Game Center Round 13: Double-week starts well for hosts
December’s week of two rounds started with Round 13, in which all four home teams walked away as winners on Tuesday and three more on Wednesday. Only Unicaja Malaga spoiled the party with a road win in Barcelona. Olympiacos Piraeus used a 13-0 fourth-quarter run to edge CSKA Moscow and move even with the Russian champs atop the standings at 10-3.
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul 82-56 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul bounced back from last week's home loss by downing Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 82-56 at Ulker Sports and Event Hall on Tuesday. Fenerbahce improved to 9-4 in the standings while Zvezda dropped to 5-8. Jan Vesely led the winners with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Luigi Datome and Brad Wanamaker each added 13 points, while James Nunnally had 12 and Nicolo Melli 10 for Fenerbahce. Ognjen Dobric led Zvezda with 15 points. Fenerbahce won all four quarters, outrebounded Zvezda by 38-29 and limited the guests to just 4-of-23 three-point shooting, all of which were key to this easier-than-expected win.
Zalgiris Kaunas 88-84 Brose Bamberg
Zalgiris Kaunas held on against Brose Bamberg for a tough 88-84 victory at Zalgirio Arena on Tuesday. The Lithuanian champs boosted their record to 8-5, while knocking Brose down to 6-7. Arturas Milaknis starred for the winners with career-highs of 20 points and 6 three-pointers made to lead an excellent long-range Zalgiris attack that connected on 10 of 19 from downtown (52.6%). Paulius Jankunas added 8 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for the winners. Dorell Wright paced the German champs with 22 points.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 89-76 Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens made it seven wins out of seven at home with a convincing 89-76 victory over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. The first half was closely contested but the home team used intense defense to surge ahead in the third quarter, and Maccabi never really threatened a comeback. Backup point guard Lukas Lekavicius impressed with 13 points and 4 assists in an expanded role with starter Nick Calathes sidelines with a shoulder injury. The Greens also dominated inside as James Gist registered a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Singleton posted 14 points and 10 boards. . Norris Cole led Maccabi with 14 points – 13 of which came in the first half.
Real Madrid 91-72 Valencia Basket
Real Madrid grabbed its second consecutive EuroLeague victory by downing Valencia Basket 91-72 in the Spanish capital on Tuesday. Madrid improved to 7-6, while Valencia dropped to 3-10 and saw its losing streak grow to nine in a row. Facu Campazzo led the winners with 14 points and 8 assists. Felipe Reyes, who played his 300th EuroLeague game, Jaycee Carroll, Walter Tavares and Trey Thompkins each added 12 points for Madrid. Thompkins added 11 rebounds for a double-double. Bojan Dubljevic paced Valencia with 18 points. Valencia led 51-53 midway through the third quarter, but Tavares and Campazzo stepped up to put Madrid in charge for good, 64-58. Madrid boosted its margin to 69-58 early in the fourth quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
Khimki Moscow Region 86-68 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Khimki Moscow Region became just the fifth EuroLeague team to reach eight victories by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 86-68 at home on Wednesday. Khimki improved to 8-5 in the standings and Efes dropped to 3-10 in head coach Ergin Ataman's return to the club and the competition. Alexey Shved led the winners with 25 points and 6 assists. Anthony Gill added 16 points while Egor Vialtsev had 12 for Khimki. Errick McCollum led Efes with 20 points and Krunoslav Simon added 16. After a back-and-forth battle for 30 minutes, Gill had 8 points in a 14-2 run that Sergey Monia capped with a three-pointer for a 70-58 score, enough for the hosts to control the game until the final buzzer.
Olympiacos Piraeus 88-86 CSKA Moscow
Olympiacos Piraeus edged CSKA Moscow 88-86 in a thriller between the teams with the top two records in the EuroLeague on Wednesday at Peace and Friendship Stadium. With the Reds’ starting frontcourt of Georgios Printezis and Nikola Milutinov sidelined, Jamel McLean took advantage of his opportunity and erupted for 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead Olympiacos, which matched CSKA for the best record in the league at 10-3. Vassilis Spanoulis produced 16 points and 8 assists for the winners, while Sergio Rodriguez paced CSKA with 23 points. Kostas Papanikolaou had 6 points in a 13-0 fourth-quarter run that gave Olympiacos the lead for good and the Reds held on down the stretch.
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 92-85 Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan snapped its four-game losing streak by downing Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 92-85 at Mediolanum Forum on Wednesday. Milan improved to 4-9 in the standings while Baskonia dropped to 6-7. Curtis Jerrells and Andrew Goudelock paced the winners with 15 points apiece. Milan dominated the game for 32 minutes and led 85-60 early in the fourth quarter. Baskonia managed to get within 88-83, but Arturas Gudaitis hit free throws and Milan improved its defense to win it down the stretch. Toko Shengelia led Baskonia with 19 points.
FC Barcelona Lassa 83-90 Unicaja Malaga
Unicaja used stingy defense in the last 15 minutes to upset Barcelona 83-90 on the road and complete a rise from last to 11th place over two weeks. Unicaja's record is now 5-8 while Barcelona fell to 4-9 with its fourth consecutive defeat and fourth at home this season. Barcelona was up 61-56 midway through the third quarter, but was held to just 5 points in the next 8 minutes as Unicaja took the lead for good. Nemanja Nedovic matched his career high with 26 points to power the visitors' offense, while James Augustine upped his career-high rebound total from a week ago to 14 to go with his 12 points.