Regular Season Round 3: Into the first double-header
The new format of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague takes hold in earnest this week with the first "double-header" of fixtures – all teams playing two games each two nights apart – starting with Round Three. On Tuesday, two of three previously unbeaten teams suffered their first losses, but two teams – and not by coincidence, last season’s two finalists, leave Round 3 with perfect records.
In the Round 3 opener, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul stayed perfect on the road, defeating Unics Kazan 87-94 to improve to 2-1. Unics dropped to 0-3 despite opening the game with a 12-0 run, but Darussafaka tied by the end of first quarter and pulled away for good in the third. Birkan Batuk and Scottie Wilbekin hit three-pointers in the fourth quarter as Darussafaka boosted its margin to 63-78 and never looked back. Bradley Wanamaker led the winners with 22 points, and James Anderson added 18, while Keith Langford paced Unics with 22 points.
Olympiacos Piraeus topped EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 91-81 for its second consecutive doub-edigit home win, knocking the visitors from the ranks of unbeaten teams. Both teams hold 2-1 records. The game was close til the end of the third quarter, when Erick Green made back-to-back threes in a 12-0 run from which Milan did not recover. Vassilis Spanoulis and Green led Olympiacos with 16 points each, while Kruno Simon had the same for Milan.
Reigning champ CSKA Moscow held off host Anadolu Efes Istanbul 87-93 in a highly-entertaining game at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Nando De Colo and Cory Higgins paced CSKA to a 37-49 halftime lead and the margin reached 15 points before Thomas Heurtel, Derrick Brown and DeShaun Thomas helped Efes tie twice, the last time at 82-82 with 3:35 to go. CSKA scored the next 7 points and never relinquished the lead again. De Colo netted 26 points with 6 assists andMilos Teodosic had 15 points and 8 assists for CSKA. Thomas scored 16 in the losing effort.
In an all-Spanish clash, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz escaped with 87-91 road win against previously unbeaten Real Madrid. Both teams are now 2-1. Baskonia led by as many as 17 points, 28-45 in the first half, but Luka Doncic and Jaycee Carroll led Madrid back to erase the deficit and lead 81-73 midway through the fourth quarter. Johannes Voigtmann and Jaka Blazic rallied Baskonia and a critical triple by Blazic with 10 seconds left sealed the deal. Blazic paced the winners with 21 points, while Voigtmann had 18 and 11 rebounds. Gustavo Ayon led Madrid with 16 points, while Doncic added a EuroLeague career-high 15 in defeat.
On Wednesday, Marko Guduric scored a career-high 21 points as Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade downed the visiting and depleted FC Barcelona Lassa 76-65 in a packed Kombank Arena, the home of the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four. Zvezda trailed early, but went in front for good with a 16-0 run that gave it a 40-31 halftime lead. Zvezda never lost control of the game after the break and improved to 2-1 on the season. Marko Simonovic added 13 points in victory, while Brad Olseon had 15 points to lead Barcelona, which dropped to 1-2.
Fenerbahce Istanbul remained undefeated on Wednesday and joined CSKA Moscow atop the standings by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 82-68. Fenerbahce improved to 3-0 on the season, and extended its EuroLague home winning streak to 23 games, while Zalgiris dropped to 1-2. Ekpe Udoh collected 14 points and 8 rebounds, and Jan Vesely also scored 14 to lead the winners who took the lead for good in the first quarter, but did not pull away to a double-digit margin until opening fourth quarter with a 6-0 run. Leo Westermann led Zalgiris with 15 points.
A dramatic 0-11 closing run on the road gave Panathinaikos Athens an amazing 83-84 victory over Brose Bamberg in its first game under new head coach Xavi Pascual on Wednesday. Nick Calathes scored a game-winning put-back in the closing seconds, improving Panathinaikos to 2-1, while just missing on a triple-double, having finished the game with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals to lead the Greens. K.C. Rivers made 3 of 5 from downtown to add 18 points and James Feldeine made 4 of 6 to score 16 for the Greens. Nicolo Melli was 4 for 4 from deep and netted 17 points for Bamberg, which dropped to 1-2.
Under new coach Rami Hadar, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv downed visiting Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 98-92 and registered its first win of the EuroLeague campaign on Wednesday. Maccabi improved to 1-2 with another great offensive display and behind five scorers in double figures. Sonny Weems netted 23 points, while Devin Smith and Colton Iverson had 17 apiece. Galatasaray hit a club record 15 three-pointers, and saw Justin Dentmon score 22 points on 4-for-8 three-point shooting and Vladimir Micov get 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting from downtown, but is still winless on the season.