Regular Season Round 12: One leader, many challengers
A lone road winner among eight games in Round 12, which saw a thrilling games and even more thrilling plays, has left a clear leader, a four-way tie on victories for second place and two teams new to the top eight who were not there a week ago.
In a thriller that literally came down to the final second, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz edged Unics Kazan 91-92. The game saw three lead changes in the final 7 seconds; Shane Larkin hit a rainbow three-pointer over Art Parakhouski to give Baskonia an 88-90 lead, Keith Langford answered for Unics from beyond the arc, but Shengelia sank the game-winning free throws with 1.8 seconds left. Larkin led the winners with 22 points and 6 assists and Shengelia added 19 on 10-of-11 free throw shooting; he had hit 15 of 27 (55.6%), entering this game. Langford led Unics with 28 points and Quino Colom added 23 points and 6 assists.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul scalped another big name at Volkswagen Arena by beating Real Madrid 81-68 on Thursday night. Coach David Blatt's men have now defeated the past two EuroLeague champs. Madrid led by 10 in the second quarter, but Darussafaka held the visitors scoreless for the last five minutes of the second quarter and the first three of the third during which they reeled off 17 straight points and never looked back. Brad Wanamaker set a career-high with 27 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting to lead the winners. Felipe Reyes led Madrid with 16 points, which took him past Jaka Lakovic and Milos Teodosic for fourth place on the EuroLeague’s all-time scoring charts with 2,538 points.
Olympiacos Piraeus took over a close game in the final quarter to take home a 75-88 victory against Zalgiris in Kaunas, where the Reds had lost by 30 last season. The final score was deceptive after 23 lead changes and 10 ties in the first 30 minutes, but Olympiacos owned the last 10 to run away with the victory. Olympiacos filled the box score with six double-figure scorers, led by Matt Lojeski and Kostas Papanikolaou with 16 each. Georgios Printezis added 15, but limped off in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. Paulius Jankunas paced Zalgiris with 18 points and 7 rebounds.
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade registered its largest-ever Turkish Airlines EuroLeague win, routing Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 83-58 on Thursday night at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in the Serbian capital. Zvezda not only won by the biggest margin in EuroLeague action, but also allowed its fewest points in a single EuroLeague game, besting its previous mark of 59. This game also marked the first time in a EuroLeague game that one team – in this case Maccabi - did not shoot a single free throw. Zvezda took the lead for good in the first quarter, finished the first half up 42-24, and led 59-28 midway through the third quarter. Marko Simonovic scored 14 points and Ognjen Kuzmic added 12 to lead five Zvezda scorers in double figures.
Brose Bamberg grabbed its second consecutive win by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 91-83 at home on Thursday. Fabien Causeur paced the winners with 28 points - a new EuroLeague career-high - on 8-of-9 two-point shooting and 3-of-5 three-pointers. Darius Miller added 17 points. The victory marked the first time Bamberg won back-to-back games this season. Jayson Granger led Efes with 23 points and Derrick Brown collected 18 points and 11 rebounds in defeat.
Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul survived a late challenge from EA7 Emporio Armani Milan for an 83-80 victory on Friday at Abdi Ipekci Arena. Vladimir Micov scored a career-high 23 points and Alex Tyus delivered a pair of spectacular blocks before scoring the go-ahead with a put-back as Galatasaray won its fourth straight home game to improve to 4-8 on the season. Galatasaray led for nearly all of the first three quarters, with the margin reaching 14 in the third before Milan roared back. The fourth quarter would feature six lead changes and five ties before Galatasaray wrested away the victory. Blake Schilb scored 17 points and dished 5 assists for the winners and Tyus posted 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Rakim Sanders scored 18 points to lead Milan, which fell to 4-8.
Milos Teodosic starred with a double-double and CSKA Moscow was hot from long range to continue its winning streak at home by downing FC Barcelona Lassa 92-76 in the Russian capital on Friday. The victory marked CSKA’s 17th consecutive home win and improved its record to a league-leading 11-1. The loss dropped Barcelona to 5-7. The hosts had a strong start and opened an 18-point lead early in the second quarter, but a 0-14 run spanning the second and third quarters put Barcelona in front. However, a little bit of Teodosic magic and hitting 15 three-pointers on 23 attempts paved CSKA’s way to victory. Teodosic had 16 points and 11 assists and Cory Higgins netted 23 points with 5 steals for the winners. Victor Claver scored 17 points with 6 rebounds for Barcelona.
In the Round 12 finale on Friday, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens grabbed its third consecutive home win by topping Fenerbahce Istanbul 81-70. Panathinaikos improved to 7-5, while Fenerbahce dropped to 8-4. Nick Calathes flirted again with a triple-double, collecting 16 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds and 5 steals to pace the winners. Demetris Nichols added 14 points, K.C. Rivers and James Feldeine 10 each. James Nunnally led Fenerbahce with 21 points while Kostas Sloukas added 13 . The Panathinaikos defense limited Fenerbahce to low shooting percentages - 45.7% inside the arc, 35.3% from downtown – to win the game. Panathinaikos also committed just 3 turnovers, a club record in EuroLeague play and the competition's low this season by half the next-best team.
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