Top 16 Round 5: Two leaders and a scramble below!
Two group leaders held onto their status through a rough-and-tumble Top 16 Round 5 that saw home teams hold sway, although a pair of road warriors were able to move up in the standings of each group.
In the only game in this group on Thursday, Fenerbahce Istanbul held off Cedevita Zagreb for an 86-73 victory at Ulker Sports Arena. Luigi Datome scored 19 points and Ekpe Udoh posted 17 points and 4 blocks to pace the home team, which took charge early with an 18-0 first-quarter run. It was 40-33 at halftime before Cedevita rallied to within 1 in the third quarter. But Fenerbahce pulled away in the fourth, rebuilding a double-digit lead on back-to-back triples by Ricky Hickman and Kostas Sloukas and held on to improve to 5-0. On Friday, Crvena Zvezda beat Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 80-66 to set up a three-way tie for second place along with Anadolu Efes. Quincy Miller scored 14 first-quarter points as Zvezda opened a big early lead. Tarence Kinsey hit a series of jumpers late in the second quarter to keep the difference in double figures. And Maik Zirbes was a menace all night for the Lokomotiv defense. Miller finished with 24 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting. Kinsey added 19 points and Zirbes posted 18 points and 9 rebounds. There were 22 lead changes and 10 ties before Jayson Granger led Anadolu Efes Istanbul to rally past Unicaja Malaga 75-85 on the road. Unicaja led 59-50 midway through the third quarter before Granger's three-pointer started Efes back and the visitors' defense held the hosts scoreless in the game's last five minutes to win going away. Granger had 12 of his game-high 22 points during the comeback. Jon Diebler added 16 points, including 5 in the final 35 seconds, for the winners. Panathinaikos Athens edged Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul 82-79 in the Greek capital. It was a game in which neither team managed to build a double-digit lead during the entire 40 minutes. Playing without Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos held a 42-38 halftime lead and went up by 9 early in the third quarter. But Darussafaka rallied behind Jamon Gordon and took the lead twice in the fourth, including 72-74 with two minutes to go after a Gordon triple. But down the stretch, Panathinaikos made more plays, and more free throws, to pull out an important win. Miroslav Raduljica scored 17 points, had 8 rebounds and 3 steals, while Nick Calathes had 14 points and 9 assists to pace the hosts.
In the Game of the Week, Real Madrid bested Olympiacos Piraeus 84-72 at Barclaycard Center, on the same floor where it beat the same Reds in last season’s championship game to lift the Turkish Airlines Euroleague title. The lead swung back and forth in the first half before Real Madrid made a 12-2 run to end the second quarter and go into halftime with a 41-35 edge. After the break, it was first Sergio Rodriguez that fueled a 13-0 third quarter run with a pair of three-pointers, before Sergio Llull took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his 18 points in the finals six minutes of the game to seal the deal. Llull also dished 7 assists, while Gustavo Ayon collected 11 points and 10 rebounds for Los Blancos. CSKA Moscow routed Brose Baskets Bamberg 91-70 for its third win in as many games between the teams this season. CSKA leads the all-time series 11-0. Bamberg scored the first 10 points of the game, but CSKA needed only a few minutes to catch up and then ran away behind the scoring of Nando De Colo and Nikita Kurbanov. The hosts ended the second quarter with a huge 28-5 charge to set a 55-34 halftime lead. CSKA scored first 7 points of the third quarter to build a 62-34 advantage and cruised the rest of the way. De Colo scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, and also had 6 rebounds and 3 assists, in his first game back from injury. On Friday, Laboral Kuxta Vitoria Gasteiz edged FC Barcelona Lassa 78-81 after overtime in a rare home defeat in the Top 16 for the hosts. Ioannis Bourousis scored 24 points for Laboral, which has now handed Barcelona its only two home losses in the last 41 Top 16 games. Darius Adams added 17 points including the three-pointer to force overtime. Barcelona erased a 13-point third quarter deficit but failed to get the win in the extra session. Alex Abrines scored all 21 of his points in the final 16 minutes of play in the loss. Khimki Moscow Region downed Zalgiris Kaunas 111-80 in the Russian capital. Tyrese Rice led the winners with 20 points and 11 assists and Tyler Honeycutt added 14 points and 3 blocks. Sergey Monya and Honeycutt fueled a 12-1 run that broke the game open, 43-26, late in the second quarter and Khimki continue to add to it the rest of the game.
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