CSKA pulled away late to beat Fenerbahce
CSKA Moscow trailed by 2 points entering the fourth quarter, but then assumed total control with fervent defense to mow down Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 92-76 in the opener of their best-of-five Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs series on Wednesday at Megasport Arena in the Russian capital. The hosts allowed just 10 points in the fourth quarter, during which they shot 6 for 11 from behind the arc to pull away. Will Clyburn scored 20 points and dished 5 assists and Daniel Hackett also had 20 points for the winners. Johannes Voigtmann tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds for CSKA. Nando De Colo paced Fenerbahce with 27 points against his former team, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Lorenzo Brown added 12 points and Kyle O'Quinn and Marko Guduric netted 11 each in defeat.
Michael Eric scored half of CSKA's points as the hosts jumped out to an 8-2 lead. De Colo helped trim the deficit and O'Quinn's jumper gave Fenerbahce its first lead. A reverse layup by De Colo capped a 0-9 run to make it 8-11. CSKA moved in front on a Semen Antonov triple, but Fenerbahce turned to De Colo again and he had 2 steals and 4 points in a 0-8 surge to make it 15-21. Iffe Lundberg came alive for CSKA and Janis Strelnieks added a three-pointer as the hosts finished the first quarter on a 13-2 tear to lead 28-23. Clyburn heated up with 6 points in the first 2 minutes of the second quarter before Voigtmann banked in a triple for a double-digit lead. Strenieks's second three made it 40-27. Tarik Biberovic scored 5 quick points to keep Fenerbahce in the picture. De Colo scored on the break and from the line before Biberovic brought the visitors within 45-42. Hackett got going with a three and free throws before Ivan Ukhov ended the half with a triple for a 53-44 CSKA advantage.
O'Quinn came out strong for the second half with a pair of long jumpers. De Colo and Guduric sandwiched threes around a Hackett triple. Brown's steal and fastbreak slam made it 58-56. Brown completed the comeback with a reverse layup that tied the game at 64-64 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter. De Colo made a jumper in the lane to give Fenerbahce its first lead since the first quarter, 64-66. Antonov opened the fourth quarter with a three that gave CKSA the lead. O'Quinn briefly had Fenerbahce back in front, but a three by Ukhov stretched the difference to 72-68. After back-to-back threes by Antonov and Hackett, CSKA had Fenerbahce on the ropes at 78-70 with less than 6 minutes to go. A timeout by Fenerbahce changed little as Hackett made a three, collected a steal and fed Clyburn for a basket-plus-foul that capped a 12-0 run for an 84-70 cushion. A three by Brown was matched by Voigtmann as CSKA cruised to victory. A layup by Toko Shengelia gave CSKA its biggest lead, 92-73, with 1 minute remaining to wrap up the win.
Kyle O'Quinn scored twice on the offensive glass early in the fourth quarter. The first basket gave Fenerbahce a 1-point lead and – after CSKA regained the lead – the second closed the gap to 72-70. Semen Antonov hit a three-pointer on the next possession, Will Clyburn blocked a Lorenzo Brown shot from behind and Daniel Hackett connected from deep to trigger a 12-0 run that put the game on ice.
CSKA outshot Fenerbahce, controlled the rebounds and blocked 7 shots. CSKA made 60.6% of its two-pointers, 46.7% of its threes and 83.3% of its free throws while holding Fenerbahce to 52.6% on twos, 41.2% on threes and 78.9% on free throws. CSKA's 32 rebounds were 11 more than the visitors and it had 13 second-chance points and allowed just 5.
De Colo adds to legacy
Nando De Colo moved past Paulius Jankunas of Zalgiris Kaunas into second place for career performance index rating points. His 27 gave De Colo 3,999. Vassilis Spanoulis of Olympiacos Piraeus is the all-time leader with 4,183. De Colo's 27 points also eclipsed the Fenerbahce playoff record for scoring. That record was shared by Bogdan Bogdanovic and Ali Muhammed.
These teams meet again in the same spot on Friday for Game 2 of the series. Fenerbahce will host Game 3 on Wednesday, April 28.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021