Euroleague: CSKA hammers Maccabi Tel Aviv

Defending Euroleague champs look headed to fifth straight Final Four.

cska 88 (photo credit: )
cska 88
(photo credit: )
CSKA Moscow dominated and humiliated Maccabi Tel Aviv 80-58 in the first game of their best-of-three Euroleague quarterfinal playoff series on Tuesday night in Russia. The reigning Euroleague champions controlled the game right from the tipoff and led 21-6 after 10 minutes. Maccabi had to toil for every point and was only 13-of-41 (32 percent) from two-point range. Tel Aviv, which had a total of only five assists throughout the game, will need a dramatic improvement over the next 48 hours if it's to extend its European season beyond this week. CSKA has a chance to book its place in its fifth straight Final Four in game two at Nokia Arena on Thursday night, and will be overwhelmingly favored to do just that. "CSKA is like an NBA team," said Maccabi coach Neven Spahija. "They are very strong and that is the main reason we played poorly. I'm not happy because we played without confidence and didn't know what to do. "The game in Tel Aviv will be difficult, but I hope we will play better because we know that this could be our last game of the Euroleague season." Maccabi's highest scorer Tuesday night was Nikola Vujcic, who managed only 10 points. Moscow was led by Trajan Langdon, who scored 16 points, with David Andersen and J.R Holden adding 12 and 11 points, respectively. Tal Burstein scored the first five points of the game to keep Maccabi within one point (6-5) midway through the first period, but a 15-1 CSKA run in the final four minutes of the quarter killed off the game before it really ever began. Tel Aviv scored just a single field goal in the first 10 minutes of the game, and, unbelievably, matters deteriorated as the game progressed. CSKA easily extended its lead in the second quarter and Vujcic's three-pointer at the end of the first half was little consolation for Maccabi, which trailed 40-22 after 20 minutes.