Top 16 Round 8: Home teams rule!
The home stretch of the Top 16 began with seven wins from eight games for the home teams, with only Real Madrid claiming victory on the road. Panathinaikos Athens handed Fenerbahce Istanbul its first Top 16 loss, while Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade defeated Anadolu Efes to build a two-win gap between fourth and fifth place in Group E. On an individual note, Anthony Randolph of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar set a club record and tied for the fifth-best performance index in Top 16 history in a win over Cedevita Zagreb.
There are no more unbeaten teams in the Top 16 after Panathinaikos Athens defeated Fenerbahce Istanbul 76-71 in the return of its former head coach Zeljko Obradovic in the Game of the Week in Greek capital. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Greens. Neither team held lead bigger than 8 points in this clash that went down to the wire. A long triple from Antonis Fotsis helped the Greens to 72-64, but Ekpe Udoh and Bobby Dixon got the visitors within 72-71 with 52 seconds remaining. However, Euroleague debutante Elliot Williams sealed the game with a layup and free throw, finishing with 14 points to lead Panathinaikos. Miroslav Raduljica added 13 points in victory, while Udoh led Fenerbahce with 19 points and 3 blocks. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar blew away Cedevita Zagreb 87-63 for its second-biggest win of the season. Lokomotiv raced to a 29-12 lead after 10 minutes, then used a 7-0 start to the second half to open 51-33 margin and never look back as Anthony Randolph exploded with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists for the winners, all of them career highs in his first Euroleague season. Randolph's performance index rating of 43 was the second-best all season and tied for the fourth-highest in Top 16 history. Ryan Broekhoff followed with 14 points, and Malcolm Delaney dished 11 assists. Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade rallied past Anadolu Efes Istanbul 91-82 at Millennium Center in Vrsac. The score was tied four times in the fourth quarter, but after Dario Saric made it 73-73, Nemanja Danjubic scored 5 straight points to ignite a 14-2 charge, which Marko Guduric finished with 5 points of his own, and the home team cruised the rest of the way. Quincy Miller led five Zvezda scorers in double figures with 15 points as his team claimed the potential head-to-head tiebreaker between the sides. Maik Zirbes added 14 points and 9 rebounds for the winners. Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul downed Unicaja Malaga 78-55, grabbing its second consecutive home win. Luke Harangody collected 21 points and 8 rebounds to lead the winners, who made it a 14-point game at the end of the third quarter and then used a 9-0 run in the fourth to extend the margin to 68-49 and seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.
In the Round 8 opener, CSKA Moscow overpowered crosstown rival Khimki Moscow Region 108-98 at Megasport Arena in the Russian capital. It was the fourth consecutive win for CSKA, which nailed 16 threes. CSKA held a 53-46 at the break before Nando De Colo and Milos Teodosic took over in the second half. CSKA often held a double-digit advantage, but Khimki did not going way until a 13-2 run late in the fourth sealed the outcome. Teodosic shot 6 of 9 from three-point land and scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half, and De Colo had 14 of his 19 points after the break. Rallying from an 8-point deficit at the end of the third quarter, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz beat visiting Zalgiris Kaunas 71-65 to win its fifth Top 16 game in a row and join CSKA with a 6-2 record atop the group standings. In the final quarter, Laboral found a go-to guy in Darius Adams, who brought his team back in the game and hit a critical, go-ahead three-pointer in a late 9-0 run to help the hosts secure victory. Adams finished with 17 points, and Ioannis Bourousis added 16 plus 11 rebounds. Ian Vougioukas had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds for Zalgiris. Defending champion Real Madrid edged Brose Baskets Bamberg 86-90 in a thriller at Nuremberg Arena to take sole possession of third place in Group F. The game featured four lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter alone and was tied with 69 seconds left when Felipe Reyes hit go-ahead free throws for Madrid. After Gustavo Ayon stopped Bradley Wanamaker with a late block, Reyes iced the game from the line. Prior to the drama at the end, both teams had double-digit leads in the game. Bamberg started with a 12-0 lead, but Madrid rallied quickly, then went up by 10 in the third quarter before Darius Miller led the hosts' comeback. Sergio Llull paced the winners with 21 points on 6-of-7 three-point shooting, and Reyes added 18 points in victory. Miller scored 20 points on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown for Bamberg. And in a battle of former Turkish Airlines Euroleague champions, FC Barcelona Lassa thrashed Olympiacos Piraeus 82-66 on Friday to break their tie. Barcelona also assured itself of the tie-break advantage over Olympiacos in case both teams finished the Top 16 with the same record. The game was close early, but Barcelona took control in the second quarter and a buzzer-beater by Juan Carlos Navarro fixed the halftime score at 45-31. A three-pointer by Brad Oleson and two more by Stratos Perperoglou broke the game open, 58-35, midway through the third quarter and Barceloan cruised the rest of the way. Perperoglou paced the winners with 16 points and Tomas Satoransky added 14.
Follow all the action as it happens live in Euroleague TV, in TV networks in over 200 countries, in our Twitter account @Euroleague and of course, right here on Euroleague.net!