Congratulations to Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and their Spartak teammates and coaches. With a remarkable Game 4 performance on the road, Spartak claimed its second straight Russian Superleague Championship, defeating CSKA Moscow 101-63 in a game that was all but decided by halftime.
As you might expect, Jackson powered the Spartak offense, scoring 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting and grabbing five rebounds. Bird was uber-efficient, making all six of her shot attempts in adding 13 points. Diana Taurasi was 2-of-10 from the field but took on playmaker duty, handing out nine assists. And Spartak got great production from its bench, Tatiana Schegoleva scoring 20 points and Tina Thompson 19.
The disparity in the final numbers between these two great teams is striking and reveals the tremendous defense Spartak put together. CSKA was limited to 31.3% shooting, while Spartak shot 53.5% – 60% from downtown. Becky Hammon was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting, Maria Stepanova was 1-of-11 from the field in scoring five points and even leading CSKA scorer Ann Wauters needed 13 shots to score 14 points.
The victory caps a second straight double-championship season for Spartak, winners of both the Russian Superleague and the Euroleague.
The best news is that Bird and Jackson are ready to return to Seattle. We should know more about their itinerary by tonight’s game, but they should be back in time to get a few days of practice before Opening Night next Saturday.