Round 18: Double-round week ends with fireworks
The last night of four in a row full of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action was not to be outdone by the others. Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv opened it with a historic victory in Moscow. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica continued with a thrilling win in the final seconds. And three home winners in the thick of the playoffs race – FC Barcelona Lassa, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and FC Bayern Munich – joined Thursday home winners Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, Real Madrid and Anadolu Efes Istanbul to strengthen their hands going forward.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul 81-72 Khimki Moscow Region
Anadolu Efes maintained its grip of fourth place in the standings with a commanding 81-72 home victory over Khimki. The hosts took command with an 11-0 run in the second quarter and never trailed after that, improving to 12-6 for the season. Vasilije Micic led the victors with 16 points and 8 assists. Jordan Mickey registered 14 points and 9 rebounds in defeat for Khimki, which never gave up and came within 6 points in the final quarter, but dropped to 7-11 to end a two-game winning run.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 78-61 Zalgiris Kaunas
Fenerbahce extended its home-court winning streak to 11 games dating back to last season with a 78-61 rout of Zalgiris on Thursday at Ulker Sports and Event Hall. The Turkish champs improved to 16-2 to remain atop the standings. Kostas Sloukas produced 14 points and 6 assists for the winners, Melih Mahmutoglu also scored 14 without missing a shot and Jan Vesely tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds for the winners, who made a season-high 72.2% of their two-pointers. Brandon Davies scored 12 for Zalgiris, which lost its fourth straight game and slipped to 7-11.
Real Madrid 94-78 Olympiacos Piraeus
Real Madrid outlasted Olympiacos to record a comprehensive 94-78 victory in an entertaining showdown between two EuroLeague powerhouses in the Spanish capital. Both offenses were on fire in the opening stages, but Madrid gradually pulled away and led for the last 28 minutes through a fluid demonstration of non-stop scoring. Anthony Randolph shined with 16 points and 8 rebounds, while fellow big man Gustavo Ayon added 13 points, 7 boards and 4 assists. Vassilis Spanoulis recorded a double-double of 12 points and 11 assists for Olympiacos. Madrid remained in second place with a 15-3 record, while Olympiacos dropped to fifth at 11-7.
CSKA Moscow 76-93 Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv grabbed its first victory at CSKA Moscow since 2004 with a 76-93 upset on the road on Friday, marking the hosts' worst home loss in more than six years. It was also Maccabi's first victory against CSKA in 10 tries since the 2014 Final Four semifinals. Yovel Zoosman collected 15 points and 6 rebounds while Johnny O'Bryant picked up 14 points and Alex Tyus chipped in 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks as Maccabi improved to 7-11. Nando De Colo totalled 16 points and 6 assists, Will Clyburn scored 16 more and Othello Hunter had 12 points and 9 rebounds, but it was not enough as CSKA dropped to 13-5 with its first loss at home this season.
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 75-74 Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul
In a thriller that went down to the wire, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica broke its six-game losing streak by topping Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 75-74 in the Montenegrin capital on Friday. Norris Cole exited a timeout and buried a jumper on the run for the game-winning points with 4 seconds left. Buducnost improved to 4-14 in the standings and ranks 15th overall, with Darussafaka right behind at 2-16. Edwin Jackson led the winners with 18 points. Cole added 17 while Coty Clarke and Goga Bitadze each had 11 for Buducnost. Toney Douglas led Darussafaka with 14 points. Oguz Savas and Jeremy Evans each had 12 for the hosts. It all came down to the final seconds in a back-and-forth battle. Kartal Ozmizrak hit free throws for a one-point Darussafaka lead, Cole hit his jumper and the guests could not score in the final seconds.
KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 83-66 Herbalife Gran Canaria
KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz got back to winning ways by overcoming a slow start to defeat fellow Spanish side Herbalife Gran Canaria 83-66 on Friday. Baskonia improved to an 8-10 record after a game in which it rallied from an early double-digit deficit to run away to a big win in the fourth quarter. Marcelinho Huertas paced the winners with 24 points and 6 assists. Vincent Poirier had 20 points, and a fellow big man Ilimane Diop collected 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ondrej Balvin scored 16, and Eulis Baez added 12 points for Gran Canaria, whose record dropped to 6-12.
FC Bayern Munich 93-87 AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
FC Bayern Munich picked up a big victory in the fight for the playoffs in beating AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 93-87 at home to snap a two-game losing streak. Nihad Dedovic and Maodo Lo each scored 18 points, while Petteri Koponen and Stefan Jovic followed with 14 points apiece. Bayern improved to 9-9, including four wins in the last five at home, to take over sole possession of seventh place. The EuroLeague's leading scorer, Mike James of Milan, scored 31 points in the loss, while Arturas Gudaitis picked up 18 points and 10 rebounds and Dairis Bertans hit for 11 points. Milan dropped to 8-10.
FC Barcelona Lassa 79-68 Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
In a key battle in the race to reach the playoffs, FC Barcelona Lassa registered its fifth consecutive win by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 79-68 at Palau Blaugrana on Friday. Barcelona improved to 11-7 and is not tied on victories for fifth place in the standings with Olympiacos. Panathinaikos dropped to 8-10 and is tied for eighth place with AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan and KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Thomas Heurtel led the winners with 23 points and Kevin Seraphin added 14. Ioannis Papapetrou led Panathinaikos with 17 points. Barcelona was up by 37-36 at halftime, extended the lead to 56-52 after 30 minutes and had to wait until the final 2 minutes to celebrate a well-deserved win.