When Spartak Moscow Region superstar Lauren Jackson scores 19 points in the first half alone, not many teams will have a chance against the EuroLeague Women's defending champions.
That was the case on Tuesday when Dynamo Moscow, without FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year Anete Jekabsone-Zogota, out with a shoulder injury, were brushed aside 96-67.
|Lauren Jackson again produced an impressive performance for the title holders|
Jackson finished with a game-high 29 points, burying all four shots she launched from behind the arc.
Dynamo, who will not have Jekabsone-Zogota for three weeks, played inspired basketball for the opening 13 minutes and the game was knotted at 26-26.
Spartak's quality eventually told, though, allowed them build a commanding lead by half-time.
Competing in the Vidnoje arena where they won last year's EuroLeague crown, Spartak took the game by the scruff of the neck in a blistering two-minute, 16-second spell when they reeled off 13 consecutive points to lead 49-31 with 1:31 to go in the first half.
Seven of those points were scored by Jackson on a three-ball, a jump shot and two free throws.
When she left the floor for the changing room at half-time, the Australian was five of eight from the floor, including two three-pointers, and she was seven of eight at the charity stripe.
As a team in the first half, Spartak buried 11 of 12 at the line, and six of 10 from long range. They also out-rebounded Dynamo 22-15 in the first two quarters.
When Jackson drilled her third three-ball of the game, and her first points of the second half nearly three minutes into the third quarter, Spartak led 60-37.
They cruised the rest of the way.
Tina Thompson was the only other Spartak player to finish in double figures with 16 while Irina Osipova and Diana Taurasi scored nine apiece and Sue Bird and Tatiana Shchegoleva each had eight.
Spartak finished 10 of 22 from long range and out-rebounded Dynamo 46-27.
Martinez led her team with 20 points and Augustus had 19.
Natalia Hejkova, coach Spartak Moscow Region:
"The series is 1-0 and that's all. We still have to win one game and we hope we will be able to win in Dynamo's tough home court. Our opponents gave us a tough battle at the beginning of the game but that is when our experienced players showed leadership and helped us reach this "easy" win. We are ready to fight in Game 2."
Ainars Zvigrzdins, coach Dynamo
"We were not aggressive enough and that is why we did not play well. We missed Jekabsone-Zogota and unfortunately we will not have her on the court also in Game 2. We need to increase our level of playing disciplined and aided by the home court advantage we can reach the desired result. I want to to congratulate the effort of our young players."