Teodosic stars as CSKA downs Unicaja in battle of unbeatens
In a clash of two undefeated teams in Group B, Milos Teodosic scored 27 points on 5-for-6 three-point shooting and dished 10 assists to lead CSKA Moscow to a 95-85 victory over Unicaja Malaga in the Russian capital on Friday. CSKA improved to 4-0 for sole possession of the first place in the standings, while Unicaja dropped to 3-1 and second place. CSKA took the lead for good in the first quarter, and built a 42-28 lead behind Vitaly Fridzon and Sonny Weems. Teodosic got it going from long range late in the first half to help make it 52-39 at halftime, but Unicaja rallied in the third quarter with a balanced offense and Jayson Granger leading the way. The visitors got within 69-66, but Teodosic hit 3 triples to give the hosts some breathing room before Weems and Kyle Hines finished off the job. Weems had 16 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds, and Fridzon also scored 16, while Hines finished with 14 points and 3 blocks. For the visitors, Granger had 20 points and 10 assists, and Mindaugas Kuzminskas also scored 20 in defeat.
First quarter: Weems and Fridzon get the hosts in front
Fridzon started the game with a corner triple on the opening possession, before Kostas Vasileiadis opened Unicaja's account with a layup. Weems nailed a jumper, but Kuzminskas hit a corner three-pointer for 5-5. After a floater from Fridzon, Kuzminskas answered with a driving layup, and Vladimir Golubovic made a put-back dunk for a 7-9 edge. Andrey Vorontsevich had a put-back himself, before Teodosic threw an alley-oop pass to Weems for a dunk and another CSKA lead. Will Thomas scored on a powerful move inside for Unicaja, and after Teodosic nailed a jumper, Granger’s runner tied it at 13-13. Weems knocked down a corner triple, and after a tip-in from Golubovic, a dunk from Sasha Kaun and a fastbreak layup from Fridzon made it 20-15. Kuzminskas and Granger each buried a three-pointer, but Fridzon's 3 from the foul line and a dunk from Kyle Hines made it 25-21. In the final minutes of the quarter, Hines added a fastbreak layup to the tally, and Teodosic drove the lane for a layup just before the buzzer, giving the hosts a 29-21 lead.
Second quarter: CSKA pushes the margin into double figures
Teodosic opened the second quarter with a jumper, before Morayoninuoluwa Soluade scored on a fast break for the visitors. After Demetris Nichols sank a long jumper, Vasileiadis nailed a triple to make it 33-26. Nando De Colo drove for a pair of layups, with Granger scoring one for Unicaja on the other end. Weems nailed another shot from long range and Hines added another basket inside for a 42-28 cushion. Unicaja cut the deficit with Kuzminskas sinking a three-pointer, and after Nichols drove for a layup, Vasileiadis hit from downtown on a fast break to get within 44-36. But Teodosic buried a three for CSKA and then fed Kaun for a dunk to restore a double-digit margin, 49-36. Granger made a pair of free throws and Caleb Green split his from the charity stripe, before Teodosic knocked down another three-pointer to make it 52-39 at halftime.
Third quarter: Unicaja climbs back
Fran Vazquez hit a baseline jumper and Ryan Toolson nailed a triple to get Unicaja’s offense going right from the start of the second half. Weems answered with a corner triple, but Kuzminskas made a basket-plus-foul to make it 55-47. Kaun scored inside, but Granger quickly answered with a layup. Teodosic’s runner and Fridzon’s reverse layup gave CSKA a 61-51 lead before Granger’s driving layup-plus-free throw. A fastbreak basket from Kuzminskas cut the deficit to 61-56. Teodosic and Thomas traded baskets from close range, then the two players traded jumpers to make it 65-60. Hines extended the margin with a layup-plus-foul, but Green scored on a fastbreak and missed the additional free throw that Golubovic tipped in, 69-66. However, Teodosic nailed a triple on the ensuing possession, finishing the quarter with CSKA up 72-66.
Fourth quarter: CSKA shakes off the rally, win by 10
Green made a tip-in at the start of the quarter, before Teodosic and Soluade traded three-pointers. Teodosic buried his fifth triple, and Vorontsevich scored a fastbreak dunk to make it 80-71. A three-pointer from Fridzon put CSKA back up by 10 points, and Kaun’s basket extended it to 85-73. The visitors were held without a field goal for almost five minutes, but 4 free throws from Granger and a layup from Vazquez cut it to 85-78. A three-pointer from Toolson brought Unicaja within 5, but Weems sank a jump shot and Fridzon hit a high-arching jumper with 95 seconds left, making it 90-81. Hines sealed the deal with a basket-plus-foul before the final minute, during which Green and Kuzminskas scored layups for Unicaja, and Hines rounded out the scoring with a dunk after some nifty passing.
Friday, November 7, 2014