By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
With 14 seconds remaining in the game between ASVEL Villeurbanne and CSKA Moscow in “Astroballe” and the French team down 64 – 66, Jordan Taylor took it on him to attempt the potential game-winner.
Taylor made the jump stop from beyond the arc and drained the 3-pointer. On the other end, Mike James’ 2-point shot went off target and ASVEL celebrated a stunning 67 – 66 win over the reigning EuroLeague champion.
“It’s crazy. I don’t even have words. It’s a great team win,” Taylor said to EuroLeague TV after the game. “The coach keeps pushing us and everybody in the team checked in.” The American guard finished with 14 points and seven assists.
“I’ve taken the shot a lot in my life. Thankfully, it went down,” Taylor added.
It was an intense game with fittingly dramatic final minutes. CSKA entered the last 90 seconds with a four-point lead after a pair of free throws by Janis Strelnieks following an unsportsmanlike foul by Edwin Jackson (an unintentional elbow hit on Ron Baker). Rihards Lomazs scored 2/2 from the line to make his points 15 (a team-high for ASVEL) and on the other end, James misfired in a layup attempt. Then, Taylor happened.
James finished with a team-high 14 points, plus five rebounds and four assists, including a fine pass to Kyle Hines for the latter’s dunk down the stretch. The “Army Men” finished with 5/23 from beyond the arc and 11/20 from the free-throw line.
CSKA center and NBA veteran Kostas Koufos made his EuroLeague debut. He scored four points on 2/2 shots and grabbed two rebounds in 6:41 minutes.
CSKA Moscow coach Dimitris Itoudis saw his players shooting the ball open, but failing to connect to the basket. “Darrun shot 1/7. Strelnieks was 0/5. Missing open looks cost us. We had good creations, good kicks. Moved the ball. We got the ball creators we need to have for this game. We didn’t execute the plays well. And we didn’t make the shots. And especially the free throws. But also the open looks. Besides the 2-point shots, the shots were uncontested shots.”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball