Kalev Tallinn beat CSKA Moscow 107-102 on the road yesterday. It was the first time in history that the Estonian team beat the Russian giant in a VTB United League game.
CSKA started strong and, by the of the first quarter, gained a double-digit lead. However, Kalev managed to hold the hosts’ starting run. Marcus Keene’s two threes, hosts’ run 8-2, and Kalev’s gap was 4 points. At the beginning of the second quarter, Marcus Keene and Maurice Kemp made another run, and Tallinn evened the score. CSKA had to start it from the beginning, Darrun Hilliard shined again as in the first quarter. He was drawing fouls times and times again, hitting free throws, and started a 10:0 run.
CSKA’s lead was growing hard, and at some point, it reached 13 points. However, Kalev found a way to answer, and by half time, CSKA was up ahead 48:41. The guests started the second half actively and reduced the gap to one point – 51:50 after another Janari Joesaar three. Nevertheless, CSKA were hitting the shots properly. Darrun Hilliard and Daniel Hackett scored 15 consecutive points via long-range shots. Mike James was hot off the bench, and by the final quarter, the hosts led 79:68.
At the start of the final quarter, Hilliard hit another three and increased the gap to 14 points. Anyway, Joesaar answered with 11 points in 3 minutes, and the Keene-Kemp duo supported his efforts. Kalev took the lead and started growing the differential showing perfect ball movement. However, 7 consecutive points by Mike James let CSKA force clutch, but Kalev was unstoppable, hitting last seconds free throws and being careful at defense. The first Kalev franchise victory over CSKA took place.