Regular Season, Round 2: Home cookin' counts!
Protecting home court was the successful mantra for seven teams in Round 2, and the only ones to break the mold and win on the road were the defending champions in overtime. The biggest home win was 13 points between last season's first- and second-placed teams after the regular season. The other six were by 10 or fewer as four new teams broke into the win column, leaving just four others unbeaten after two games.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv vs. Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv showed off its depth by getting 53 points off the bench en route to a 74-68 victory over Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz on Thursday at Menora Mivtachim Arena. Norris Cole recorded 24 points and 5 assists and DeShaun Thomas added 17 points as Maccabi improved to 2-0. Rodrigue Beaubois also starred in a reserve role for Baskonia with 22 points. After falling behind early, Thomas and Cole led a 13-0 Maccabi run that bridged the first and second quarters and the hosts never trailed again. The lead peaked at 14, but Beaubois rallied the visitors to within 66-64 with three minutes to go. Once again, Thomas and Cole stepped up to carry Maccabi to victory.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens vs. Brose Bamberg
Nick Calathes scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first half as Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens kept control throughout the night in a comfortable 93-83 win over Brose Bamberg. The hosts trailed for only 40 first-quarter seconds in the entire game despite having free throw shooting woes, missing 10 of 15 foul shots in the first half. But the Greens also made 6 of 9 three-pointers for a 43-35 lead at halftime, opened an 18-point lead early in the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way. Calathes added 6 assists and 4 rebounds, while Chris Singleton scored all of his 15 points in the second half. Leon Radosevic and Ricky Hickman scored 19 apiece for Bamberg.
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan vs. Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul survived a scare from AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan before producing a thrilling 86-92 overtime triumph over at Mediolanum Forum. The champs led by 10 with 10 minutes left, but Milan capped a rousing comeback with Vladimir Micov’s deep three to tie the game with 7.8 seconds remaining. But the overtime belonged to Fenerbahce as Brad Wanamaker led the charge with 5 points in the extra session to seal the win. Kostas Sloukas paced the winners with 17 points and 9 assists, while Fenerbahce’s two Italian players, Nicolo Melli and Gigi Datome, also shined in their home country. Dairis Bertans and Amath M’Baye combined for 7 three-pointers and 16 points apiece for Milan.
Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moscow
In a battle between the two winningest teams in continental basketball, Real Madrid send a message that echoed all around the EuroLeague by topping CSKA Moscow 82-69 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Madrid improved to 2-0 in the regular season, while CSKA dropped to 1-1. Anthony Randolph led the winners with 16 points before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. Luka Doncic added 14 for Madrid. Will Clyburn led CSKA with 15 points. Nine different Madrid players hit at least 1 three-point shot in what was the biggest key to this game.
Khimki Moscow Region vs. Zalgiris Kaunas
Khimki Moscow Region made it two wins in as many home games after running away from Zalgiris Kaunas by 85-77 on Friday. It marked the first time in five EuroLeague seasons that Khimki has started 2-0, while Zalgiris fell to 1-1. An early 11-0 run gave the hosts control of the scoreboard and they never looked back after that as Thomas Robinson led four double-digit scorers with 19 points and pulled 10 rebounds, as well. Alexey Shved scored 16 more, while Malcolm Thomas had 14 and Anthony Gill 10. Despite the loss, it was a record night for Paulius Jankunas, who jumped two spots into eighth place on the EuroLeague's all-time scoring list, with 2,504 career points, by leading Zalgiris with 24.
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade vs. FC Barcelona Lassa
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade’s home opener was one to remember, as the host side held off FC Barcelona Lassa 90-82 on Friday night in the legendary Aleksandar Nikolic Hall. Both teams hold 1-1 records in a young season after a clash in which Zvezda trailed for only a single possession, but needed to pull out a win in the final minutes. The hosts led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter behind the play of Taylor Rochestie and Milko Bjelica before the visitors melted the deficit and went up 79-80. But Zvezda finished the game with an 11-2 run to celebrate the win with its ecstatic fans. Rochestie had 22 points and 7 assists, and Bjelica scored career-high 23 points in victory. Kevin Seraphin scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half for Barcelona.
Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Unicaja Malaga
Olympiacos Piraeus rode a fast start to earn a hard-fought 80-75 victory over Unicaja Malaga at Peace and Friendship Stadium. The Greek team flew into a 15-point lead in the first quarter, but Unicaja soon fought back and reduced the deficit to just three points for much of the final quarter. Hollis Thompson led Olympiacos with 15 points and Nikola Milutinov added 12. Dragan Milosavljevic and Ray McCallum both scored 14 points for the visitors. Unicaja won the rebounding battle 27-34, but committed 17 turnovers and converted only 17 of 30 free throws.
Valencia Basket vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Valencia Basket registered its first win in the 2016-17 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague regular season by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 78-71 at home on Friday. Valencia improved to 1-1 in the standings while Efes dropped to 0-2. Erick Green paced the winners with 24 points. Joan Sastre added 15 – 12 of them in a game-breaking third quarter – while Bojan Dubljevic had 9 and 10 rebounds for Valencia. Vladimir Stimac led Efes with a career-high 22 points. Efes only led once, 38-40, as Sastre and Green took over after that, leading a 28-6 run that sealed the outcome long before the final buzzer.