Regular Season Round 11: Home teams dominate
For the first time this season, wide victory margins were the norm in Round 11, starting with big road wins from teams at the top and bottom of the table. But otherwise, six home teams prevailed, several in dominant fashion, as the host clubs in Round 11 made sure to protect their courts as they jockeyed for position in the standings.
In a rare Wednesday fixture, Brose Bamberg broke its series of big leads that resulted in heartbreaking losses in style by steamrolling Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 70-85. With its first road win this season, Bamberg broke a five-game losing streak and lifted its record to 3-8, while Maccabi fell to 5-6. Nicolo Melli led the charge with career highs of 27 points, 14 rebounds, 6 three-pointers and a performance index rating of 40! After seven players shared 9-for-14 three-point shooting in the first half, Bamberg tied its club record in EuroLeague play by making 13 of 27 from downtown, or 48.1%. Andrew Goudelock scored 20 points for Maccabi, which went scoreless during the first four minutes of the first quarter and the first three of the second, after which it never got closer to the German champs than 8 points.
Fenerbahce Istanbul chalked up its fourth consecutive victory by overpowering Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 87-72 on Thursday at Fenerbahce Ulker Sports Arena. Ekpe Udoh dominated inside with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks and Jan Vesely added 14 points to lead the Turkish champs, who outrebounded Zvezda 35-23 as they improved to 8-3 on the season. A 9-0 run that bridged the first and second quarters gave Fenerbahce the lead for good. Zvezda lost its third straight game in falling to 4-7. Marko Simonovic made 4 of 6 threes for 14 points to lead Zvezda.
Defending champion CSKA Moscow put on an offensive clinic in the third quarter and made a series of defensive stops in the second half, racing away to a 64-79 road win against EA7 Emporio Armani Milan on Thursday night at Mediolanum Forum despite missing its top two scorers. Milan led 38-36 at halftime, but CSKA scored 30 points in the third quarter and allowed only 10 points in the fourth en route to a win that improved its record to 10-1 atop the standings. Milan dropped to 4-7. CSKA played without last season’s EuroLeague MVP Nando De Colo and All-EuroLeague playmaker and this season’s assist leader Milos Teodosic. And after some struggles in the first half, the visitors dominated in the second behind Dmitry Kulagin who scored a career-high 14 points, and Aaron Jackson who had 14 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Miroslav Raduljica led Milan with 11 points.
Real Madrid relied on its teenage sensation to squeeze out a 96-91 home win on Friday against feisty Zalgiris Kaunas. 17-year-old Luka Doncic drilled back-to-back three-pointers and insurance free throws for 8 of Madrid's last 10 points to lift his team's record to 8-3. His late heroics gave Doncic a career-high 17 points. Gustavo Ayon followed with 13 points. Zalgiris got 19 points from Kevin Pangos and 17 from Brock Motum in defeat. Madrid now has a 14-1 record this century against Zagliris, whose record this season dropped to 3-8.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul survived a late comeback from FC Barcelona Lassa and pulled out a 72-68 victory on Friday in the Game of the Week at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Bryant Dunston tied it at 68-68 with a basket –plus-foul with 15.2 seconds left and when he missed the resulting free throw, the ball was tipped in to give Efes its third straight win and boost its record to 6-5. Barcelona lost for the fourth time in its last five games as its record fell to 5-6. Jayson Granger scored 16 points and dished 5 assists and backcourt mate Thomas Heurtel added 14 to lead the winners. Tyrese Rice led the Barcelona attack with 22 points and 7 assists. Down 16 in the third quarter, Barcelona rallied with a 0-13 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and then used a flurry of late threes to take the lead before Dunston and co. came through.
Panathinaikos Athens got back in the win column and continued climbing in the standings with a no-doubt-about it 85-58 home win over Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul on Friday. Panathinaikos moved to 6-5 and erased the memory of its 57-point offensive performance a week earlier by getting admirable scoring distribution: Nick Calathes, Kenny Gabriel and K.C. Rivers all scored 14 points, while Chris Singleton and Mike James had 13 each for the winners, who led by just 1 point, 28-27, midway through the second quarter, but dominated the rest of the way. The Panathinaikos defense held Galatasaray to 32.5% two-point shooting. Blake Schilb led the visitors with 15 points as Galatasaray fell to 3-8.
Olympiacos Piraeus led from start to finish in thrashing the visiting Unics Kazan 88-59 to improve to 7-4 in the standings. Unics dropped to 3-8. It was the biggest win of the season for Olympiacos and the second time its defense allowed fewer than 60 points. Matt Lojeski had 15 points and 6 rebounds, and Erick Green also scored 15 in victory. Kostas Papanikolaou had 12, Georgios Printezis 11, and Vassilis Spanoulis 10 in less than 17 minutes on the floor. For Unics, Keith Langford scored 13 of his 25 points in the final 6 minutes.
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz grabbed its fourth consecutive home win by downing Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul 73-52 on Friday to raise its record to 7-4. Shane Larkin led the winners with 14 points and Rodrigue Beaubois added 12, but it was the defense that ruled with 9 team blocks, the most in the EuroLeague this season, led by 4 from Ilimane Diop. Darussafaka's top scorer was James Anderson with 11 points as the visitors dropped to 5-6. Baskonia held Darussafaka to 11-of-38 two-point shooting (28.9%) and just 52 points, tying a season-low in the EuroLeague, and pulled down 40 defensive boards, the highest in the competition in four years. Its 53 total rebounds were eighth best in competition history, too.
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