CSKA Moscow take a tough home win against Valencia
With Mike James showing a show for another game (17 points and 5/5 2 point FG), CSKA Moscow took a much-needed home win against Valencia (84-75) on Thursday evening (29/10). Valencia fought the defending champions, played great at times and showed that no team can beat them easily.
Mike James was the Russians’ top scorer with 17 points, with Will Clyburn adding another 15. For Valencia, Nikola Kalinic finished the game with 15 points, with Louis Labeyrie adding 10. For the Spanish team, the young Jaime Pradilla achieved a career high of seven points at the age of only 19.
In the first quarter, both teams found their way to the basket (4/4 FG) fairly easily and promised an exciting game. For about five minutes into the game, neither team was able to really build a secure lead, as the Valencia defense restricted CSKA’s offensive path. The two teams ended the first quarter one point ahead of CSKA after Will Klyburn’s free throws (17-16).
CSKA started the second half with a big three from Semen Antonov (20-16), with Mike James scoring another goal (23-16). Voigtmann extended CSKA’s lead with a big three and a foul to build a ten-point lead for the Russians (26-16). Valencia defended themselves against the 5-point game five minutes before the end of the first half with a three-point from 19-year-old Jaime Pradilla (28-23). Klemen Prepelic finished the game for Valencia with a big three, ten points behind (30-30). With Mike James in charge, CSKA ended the first quarter nine points ahead (44-35).
The defending champion started the second half with three pointers from Daniel Hackett in the biggest lead of the night (47:35). A three-point shot from Dubljevic and a torfoul from Labeyrie brought Valencia back to a 7-point game (49-42). Despite the Valencia sales, the Spanish club managed to stay in the game and land a five-point double-digit game against Labeyrie (55-50). Just before the end of the third quarter, Valencia made another single point game with Mike Tobey (59-58), which shows that CSKA will not have an easy night against them. CSKA ended the third quarter with a big three from Johannes Voigtmann and a lead of four points (62-58).
In the fourth and final quarter, Daniel Hackett’s big three extended the lead for the Russians (65-58) and put pressure on the Spanish side. Voigtmann and Hilliard with two consecutive threes brought the difference back to double digits (71-60) and forced Valencia to take a time-out seven minutes before the end of the game. Valencia never made it back into the game as CSKA held their 10-point gap and finished the fourth and final quarter 84-75.
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