Milutinov, James lead CSKA past Bayern
CSKA Moscow made it five wins in a row by overcoming FC Bayern Munich 81-89 in an intense showdown at the Audi Dome. The first half was fiercely contested with neither team leading by more than 6 points and Bayern holding a small advantage, 39-36, at the break. The lead regularly swapped hands in the third, before CSKA gradually pulled away in the fourth quarter. Nikola Milutinov powered CSKA with a double-double of 18 points and 8 rebounds, making all 8 of his two-point attempts. Mike James led all scorers with 25 points, Darrun Hilliard added 14 and Will Clyburn combined 13 points with 5 rebounds. Jalen Reynolds paired a personal-best 18 points with 8 rebounds for Bayern, and Wade Baldwin IV tied his career-high with 19 points. The outcome left the teams sharing second place in the standings with identical 7-3 records.
Robin Amaize drove to open the scoring before Nikita Kurbanov got CSKA moving from mid-range. Vladimir Lucic’s fastbreak dunk sent Bayern ahead, 6-4, in a start dominated by defenses. Toko Shengelia’s powerful basket-and-one gave CSKA its first lead, and Kurbanov added a tip-in. JaJuan Johnson’s jumper made it 8-9, but Milutinov’s three-point play and James’s aggressive drive kept CSKA in front, 8-14. Paul Zipser hit the game’s first three-pointer, but Hilliard did likewise for CSKA, before Baldwin scored in penetration and Reynolds dunked on the break to make it 17-18 after 10 minutes. Johnson opened the second quarter from mid-range to send Bayern ahead, before Baldwin and Johnson completed a 10-0 run for a 23-18 lead. Joel Bolomboy and Clyburn restarted CSKA from the foul line, and James tied it at 23-23. CSKA eased ahead through free throws before Baldwin and Clyburn exchanged close-range scores. Nick Weiler-Babb’s three-point play tied it up, 32-32, and Milutinov’s alley-oop was canceled out by Reynolds's bucket under the basket. Reynolds then added a fierce one-handed alley-oop, making it 39-36 at the break.
Hilliard and Milutinov got CSKA closer early in the second half and Shengelia split free throws for a 43-43 tie. Hilliard’s four-point play sent CSKA in front and Leon Radosevic’s bucket was matched by Milutinov’s put-back slam. Milutinov posted up to score again for a 47-52 lead, but Zan Sisko struck back from long-range and immediately added a fastbreak layup for another tie. Baldwin sliced through to send Bayern ahead, but Kurbanov answered from deep and James again scored in penetration before finishing the quarter with a buzzer-beating triple for a 60-64 lead. Baldwin and James traded blows early in the fourth before Reynolds and Milutinov scored from close-range. Clyburn’s three-pointer gave CSKA its largest lead, 64-71, with 6 minutes left. Lucic’s four-point play gave Bayern fresh hope, but Clyburn and James converted free throws for a 68-76 advantage. James struck from deep for a double-digit lead and Baldwin’s three-point play inside the final 2 minutes wasn’t enough to revive Bayern as CSKA held on.
Turnover trouble avoided…eventually
CSKA initially struggled to escape Bayern’s swarming defense and was forced into committing 7 turnovers in the opening quarter. However, CSKA took much better control of the ball after that and finished with only 12 turnovers.
CSKA treads the line
Bayern’s physical approach regularly sent CSKA to the foul line and the visiting team took advantage by making 33 of 41 free-throw attempts (80.5%). Those 33 converted free throws were the most by any team so far this season.
Offensive boards boost CSKA
CSKA stood up to the physical challenge presented by Bayern’s defense and gave itself valuable extra possessions by claiming 14 offensive rebounds. Most of those came through two players: Nikola Milutinov grabbed 6 and Joel Bolomboy 4.
Record low from deep for Bayern
Bayern focused its offensive efforts almost exclusively inside, only attempting 8 three-point shots all night – by far the lowest in club history. The previous low was 12 attempts on four separate occasions. The 3 three-pointers made also tied the team low. In contrast, Bayern’s 52 attempted two-pointers was the joint-fourth highest in club history.
CSKA hosts a big showdown with Real Madrid as Round 11 gets underway next Thursday evening, while Bayern travels to Panathinaikos OPAP Athens the following night.
Thursday, November 19, 2020