Round 6: The joys of home cooking
The eight home teams in Round 6 walked away happy as this round marked the first time in nearly four years that every home team won in a full round. The last time that happened was in January 2013 in Round 3 of the Top 16. Even more amazing was that half of the games were decided by 3 points or less and another went to overtime!
Keith Langford hit a game-winning three-pointer with 17 seconds to go, and Unics Kazan rallied late to edge Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 65-62 in the Round 6 opener on Thursday. Zvezda led 49-58 with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but the hosts erased the deficit before Langford hit a triple for the hosts to register their second consecutive win, while Zvezda suffered its third straight loss. Both teams hold 2-4 records. EuroLeagues scoring leader Langford netted 23 points, while Latavious Williams collected 10 points plus 9 rebounds. Ognjen Kuzmic had 10 points and 9 rebounds for Zvezda.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul beat Brose Bamberg 72-70 on Thursday at Volkswagen Arena. The result marked Darussafaka’s first win at home as Coach David Blatt’s team improved to 4-2 overall, while Bamberg fell to 2-4 with all of its losses coming by 4 points or less. Will Clyburn led the home team attack with 17 points and Dairis Bertans scored 15 on 3-of-5 three-point shooting. The visitors rallied back from a 10-point deficit to ties the game at 70-70 with two minutes remaining. Bradley Wanamaker sank what proved to be the game-winning jumper with 30 seconds to go and Nicolo Melli missed a jumper that could have forced overtime.
Behind a huge performance from Chris Singleton in a thrilling Game of the Week that went to overtime, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens topped Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 83-75 on Thursday night in the Greek capital. The hosts registered their third consecutive win and improved to 4-2 on the season. James Gist forced overtime with a tip-in with 9 seconds left in regulation, before the Greens hit 3 three-pointers in overtime to pull away. Singleton starred, scoring a career-high 26 points, along with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Nick Calathes added 13 points and 6 assists, while Gist collected 12 points plus 8 rebounds. Sonny Weems led Maccabi with 15 points and Devin Smith had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds in defeat.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan broke its single-game club scoring record in the EuroLeague en route to defeating visiting Anadolu Efes Istanbul 105-92 on Thursday night at Mediolanum Forum. Milan improved to 3-3 after hitting 13 of 19 three-point shots and having five scorers in double figures. Rakim Sanders led the way with 22 points and 7 rebounds, while Krunoslav Simon shined with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Alessandro Gentile netted 17 and Miroslav Raduljica finished with 13 in victory. Efes had five scorers in double digits of its own and collected 17 offensive board, but it was not enough. Thomas Heurtel had 18 points and 7 assists, and Bryant Dunston collected 17 points plus 8 rebounds in a defeat that dropped Efes to 2-4.
FC Barcelona Lassa grabbed its third consecutive win by holding off Zalgiris Kaunas 92-86 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Barcelona improved to 4-2 while Zalgiris dropped to 1-5. The hosts led for most of the night, but Zalgiris did not go away. Barcelona built a double-digit lead, 78-68 midway through the fourth quarter, but Brock Motum’s back-to-back triples got Zalgiris back in the games. However, the hosts never relinquished the lead, sealing the deal from the free throw line. Tyrese Rice scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half and Petteri Koponen added 16 points in victory, leading five Barcelona scorers in double digits. Motum led Zalgiris with a EuroLeague career-high 26 points on 7-of-7 two-point and 4-of-5 three-point shooting.
On Friday, Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul celebrated its first win of the season with a thrilling 89-87 victory over Olympiacos Piraeus on Friday at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Several players delivered outstanding offensive performances for the home team, with Sinan Guler acting as the catalyst by dishing a career-high 12 assists. Justin Dentmon stood out with 22 points, Jon Diebler contributed 17 on 5-of-5 three-point shooting, Austin Daye added 16 and Alex Tyus posted 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks, the last of which helped seal the win in the final seconds. Vangelis Mantzaris paced the Reds with 5-of-8 three-point shooting for 19 points. Galatasray made up for a 27-44 rebounding disadvantage by making 13 of 22 threes (59.1%).
In a classic EuroLeague showdown between the last two champions, CSKA Moscow held off Real Madrid 91-90 to improve to 6-0 on Friday night in the Russian capital. Madrid built an early double-digit margin, but Nando De Colo scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the second quarter as CSKA used a 24-2 run to build a 49-38 halftime lead. Madrid kept coming back in the second half, got within 87-86 with 26 seconds to go and had a possession in the final 3.1 seconds of the fourth quarter to try to send the game into overtime, but CSKA held on. Milos Teodosic netted 15 points and dished 6 assists, which brought his career-total to 978 assists and moved him into third place in all-time rankings. Nikita Kurbanov added 13 points and 8 rebounds for CSKA, while Sergio Llull finished with 21 points and 7 assists in defeat.
In a rematch of last season's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague semifinal, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz took advantage of an outstanding basketball atmosphere at Fernando Buesa Arena to thrash Fenerbahce Istanbul 86-52 in front of over 14,000 fans on Friday. Both teams now have 4-2 records. Shane Larkin, Johannes Voigtmann and a recovered Andrea Bargnani led the winners with 13 points apiece. The home side played shut down defense early in taking a 41-24 halftime lead and never let up in the second half, ultimately holding Fenerbahce to its worst offensive output of the Coach Zeljko Obradovic era.