Timma brought Khimki within 69-77 after 30 minutes. Monia downed a triple early in the fourth quarter. Bolomboy answered with an alley-oop dunk and Milutinov followed with another for a 74-82 CSKA lead. Shved rescued Khimki with a three-point play that James quickly erased with a bomb from downtown. McCollum and Monia gave Khimki hope at 82-88, with 3 minutes left, but James fed Milutinov for a dunk that sealed the outcome, 82-93, in the next-to-last minute.
James had an unbelievable performance, finishing the game with 36 points while making 4 of 7 two-point shots, 6 of 7 three-pointers and 10 of 12 free throws. He added 10 assists, 9 rebounds and 8 fouls drawn for a PIR of 51, tying the sixth-best mark in competition history. Only Shane Larkin, with 53 last season, has had a higher PIR in a EuroLeague game in more than 15 years. James set new CSKA club records in points and PIR.
A three-point play by Shved brought Khimki within 77-82 midway through the fourth quarter. James struck from beyond the arc, hit free throws and assisted Milutinov on a dunk that made it 82-93, sealing the outcome with 2 minutes left.
CSKA outrebounded Khimki by 36-43 by pulling down 17 offensive boards to tie its season-best mark. It had previously pulled 17 offensive boards against FC Bayern Munich on November 19. Khimki struggled from the foul line, hitting just 18-of-29 free throws (62.1%)
Did you know?
James was one rebound away from recording the competition's fourth-ever triple-double. Nikola Vujcic did it twice while playing for Maccabi; with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against Arka Gdynia on November 3, 2005; and then a little more than a year later against Union Olimpija with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists on November 30, 2006. Nick Calathes was the last one to do it with Panathinaikos OPAP Athens against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 11 points, 18 assists and 12 rebounds on April 4, 2019. James actually had the 10th rebound in his hands in the closing seconds, but a foul was called on the play, making his a near-triple-double effort.
Both teams return to early next week as CSKA hosts Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Tuesday, in Round 14 in a rematch of the 2019 EuroLeague Championship Game. Khimki visits FC Barcelona on Wednesday, December 16 looking for its first win ever at Palau Blaugrana.
Friday, December 11, 2020