Playoffs, Game 2: CSKA, Olympiacos move to brink of Final Four!
Game 2 of the Playoffs divided the race for the Final Four along a pair of distinctly exciting lines on Thursday. Two of last year's semifinalists protected their homecourts enough to move within a victory of returning to the Final Four, while two other winners pulled back from the brink of trouble by dramatically tying up their best-of-five series. Once again, the big story was a turning around of homecourt advantage, in this case involving one of the greatest rivavlries in sports as Real Madrid downed Regal FC Barcelona 63-70 to even their series at 1-1 with Games 3 and 4 coming next week in the Spanish capital. A star was born in that victory, too, as big man Ante Tomic, a midseason signing by Madrid, led the winners with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks. Another series was evened at 1-1 when Maccabi bowled over Partizan 98-78 as Andrew Wisniewski and David Bluthenthal scored 17 points each, but the difference there is that the next two games are in Belgrade.
Unlike Maccabi, Thursday's two other winners - CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos Pireaus - need not concern themselves with a must-win road game, because both are 2-0 after pairs of home wins. Once again, CSKA blew out Caja Laboral 83-63 - a near-identical score to their first game - as 7 players scored between 9 and 14 points, the latter total shared by Ramunas Siskauskas and Viktor Khryapa. Also winning big was Olympiacos, which dispatched Asseco Prokom Gdynia 90-73 - thanks to several star turns: Linas Kleiza scoring 23 points, Theo Papaloukas drilling 4 three-pointers and Milos Teodocis dishing 12 assists, the third-most in playoffs history. Check out the Game 2 photos and remember that Game 3 is live on Tuesday, March 30 here at Euroleague.net!