Regular Season, Round 18
There were several real statement victories in Round 18, with the top three teams in the standings all winning by at least 15 points, while another team in the playoff zone boosted its chances with one of the week’s only two road wins.
Missing two of its top three scorers, CSKA Moscow put on a command performance anyway to take an 85-64 home win over Brose Bamberg on Thursday. CSKA remains atop the standings with a 14-4 record, while Bamberg lost its second in a row and sits 7-11. CSKA played without both Milos Teodosic and Corey Higgins, but it didn't seem to matter. The champs dominated defensively, while Nando De Colo hit 8 of 9 two-point shots on his way to 26 points to lead the winners. Daniel Theis led Bamberg with 16 points.
Fenerbahce Istanbul defeated Panathinaikos Athens 84-63 at home. Both teams now have a 11-7 records. It was a special game for Fenerbahce head coach Zeljko Obradovic, who reached 100 EuroLeague games with the Turkish powerhouse against the team he led for 13 years, Panathinaikos, and won five EuroLeague titles with. Luigi Datome led the winners with 16 points and Ahmet Duverioglu provided a spark with a career-high 13 points off the bench. Mike James led Panathinaikos with 25 points on 7-of-8 two-point shooting.
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade scored the game’s final 9 points to snag a 67-71 victory over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv at Menorah Mivtachim Arena. The Serbian champs extended their winning streak to five straight games to improve to 10-8 and a share of sixth place, while Maccabi lost for the eighth time in nine games to fall to 6-12. The hosts led 67-62 after Colton Iverson scored with four minutes remaining, but missed their last 6 shots and committed a pair of turnovers, while Stefan Jovic shined with 5 points and a pair of assists in Zvezda’s game-deciding run. Jovic finished with 14 points and 7 assists to pace the winners. Andrew Goudelock scored 19 to lead Maccabi.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan ended the longest losing streak in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season when it came from behind in the closing minutes to win 92-87 over visiting Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul on Thursday. Milan lost all of a 16-point second-quarter lead and trailed 73-76 with five minutes left after a 0-9 run by Galatasaray. But Krunoslav Simon and Ricky Hickman combined for 11 of their team's 19 points the rest of the way to end Milan's 10-game losing streak. Both teams are tied at 5-13 in the standings, but Milan moved out of last place and ahead of Galatasaray based on the 5-point difference, two more than when it lost their first meeting in Istanbul. Simon paced the inners with 19 points and 5 assists. Galatasaray got 17 points each from Sinan Guler and Bruno Fitipaldo.
In a thriller, FC Barcelona Lassa bounced back from recent losses by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 89-78 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Barcelona and Efes now have the same record in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season - eight wins and 10 losses, each. Barcelona, however, grabbed the tie-break advantage if both teams finish the regular season with the same record, as it registered a 72-68 road loss in Istanbul earlier this season. Petteri Koponen led the winners with 20 points and Vitor Faverani added 18 in his first game with Barcelona. Brandon Paul paced Efes with 25 points.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul defeated visiting Unics Kazan 71-64 on Friday to boost its record to 10-8, the same as Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade for eighth place. Unics fell to 7-11 alongside Brose Bamberg in 11th place. Darussafaka got 17 points and 7 rebounds from Adrien Moerman and Brad Wanamaker followed with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Unics led both at halftime and the end of three quarters, but a 12-0 blast off led by Wanamaker, Moerman and Ante Zizic was too much for the visitors as Darussafaka controlled the scoreboard to the finish. Keith Langford led Unics with 16 points.
Trey Thompkins hit 3 consecutive three-pointers as part of a 0-14 run to open the fourth quarter that broke open a tie game and propelled Real Madrid to a 59-74 victory over Zalgiris Kaunas at Zalgirio Arena in the Round 18 Game of the Week. Los Blancos claimed their fourth straight win to improve to 13-5 and remain one victory behind defending champion CSKA Moscow for first place. Zalgiris lost its fourth in a row at home to slip to 6-12 and a share of 13th place. Othello Hunter led the Spanish champs with 14 points and Thompkins made 4 of 6 three-pointers for 12 points. Augusto Lima posted 13 points for Zalgiris against his former team.
Olympiacos Piraeus recorded its fifth consecutive home win by routing Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 92-62 on Friday at Peace & Friendship Stadium. Olympiacos remained one win behind reigning champion CSKA Moscow for first place, while Baskonia dropped to 11-7. Olympiacos completed a season sweep of Baskonia, which gives it the always-valuable tie-break advantage. Eight Olympiacos players scored at least 7 points, led by Kostas Papanikolaou, Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis with 12 points apiece. Shane Larkin scored 12 for Baskonia.