CSKA Moscow put on a scoring feast against Crvena Zvezda and with a 100-74 victory managed to snap back from last week’s loss and improve to a 9-5 record in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings.
Mike James led the winners with a 29-point performance (6-7 from the three-point line), along with three rebounds and three assists for a PIR of 32.
Joel Bolomboy followed James’ lead with 17 points, four rebounds, while Nikita Kurbanov posted 11 points and four assists.
Dejan Davidovac led the visiting side with 17 points and three rebounds. However, Zvezda simply couldn’t keep up with CSKA Moscow. After a relatively close first period n which CSKA led by five (26-21), the half time score was 52-44 and by the end of the third quarter, CSKA was up by 14 (76-62).
“The first half was not the best as a team and the second half was really good. We obviously learned from our mistakes at halftime and picked it up,” said James.
In total, the guests scored just 30 points in 20 minutes of action in the second half.
“James could have scored more”
According to CSKA coach Dimitris Itoudis, Zvezda was a more feisty opponent than the final score indicates: “We had good moments and bad moments, for sure, but that is basketball, basketball is a game of runs. I emphasized, when they took the lead 54-55 in the third quarter, we had a 20-6 run. We played serious defense and broke the game to a serious margin. The final margin of 26 points is not a real picture of the way Zvezda fought today”.
Itoudis also added that Mike James could have even better numbers, but it was his choice not to keep him more than 23 minutes on the court: “Mike James had a great shooting night, but I decided not to give him that much playing time where he could have scored more and make more plays because we have to think about the future.”
CSKA will look to turn this win into a streak on Friday (12/20) when they face Anadolu Efes in Istanbul, as Zvezda (5-9) faces Olympiacos in Belgrade.