Regular Season, Round 3: Three undefeated teams still standing!
The first two-round week of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season was Round 3 and it finished with three teams with perfect 3-0 records: Real Madrid, which got another magical night from teenage sensation Luka Doncic; Olympiacos Piraeus and Khimki Moscow Region. In all, half of Round 3’s games were won by the visiting teams, including Brose Bamberg, which claimed its maiden victory this season in Malaga.
Khimki Moscow Region vs. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Khimki Moscow Region remained undefeated by downing Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 85-78 at Mytishchi Arena on Tuesday. Khimki improved to 3-0 after three consecutive home wins, while Zvezda dropped to 1-2. James Anderson led the winners with 24 points and Alexey Shved added 18 and a EuroLeague career-high 9 assists. Milko paced Zvezda with 15 points. An outstanding third quarter, in which Khimki outscored Zvezda 21-11, gave Khimki full control of the game.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv vs. Olympiacos Piraeus
In a tense battle for the right to stay unbeaten, Olympiacos Piraeus substituted one missing leader with another as Georgios Printezis took over down the stretch to edge host Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 68-69 on Tuesday. Printezis scored 21 including 6 in a row after Maccabi had drawn within 60-61. A shot in the air by Norris Cole, who scored 22, would have won the game for the Maccabi, but it fell short at the buzzer.
FC Barcelona Lassa vs. Zalgiris Kaunas
Zalgiris head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, who was won the first his and Barcelona’s first EuroLeague title as a star point guard in this city in 2003, got spectacular games from his two playmakers Tuesday to beat FC Barcelona Lassa 75-81 at Palau Blaugrana. Vasilije Micic scored a career-high 20 points on 8-for-11 two-point shooting and also had 8 assists and 2 steals and Kevin Pangos dropped 16 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting as Zalgiris improved to 2-1. Barcelona, which got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Adam Hanga, lost its second straight game and dropped to 1-2.
Real Madrid vs. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
Luka Doncic produced one of the best games of his young career to lead Real Madrid over AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 100-90 at WiZink Center in the Spanish capital on Tuesday night. The victory kept Madrid’s record perfect through three rounds of action and denied Milan its first victory. Madrid was shorthanded without injured big men Anthony Randolph and Ognjen Kuzmic, but it did not matter as the 18-year-old Doncic tied his career highs with 27 points and 3 steals in addition to 8 rebounds. After the sides hit the locker rooms at halftime with the score even at 54-54, Doncic scored 12 in a 20-0 third-quarter run that gave Madrid the lead for good. Arturas Gudaitis was among the Milan leaders with 20 points and 4 blocked shots.
CSKA Moscow vs. Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
CSKA Moscow roared back to form with an impressive 81-63 victory over Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens in the Russian capital. After suffering a heavy loss at Real Madrid last week, CSKA clearly felt it had something to prove and came flying out of the blocks with a dominant opening quarter to establish an early double-digit lead. Panathinaikos rarely looked like making it close and CSKA cruised home. Two players were particularly instrumental in the victory, with Sergio Rodriguez combining 25 points – including 5 three-pointers – with 9 assists, while Kyle Hines netted 21 points and grabbed 4 steals, both career highs.
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Reigning champion Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul triumphed in its home opener by beating crosstown rival Anadolu Efes Istanbul 81-70 at Ulker Sports and Event Hall. Fenerbahce improved to 2-1, while denying Efes its first win of the season. Jan Vesely led a balanced Fenerbahce attacked with 15 points and Brad Wanamaker filled the box score with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. The game was tied at halftime, but Vesely and Kostas Sloukas keyed a big third quarter at both ends that saw the hosts take control for good.
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz vs. Valencia Basket
In the first All-Spanish showdown of the EuroLeague season, Valencia Basket registered its first road win by downing Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 63-80 at Fernando Buesa Arena on Wednesday. Valencia improved to 2-1, while Baskonia dropped to 0-3. Erick Green and Tibor Pleiss led the winners with 15 points apiece. Alberto Abalde, who had been scoreless until now in the EuroLeague this season, had 13 for Valencia. Toko Shengelia led Baskonia with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Valencia dominated the game and sealed the outcome long before the final buzzer.
Unicaja Malaga vs. Brose Bamberg
Brose Bamberg registered its first win of the season by edging Unicaja Malaga 76-80 on the road. Both teams now hold 1-2 records. In a hard-fought game in which neither team had a lead bigger than 8 points throughout the 40 minutes, Bamberg made more plays – and free throws – down the stretch. Augustine Rubit, who made a pair of go-ahead free throws with 58 seconds left, posted 15 points and 11 rebounds in only the third EuroLeague game of his career. Ricky Hickman netted 18 points in victory, while Nemanja Nedovic paced Unicaja with a career-high 26 points.