VTB United League: Unics closes on CSKA

VTB United LeagueThere was no movement at the top of the VTB United League on Sunday, but Unics Kazan did draw closer to leaders CSKA Moscow. The Kazan club defeated Vita Tbilisi in a home cruise to make it fourteen consecutive wins in the VTB United League. Leaders and five time consecutive reigning champs, CSKA Moscow, was humbled at home by Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar.

The Army Men still top the division with a 22-2 record, but Unics are now in the hunt with a 10-2 record, and interestingly the teams meet next week. There will be much to play for in that contest, especially as CSKA Moscow was the last team to defeat Unics Kazan, way back in November.

Unics Kazan vs. Vita Tbilisi, 81-57
Unics barely had to leave third gear to crush Tbilisi at home, racing to an impressive home win that just reinforced the excellent form the Kazan club is enjoying right now. It was a tight game through 20 minutes, but Unics held a 37-34 lead through the long break. A 21-15 third act put some distance between the teams after thirty minutes, 58-48, before the hosts wrapped it up with a slick 23-8 fourth act.

Keith Langford led the win with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Konstantinos Kaimakoglou and Valerii Likhoedi scored 13 points apiece. Joaquim Colom provided a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards in the success.

Omar Thomas was the best player on the hardwood as he produced a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort.

CSKA Moscow vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, 88-94
CSKA Moscow was undone at home by an always dangerous Lokomotiv, the Krasnodar team capable of these kinds of upsets and indeed a title contender itself this season. The loss did not hurt CSKA’s position at the top, while Lokomotiv enhanced its position in third place with 16-5 record. The visitors produced early on, but CSKA looked strong and managed to carve a 43-40 lead through halftime. Lokomotiv edged a point back after three frames, before putting together a big fourth (24-32) to snatch the game. The guests had put in a monumental effort, with the starting five draining a massive 79 points to pace the victory.

Anthony Randolph was hot at the bucket, with 28 points in the win. Ryan Broekhoff added 18 points and Malcolm Delaney 17 points.

Nando De Colo scored 30 points for CSKA, followed by 26 points from Milos Teodosic, the attacking pair keeping the Army Men in contention for long spells of the contest.

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