CSKA crushes yellow-and-blue in Tel Aviv

Maccabi no rival for Russian powerhouse, losing by 23 points to drop to 4-3 in Euroleague regular season

November 28, 2014 02:53
2 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv center Sofoklis Schortsanitis

Maccabi Tel Aviv center Sofoklis Schortsanitis (center) and his teammates were helpless against CSKA Moscow at Nokia Arena last night, suffering an 84-61 loss.. (photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)

Maccabi Tel Aviv was given a stark reminder of the massive gulf it still needs to bridge to compete with Europe’s best teams after being thoroughly outplayed by CSKA Moscow in an 84-61 defeat at Nokia Arena on Thursday night.

The yellow-and-blue entered the contest on the back of a four-game road winning streak over all competitions. However, it was inferior to CSKA in every facet of the game and dropped to 4-3 in Euroleague regular season Group B with one of its heaviest-ever home defeats in continental competition.

Maccabi looked more like the team which suffered three straight humbling defeats earlier this month, losing to Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv by 30 and 20 points, respectively, in BSL action, while also dropping to a stunning home loss in the Euroleague to Cedevita Zagreb.

CSKA led from start to finish, with Maccabi coming within three points in the second quarter, but never really coming close to mounting a comeback in the second half against the Russians, who improved to 7-0.

Devin Smith had 14 points and seven rebounds for Maccabi, which hit just 21 of 61 fieldgoal attempts (34.4 percent) while committing 15 turnovers.

Sonny Weems led six CSKA players in double figures with 19 points, with the Russians not even playing with star playmaker Milos Teodosic.

CSKA hit the ground running, scoring 10 points in the first two minutes to open a quick seven-point margin (10- 3). Sasha Kaun’s basket took the gap to double digits (15-4) for the first time, but it was Weems who Maccabi had no answer for.

The forward took his personal tally to 13 points with his third three-pointer of the night and outscored the hosts all by himself in the first quarter.

Nando de Colo’s triple to beat the buzzer gave CSKA a 25-12 advantage heading into the second period, but Maccabi tightened its defense and closed to within three points (29-26) thanks to a 14-4 run.

Jeremy Pargo’s only field goal of the first half brought Tel Aviv within a single possession, but he squandered a couple of opportunities to tie the score and Moscow took full advantage.

The visitors scored eight of the final 10 points of the first half to regain a double-figure cushion (40-30) at the break and already led by 14 points (48-34) early in the third frame. Maccabi never even threatened the Russians and the final 10 minutes were no more than garbage time, with CSKA cruising to a well-deserved win in Tel Aviv.

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