CSKA Moscow beat Power Electronics 73-63
CSKA Moscow remained alive in the hunt for the Top 16 by holding off Power Electronics Valencia 73-63 on Wednesday in the Russian capital. CSKA improved to 2-6 and dropped Valencia to 3-5, though it was unable to wrest the tiebreaker away from its opponent after losing earlier in the season in Valencia by 25. The hosts trailed early in the fourth quarter, but J.R. Holden tied the game with a three-pointer and Trajan Langdon put CSKA ahead fr good with a free throw. Then back-to-back threes from Holden and Ramunas Siskauskas started an 8-0 push that made it 65-56 and Valencia never threatened after that. Holden, the only player at CSKA with the team through its eight-season streak of making the Final Four, played the first 37 minutes of the game to lead his team to a must-win victory. Holden finished with 14 points and 7 assists. Jamont Gordon led the home team with 15 points, Matjaz Smodis added 11 and Siskauskas 10 for CSKA, which visits Union Olimpija next week. Victor Claver and Dusko Savanovic scored 15 points apiece for Valencia, which travels to Armani Jeans in Week 9.
Siskauskas came out firing and sank a jumper from the top of the key. Rafa Martinez answered with a triple, but the hosts continued to attack. Langdon got to the line and sank 2 and Dmitry Sokolov shined inside with baskets on three straight possessions – including an offensive rebound and later a two-handed jam thanks to a Siskauskas dish. CSKA’s defense did not allow Valencia any good looks and the visitors best scoring opportunity was missed when Robertas Javtokas went 0 for 2 at the line. Claver picked Siskauskas’s pocket and darted downcourt for a slam to end a nearly five-minute long scoring drought. Holden followed with a jumper, but soon a Claver triple closed the gap to 14-10. Gordon hit a jumper, but Claver sank a long two. Still CSKA stayed in control as Langdon fed Boban Marjanovic for a slam and Andrey Vorontsevich beat the buzzer for a 20-12 lead after 10 minutes.
The Power Electronics reserves came out ready for the second quarter and Serhiy Lishchuk and Savanovic started to chip away at the CSKA lead. A Savanovic triple capped at 0-7 spurt and drew the visitors within 1. Gordon helped CSKA restore a small lead with a triple and then a floater off the glass. Valencia stayed close as Javtokos scored in the paint to make it 25-23. Langdon sank a long jumper only to see Nando De Colo cut the gap to 1 again. Smodis got on the scoreboard with a triple, Langdon added 2 from the line and Siskauskas scored a reverse layup as the lead jumped to 7. Claver rattled in a three from the corner and Holden missed a runner at the buzzer to leave the scoreboard at 34-30 at halftime.
Valencia caught lightening in a bottle at the start of the second half. Florent Pietrus took advantage of Siskauskas for a pair of steals and slams and Claver connected from downtown in between as the visitors roared to a 3-point lead. Sokolov showed his touch with a nice basket and then Siskauskas redeemed himself with a three-pointer to put CSKA back on top. Pietrus muscled his way inside to tie the game at 39-39. Savanovic and Smodis traded threes as the score remained even. Savanovic continued his hit form with an offensive rebound, basket and foul shot, but CSKA went right back on top when Vorontsevich scored. But Omar Cook fed Lishchuk to give the visitors a 48-49 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Holden tied the game with a pull-up triple and Langdon put the Russian champs ahead with a free throw after a technical foul on the Valencia bench in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Neither teams capitalized on the sudden fast pace until Gordon made a jumper for a 55-51 lead. Cook drained a three-pointer to keep Valencia close. Just as it looked like the game would go to the wire, Holden and Siskauskas sank clutch triples on back-to-back possessions to make it 63-56. Holden’s next basket made it a 9-point game. Valencia continued to fight, getting points from Claver and Martinez. Gordon went baseline for a power slam with a minute-and-a-half remaining, essentially sealing the outcome. Smodis was whistled for a technical foul after Holden fouled Cook, opening the door for Valencia. But Martinez missed a three and after Cook stole the ball from Siskauskas, Martinez missed a layup as CSKA hung on for the win.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010