The three-pointer is the great equalizer.
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica showed that once again in its shocking 93-92 upset of CSKA Moscow on Friday, marking the Russian powerhouse's first loss of the season. Buducnost went 12 for 16 from long range in the second half – 14 of 23 for the game – to eliminate a 17-point deficit and book its second victory.
The Montenegro side made 6 consecutive three-pointers in both the third and fourth quarters, but conversely missed twice from deep on its very last possession, while staring at a 91-92 deficit with the clock under 10 seconds The misses didn't matter, however, because Danilo Nikolic scored the game-winner on a put-back with 5.6 seconds left. Nikolic was in the right place at the right time again, having already nailed all 4 of his three-point tries earlier in the second half.
It should not have been a surprise that Nikolic, a 2.06-meter tall center, was hoisting – and making – his three-point shots. He had made 6 of 10 threes in the last two games, including 4 of 5 at home in Round 7 against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The Baskonia game should have been the ultimate warning for CSKA, because on that night and in its home gym, Moraca Sports Center, Buducnost set a EuroLeague record with 21 three-pointers made. Nikolic was one of four players to hit at least 3 triples that night as Buducnost beat Baskonia 99-84 for its first win of the season.
CSKA was able to keep the Buducnost bombers in check for 20 minutes on Friday. But Aleksandar Dzikic's side showed that once the wave of long balls starts, it's hard to stop this team. May the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague be warned.