CSKA wins, Barca takes tiebreak to finish first
CSKA Moscow picked up its fifth consecutive victory, rallying from a double-digit deficit to edge FC Barcelona Regal 75-78 in Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. The loss ruined Barcelona’s unbeaten record, but the Spanish champions finished top of the Group D due to their 21-point win in the first match between these two teams. CSKA finished the regular season with an identical 9-1 record and in second place. Barcelona grabbed a double-digit lead in the second quarter by scoring 14 unanswered points in a 21-1 run. The visitors rallied in the third quarter behind Nenad Krstic and Milos Teodosic. Dionte Christmas and Teodosic hit triples in a 1-10 run that gave CSKA lead for good. Krstic led CSKA with 15 points, Sasha Kaun scored 14 while Teodosic finished the game with 13. Sonny Weems added 12 points and Viktor Khryapa chipped in with 11. Juan Carlos Navarro scored 17 in defeat and Ante Tomic had 12 for Barcelona which saw its 14-game home winning streak snapped. Pete Mickeal, Erazem Lorbek and Marcelinho Huertas each scored 11 in defeat.
First quarter: Great start gives CSKA a 12-point lead
Vladimir Micov got the game started with a three-pointer and Kaun scored twice inside for 0-7 CSKA lead. Lorbek opened Barelona’s account with a triple, but Khryapa answered with a three of his own before Kaun made a layup-plus-foul and a monster dunk making it 3-15. Lorbek snapped a 0-8 run with shot from the paint, before Victor Sada and Mickeal added drives off the glass. Tomic hit a hook-shot, cutting CSKA’s lead to 13-20, but the visitors kept their advantage safe with jumpers from Krstic and Weems. Still, Huertas made a spin move and Tomic sank a long jumper to finish the quarter and get Barcelona within 19-24 at the end of the first 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Barcelona turns it around with a 21-1 run
Krstic hit a tough jump-hook to open the second quarter, before Tomic answered with a shot off the backboard. A Huertas triple made it 24-28, but Khryapa and Teodosic used free throws and an additional possession after a technical foul to restore a 10-point lead. However, the hosts had an answer in Navarro, who hit back-to-back three-pointers and added a fastbreak layup to give Barcelona its first lead, 38-36. In addition to Navarro stringing together 10 points in 90 seconds, the Barcelona defense, ranked first in points allowed coming into the game, stepped up forcing turnovers and tough shots. Mickeal hit a three-pointer and a layup making it 47-37 before Khryapa ended CSKA’s drought from inside, and Aaron Jackson made a coast-to-coast layup cutting it to 47-41 at the half.
Third quarter: CSKA rallies back
Tomic made a jump-hook for the first points of the third quarter and Navarro made a runner to re-establish a 10-point lead. After Weems answered with a pull-up jumper, both teams started their offensive struggles, with defenses dominating the play. CSKA ended its drought first with a jumper from Krstic and a floater from Teodosic, and the duo scored 4 more points in cutting the deficit to 53-52. The visitors did not allow a field goal for more than six minutes before C.J. Wallace scored from downtown. But it was the lone field goal until the final minute when Jackson made a layup, and Huertas made a pair of free throws making it 58-55 going into final 10 minutes.
Fourth quarter: CSKA completes the comeback
Krstic made a tough shot to get CSKA once again within a single point, and after Joe Ingles made a three-pointer, Jackson hit a triple for the visitors to get within 63-62. Rabaseda powered in a layup and Weems hit a jumper at the other end as baskets were not coming often. A reverse layup from Tomic put Barcelona up 70-64, but Dionte Christmas sank a triple and Weems hit a baseline jumper before Khryapa’s short jumper tied it at 71-71 going into the final minute. Teodosic followed it up with a triple for 71-74, and after Navarro only split free throws, Jackson hit both of his shots from the foul line with 14 seconds to go to seal the deal. Navarro rounded the scoring with a triple, but it was too little, too late for the hosts.
Thursday, December 13, 2012