CSKA Moscow falls to San Antonio Spurs in OT
CSKA Moscow wrapped up their two-game US tour on Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas, were they fell to the Spurs in overtime 95:93. The loss gives the Russian squad a 1-1 record against NBA teams this year, both games coming down to overtime, and both games being decided by two points.
It was a game of big scoring runs with the Spurs scoring 15 unanswered in the third quarter and CSKA running off 17 to open the fourth frame. Even with the extended periods where the score wasn’t close due to the big scoring runs, the contest had 15 lead changes and the clubs knotted up the score 16 times.
The first quarter was as tight as it gets with the teams battling back and forth and exchanging the lead numerous times. Manu Ginobili knocked down a triple to close out scoring in the first frame and give the Spurs the lead at 27:26.
San Antonio got out quick in the second, building a double digit lead only to have CSKA run off nine unanswered. With the score tied at 46 Ginobili sank three free throws after getting fouled behind the arc. Sonny Weems knotted things back up with a three-ball, but the Spurs took a two-point lead into the break after Tony Parker dished off to Aron Baynes slashing to the hoop for a last second dunk giving the Spurs a 51:49 advantage.
The clubs stayed tight for the first section of the third stanza, exchanging baskets and working to a 61-all tie. From there the Spurs ran off 15 unanswered to get up 78:63 heading into the final frame.
CSKA shut the door on the Spurs in the better part of the fourth, holding them from scoring, while running off 17 straight to take the lead 78:80. The first points from the Spurs in the fourth came eight minutes in when Nando De Colo dropped in a lay-up to knot the score at 80. The Spurs got a tip in to go up two, but CSKA countered with a triple to go out front by a point. Vitaly Fridzon hit a jumper to put the guests up 82:85, with Baynes connecting with 36.7 seconds to play to pull the Spurs to within a point, 84:85. Jeremy Pargo went to the line with 8.6 seconds to play and split a pair of singles to leave the door open for San Antonio. Patty Mills launched a potential game-winner from behind the arc that didn’t go through, but Baynes was there to tip it in and tie the score at 86 with 0.5 on the clock. CSKA had no answer in the half a second remaining, so the clubs set up for the extra session.
As was the case for the much of the game, the teams traded hoops early in the OT frame, then a Fridzon three-ball gave CSKA a 92:93 lead with 24.1 seconds left on the clock. San Antonio set up a play and executed to perfection with Mills getting a second chance at knocking down the potential game-winner, only this time he connected on a jumper from behind the arc to give the Spurs a 95:93 advantage with 11.2 seconds remaining. CSKA set up Victor Khryapa to force a second OT frame, but his jumper fell short, giving the Spurs the win.
It was a little disappointing because we had it in the bag tonight. I missed a crucial free throw and had a mental lapse. I felt like we had every opportunity to win that game. There was a stretch in the third quarter when we started missing shots. When you’re playing a team like the Spurs, if you start missing shots, one thing they’re going to do is keep steady and play their game. Danny [Green] hit a big three-pointer, Ginobili hit a big three-pointer and they went on a 15-2 run or something like that.
–Jeremy Pargo, CSKA Moscow guard
Ginobili and Mills led San Antonio with 14, Baynes dropped 12 and Tim Duncan scored 10.
Pargo was game-high for CSKA with 20, Sonny Weems added 16, Khryapa tallied 12 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, and Fridzon contributed 10.
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