CSKA Moscow continued its recovery in Group C by downing Pau-Orthez 55-69 on the road Wednesday in France. CSKA's second consecutive win in boosted its record to 2-2, while Pau-Orthez dropped to 1-3. Matjaz Smodis led the winners with 17 points, 8 of them in a pivotal third period in which CSKA took the lead for good. David Andersen posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds while Trajan Langdon had 13 points for CSKA. C.C Harrison scored 13 points for Pau, but he was held scoreless by CSKA in the final 25 minutes. Pau had led by 16-11 after one quarter, but by just 34-33 at halftime. Smodis shined in the third quarter and CSKA held a 43-49 margin after 30 minutes. Langdon scored 8 points in crunch time to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.
Harrison opened fire for Pau with consecutive layups while Brooks Sales had a big block on David Vanterpool. Next, Artur Drozdov fired up with crowd with a dunk, as CSKA remained scoreless for 2 minutes until David Andersen put in a layup. Holden followed with free throws to bring CSKA within 6-4, then traded jumpers with Loonie Cooper. The red-hot Harrison fired in his first triple for a 11-6 Pau margin but Matjaz Smodis immediately answered it from downtown. Otherwise, Pau excelled on defense, forcing CSKA into poor shot selection. Even so, Langdon made a jumper to tie 11-11 before Thierry Gadou put Pau back in ahead. Both teams went scoreless for almost 2 minutes until Souarata Cisse fired in a three-pointer to fix the score at 16-11 after 10 minutes. Pau had limited CSKA to 4-for-16 shooting so far.
Aleksey Savrasenko sparked CSKA by feeding Papaloukas for a layup and grabbing a long offensive rebound that allowed Zakhar Pashutin to tie with a triple, 16-16, to start the second quarter. Pau hung tough as Harrison buried a big three-pointer and Jeff Varem hit a layup. Harrison outdid himself now, capping an 8-0 run with another triple for Pau's biggest margin yet, 24-16. CSKA just changed its defense and matched Pau's run, however. Smodis and Papaloukas sustained CSKA with free throws before Andersen nailed two of his trademark jumpers to tie 24-24 and force a Pau timeout. The hosts found answers on a put-back basket by Sales, but Andersen tied from the line and Trajan Langdon, from long distance, gave CSKA its first lead, 26-29. However, Thierry Rupert joined Drozdov and T.J. Lux to seize back a lead for Pau by halftime, 34-33.
While Gadou scored inside for Pau, CSKA suffered 2 scoreless minutes after the break until Smodis made consecutive layups to retake the lead, 36-37. Defenses dominated the early third quarter and CSKA made the most of it, as Vanterpool joined Smodis in boosting the score to 37-41. Pau missed as many as 7 consecutive shots, forcing coach Didier Gadou to call timeout. CSKA had limited Pau to just a point in more than 5 minutes, but a close-in basket by Rupert brought the hosts within 39-42. Vanterpool scored off a steal, an outstanding Smodis added another put-back while Papaloukas capped a 4-16 run for a 40-49 CSKA lead. Pau was fortunate as Cisse fired in his second triple to bring the hosts within 43-49 at the end of the third quarter.
Papaloukas opened the fourth quarter with a layup, but CSKA didn't break the game yet, as Cisse followed Xane D'Almeida's free throws with a breakway dunk to make it a five-point game, 46-51. Not for long. Langdon followed Savrasenko's layup with a triple that meant a double-digit margin, 46-56, for CSKA. Pau carried on looking for answers, but CSKA now had full control of the game. When Varem scored, Langdon matched it for a 48-58 lead with under 5 minutes to go. Drozdov dunked it off a steal but Langdon sealed the win with a big three-pointer to which Vanterpool added a layup to make it a 13-point game, 50-63. CSKA had limited Pau to 14 points in 17 minutes and left Pau with its second consecutive Euroleague win this season.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005