EuroLeague: CSKA, Fenerbahce Draw First Blood

EuroLeague

The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague playoffs are underway and we were treated to two quarterfinal games on Tuesday night. Both games ended up being blowout victories for the home teams.

Fenerbahce Istanbul 76-43 B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas

This was a game about Fenerbahce flexing their muscles on the defensive end, almost completely shutting down Zalgiris the playoff opener. The 32-point stomp is a club record for the Turkish club in EuroLeague playoffs history.

The game was pretty straight forward. After securing an early 6-0 advantage, Fenerbahce did not let up and simply smothered their opponents into submission. Nikola Kalinic paced the victors with 16 points, while Marius Grigonis was the lone Zalgiris player to score in double figures with 10.

Fenerbahce are the 2017 champions and are heavily favored to advance to the semis, but can Zalgiris steal a win with the help of being able to play on their home soil for Game 2?

CSKA Moscow 93-68 Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria

What would an impressive CSKA Moscow playoff win be without the touch of the maestro himself, Sergio Rodriguez? The future Hall-of-famer paced CSKA with 19 points and five assists. He got hot from beyond the arc, making 5-of-6 triples to bombard Vitoria into submission. He set the context for the game with CSKA making 13-of-23 shots from 3-point range, compared to 8-of-29 by their guests. When CSKA Moscow’s offense is running on all cylinders, they’re one hell of a tough team to contain, let alone stop.

Shavon Shields was the top performer on the side of Baskonia, delivering 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field on the night. His efforts will need to be better complemented by his other teammates if they want to secure a win in Game 2 for a chance to advance to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague semifinals.

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