By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Mike James scored a game-high 22 points and dished out five assists, Darrun Hilliard added 21 points on 6/10 triples and CSKA Moscow beat Alba Berlin 82 – 66 on the road to improve its EuroLeague regular-season record to 4-0 and remain one of the two undefeated teams in the competition, along with Barcelona.
It was a pyrrhic win for CSKA that saw star forward and 2019 Final Four MVP Will Clyburn exiting the game in the first half with a possibly serious knee injury.
After finishing the first half (34-39) with 12 turnovers (11 in less than 15 minutes, something which caused quite the reaction by coach Dimitris Itoudis), CSKA greatly improved its efficiency in the third quarter to outplay its opponents 8 – 22.
Alba faced a couple of shooting struggles and was unable to keep up with CSKA. Early in the fourth period, the “Albatrosses” fell behind by 43 – 63 and then never managed to cut their deficit lower than 13 points. This loss dropped them to 1-3.
Niels Giffey and Tim Schneider finished with 11 points apiece for Alba while Rokas Giedraitis added 10 points (1/6 triples) and six boards. Peyton Siva dished out 11 assists and scored 7 points (1/7 3-pointers).
Joel Bolomboy contributed 11 points and six rebounds to help CSKA get the victory.
A win against many odds
Dimitris Itoudis saw his guys finishing with 21 turnovers and one of his most important players getting injured before halftime. Still, CSKA got the victory in a tricky arena to play.
“I think it’s obvious that we played with great character,” Itoudis said in the post-game presser. “We were concentrated. I have to congratulate my players for the level of concentration and aggressiveness that they had, the level of communication, which was eventually better in the second half. In the first half we were not communicating. I think the fact that we were turning the ball over that much is too much. Of course ALBA was putting pressure on us, but that’s not all. We were sloppy in the beginning. We turned the ball over too much. Overall though, we were the first team to keep ALBA that low in scoring so I think we did a good job on keeping them to 66 points.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball