Game Center, Round 26: CSKA, Panathinaikos rise on the road!
Nando De Colo scored a buzzer-beating game-winner to give CSKA Moscow victory over Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul in a meeting of the last two champions. Friday’s other game saw another key road win, as Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens overturned a 14-point deficit at Unicaja Malaga to snap a three-game losing streak. On Thursday, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz's win over Zalgiris Kaunas and Khimki Moscow Region's road victory at Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv further heated up the playoff race.
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 77-88 Real Madrid
Facu Campazzo recorded the first double-double of his EuroLeague career to lead Madrid to a 77-88 road win over Milan at Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday. 〈i〉Los Blancos〈/i〉 made sure to keep at least a share of fourth place in the standings by lifting its record to 16-10 with its 10th consecutive victory over Milan. The loss dropped Milan to 9-17. With leading scorer Luka Doncic sidelined, Camapzzo stepped up with 14 points and a career-high 11 assists for the winners, who used a 0-12 first-quarter charge to take control and never trailed again. Gustavo Ayon led Madrid with 15 points off the bench. Seven different Madrid players made threes as the team shot 13 for 22 from behind the arc (59.1%). Curtis Jerrells led Milan with 18 points plus 6 assists.
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 106-90 Valencia Basket
In a battle to avoid early elimination from the playoffs race, Crvena Zvezda enjoyed a club-record offensive explosion while putting away visiting Valencia 106-90 at home on Thursday. Zvezda improved to 11-15 and while Valencia fell to 9-17. Those 106 points were 3 better than Zvezda's previous best, back in 2014, and follows on the team's second-worst offensive showing ever, just 54 points in a loss at FC Barcelona Lassa last week. James Feldeine led the charge with a career-high 30 points, matching Zvezda's club record, while hitting 4 of the team's 13 triples and 10 of 11 free throws. Taylor Rochestie added 17 points and Mathias Lessort 16. Valencia got a career-high 22 points from veteran Rafa Martinez, 16 each from Joan Sastre and Erick Green.
Brose Bamberg 88-79 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Brose kept its slim playoff hopes alive by holding off visiting Anadolu Efes 88-79 on Thursday night. It was the first EuroLeague win for Luca Banchi as the head of Brose, which improved to 10-16 on the season, and avoided elimination helped by Khimki Moscow Region's road win over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, last-place Efes dropped to 6-20. Brose pulled away to a double-digit lead with a 10-0 run to open the third quarter and never relinquished the lead as Leon Radosevic collected 15 points plus 9 rebounds, including a career-high 6 on the offensive end. Dorell Wright also scored 15 while Augustine Rubit had 14 points and 10 rebounds in victory. Errick McCollum netted 21 points in defeat.
Olympiacos Piraeus 63-90 FC Barcelona Lassa
A stunning second-half performance saw Barcelona gallop to a resounding 63-90 victory over Olympiacos, which lost at home for the first time since Round 6 and dropped to 18-8. Barcelona, which improved to 8-18, turned on the style after the break, mounting a 0-17 run to put the outcome beyond doubt. Adrien Moerman registered a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Ante Tomic combined 19 points and 10 boards and Pierre Oriola had 12 points and 8 rebounds, as Barcelona won the rebounding battle 35-48. Jamel McLean had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Olympiacos.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 91-94 Khimki Moscow Region
Alexey Shved recorded his first career double-double and Anthony Gill set a career-high with 24 points to lead Khimki to an important 91-94 road win over Maccabi at Menora Mivtachim Arena on Thursday. The win is a significant boost to Khimki's playoff chances as its record improved to 15-11, while Maccabi fell to 13-13. Maccabi finished the third quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 66-65 lead, but Shved started the fourth quarter with a three-point play and though Maccabi would tie it five more times, it never regained the lead. Shved tallied 10 points and 3 assists in the final 10 minutes and Gill scored 11 to secure the win. Shved finished with 22 points and a career-high 12 assists, despite an off night from downtown, where he made just 1 of 9 attempts. Before the game, there was a brief ceremony to honor 2014 EuroLeague champion Devin Smith who was inducted into the Maccabi Hall of Fame.
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 84-64 Zalgiris Kaunas
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz recorded its third consecutive win by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 84-64 at Fernando Buesa Arena on Thursday. Baskonia improved to 13-13 in the standings to draw even with Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv for eighth place, while Zalgiris dropped to 15-11. Jayson Granger paced the winners with 20 points and Vincent Poirier added 15. The hosts made 13 threes from 29 attempts (44.8%) in one of the keys to the game. Baskonia led 27-19 after 10 minutes, boosted the margin to 43-33 at halftime and then to 78-51 with seven minutes left to seal the outcome with time to spare. Kevin Pangos led Zalgiris with 12 points.
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul 79-81 CSKA Moscow
In a battle between the last two Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions that literally went down to the final second, CSKA Moscow sent a message that echoed all around the competition by downing Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul 79-81 on the road on Friday. Nando De Colo hit the buzzer-beating jumper that gave CSKA the win. CSKA improved to 21-5 in the regular season standings while Fenerbahce dropped to 18-8. Andrey Vorontsevich led the winners with 17 points on 5-of-5 three-point shots. Kyle Hines and Cory Higgins had 15 apiece, De Colo got 13 and 8 assists while Sergio Rodriguez contributed 10 points for CSKA. Nicolo Melli led Fenerbahce with 18 points. Jan Vesely added 13, Brad Wanamaker had 11 while James Nunnally scored 10. CSKA led 69-74 in the next-to-last minute but Melli and Sloukas managed to tie the game, 79-79, with 11.1 seconds left, before De Colo sank the game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Unicaja Malaga 79-90 Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens broke its three-game losing streak in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by downing Unicaja Malaga 79-90 on the road on Friday. Panathinaikos improved to 15-11 in the standings while Unicaja dropped to 10-16. K.C. Rivers paced the winners with 24 points on 6-of-10 three-point shots. James Gist added 16, Nick Calathes had 12 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists while Mike James, Chris Singleton and Lukas Lekavicius each got 10 points for the winners. Nemanja Nedovic led Unicaja with 19 points. Jeff Brooks added 14 while James Augustine had 11 for the hosts. Unicaja led 48-34 soon after the break and kept a 60-52 margin late in the third quarter, but Lekavicius led a 0-16 run which put Panathinaikos ahead, 60-68. Gist and Rivers took over in crunch time to make sure Panathinaikos returned to the Greek capital with a valuable road win.