Game Center, Round 13: Start of double week sees upsets, lots of road wins
The first games of another fast and furious double week in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague provided lots of drama, with half of Round 13's games going to the visiting teams with several upsets and comebacks along the way.
With the league’s top scorer sidelined, Evgeny Voronov stepped into his place and led Unics Kazan to a 73-60 victory over Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul on Tuesday night in Russia. Voronov poured in a career-best 22 points with a mere 2 missed shots in his first start of the season in place of the injured Keith Langford. The visitors used a 0-11 run that spanned halftime to get within 37-36 early in the third quarter, but Art Parakhouski, Quino Colom and Voronov led Unics’s 14-0 response and the visitors never threatened again. Sinan Guler paced Galatasaray with 17 points, 6 assists and 3 steals.
Zalgiris Kaunas sent a message that echoed all around the competition by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 71-84 on the road on Tuesday. Kevin Pangos led the winners with 15 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting and Edgaras Ulanovas added 14 on 5-of-5 two-point shooting. Ten Zalgiris players scored in the first half, helping their team get a 14-point lead, 30-44. Despite committing 16 turnovers, Zalgiris kept powering the boards and kept a double-digit lead all the way until the final buzzer. Thomas Heurtel led Efes with 18 points.
Olympiacos Piraeus extended its winning streak to four games after defeating visiting Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 73-65 at Peace & Friendship Stadium on Tuesday night. Olympiacos took the lead for good early in the first quarter and then used 3 consecutive triples from Matt Lojeski to pull away to a double-digit margin in the second quarter and never looked back. Lojeski led Olympiacos with 18 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting. Erick Green netted 15 and Nikola Milutinov had 11 points and 7 rebounds for Olympiacos, which played without Georgios Printezis. The visitors pulled down 16 offensive rebounds, but were held to 2 of 17 from long range and committed 15 turnovers. Ognjen Kuzmic amassed 13 points and 14 rebounds in defeat.
Real Madrid delivered an outstanding all-round performance to cruise to a 95-72 victory against Brose Bamberg, securing a fifth straight win in the Spanish capital. The outcome was never in doubt after Los Blancos needed just three minutes to establish a double-digit lead and only a late flurry from Bamberg prevented an even more emphatic scoreline. Teenager Luka Doncic led the way with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while backcourt partner Sergio Llull added 14 points and 6 assists. It was a true team performance from a Madrid side that hit 15 three-pointers and won the rebounding battle 40-26. Bamberg, which was missing last week’s MVP Fabien Causeur through illness, found late life through Lucca Staiger, who scored all of his 18 points from downtown.
In an Istanbul-city derby, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul registered a hard-fought 64-71 road win over Fenerbahce Istanbul. The visiting team led for the whole of the second half, withstanding a powerful Fenerbahce comeback thanks to top scorers Scottie Wilbekin and Will Clyburn, who finished with 22 and 20 points, respectively. The win improved Darussafaka to 7-6. Kostas Sloukas had 16 points for Fenerbahce, which finds itself with an 8-5 record.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens went on the road to defeat EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 72-86 on Wednesday night. The Greens dominated in the middle two quarters, turning a 21-16 deficit into a 42-64 lead, and cruised to a victory that improved them to 8-5 in the standings, while Milan lost its sixth consecutive game and dropped to 4-9. Mike James paced the winners with 19 points and Nick Calathes had 16 points and 6 assists for Panathinaikos, which hit 13 three-point shots on the night. Jamel McLean collected 16 points and 9 rebounds for Milan.
Defending champion CSKA Moscow stormed back from an 18-point deficit to beat Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 76-80 on the road at Menora Mivtachim Arena on Wednesday in the Game of the Week. Despite playing without its top two scorers and All-EuroLeague guards Nando De Colo and Milos Teodosic, CSKA chalked up its sixth straight win to improve to 12-1 and remain in first place by a three-win margin. Maccabi, which was playing its first game under interim head coach Lior Lubin, who stepped in when Rami Hadar resigned last week, lost its fourth straight game to fall to 5-8. Cory Higgins scored 7 points of his team-high 16 points in the final three minutes to propel CSKA to victory in a game that saw four ties and five lead changes in the fourth quarter. Andrew Goudelock led Maccabi with 19 points and 5 assists.
In an all-Spanish clash that went down to the wire, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz rallied from a double-digit deficit to edge FC Barcelona Lassa 65-62 in front of over 14,200 fans at Fernando Buesa Arena on Wednesday night. Back-to-back three pointers late in the fourth quarter by Shane Larkin put Baskonia up for good, and Rodrigue Beaubois made key free throws in the final seconds and finished as the top scorer with 19 points. Larkin added 14 points in victory, while Ante Tomic led Barcelona with 18.