Top 16 Round 9: Game Center
Round 9 of the Top 16 was an exciting one, in which half of the games were won by the visiting teams – including three in Group E. There was history for some Euroleague legends as Paulius Jankunas scored his 2,000th points and climbed into third place on the career rebounding charts, while Nikos Zisis set a career scoring mark in his 248th career game! After Fenerbahce Istanbul bounced back from its first loss, it can look ahead to the possibility of clinching a playoff berth as soon as next week!
In the lone Friday game in Group E, Luigi Datome scored 22 of his career-high 27 points in the second half as Fenerbahce Istanbul overpowered Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 72-65. With its fourth win over Zvezda this season, Fenerbahce improved to 8-1 to keep sole possession of first place in Group E. Zvezda held a 25-34 halftime lead behind an impressive defensive effort in the first two quarters. But Bogdan Bogdanovic and Luigi Datome scored first 14 points in a 23-4 third-quarter charge that put Fenerbahce up for good. Datome finished with 27 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks, and Bogdanovic netted 16 points with 7 rebounds and 4 assists in victory. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar defeated Anadolu Efes Istanbul 61-76 in the Game of the Week on Thursday, putting a stronger hold on second place in the group by improving to 7-2. Going into the game with a three-game winning streak and the competition’s best defense, Lokomotiv took control early as Anthony Randolph set the tone with 10 first-quarter points. Malcolm Delaney helped push the margin to 28-38 at halftime, and lead grew in the third quarter as Efes never came closer than 6 points rest of the way. Lokomotiv’s defense dominated, Delaney finished with 19 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, while Randolph had 17 with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in victory. Thomas Heurtel scored 17 for Efes which lost its fourth straight and dropped to 3-6. Panathinaikos Athens dumped Unicaja Malaga 58-76 for its fifth consecutive win and third place behind Lokomotiv with a 6-3 record. Panathinaikos opened the game with great defense and a huge
run that gave it a 4-20 lead. Mindaugas Kuzminskas singlehandedly brought Unciaja within 11 points, but Elliot Williams and Nick Calathes made sure Panathinaikos led 27-42 at halftime and Unicaja never threatened after the break. Williams paced the winners with 16 points and Calathes tallied 10 points and 10 assists. Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul edged Cedevita 77-83 for its first-ever road win in the Top 16. The teams remained close throughout the game and traded five leads in the fourth quarter before Scottie Wilbekin fed Marcus Slaughter for the go-ahead basket, added a three-point play with a minute left and a jumper with 30 seconds to go, paving Darussafaka’s way to victory. Slaughter finished with a season-high 17 points to lead the winners, Manuchar Markoishvili was 4 for 4 from downtown for 16 points, while Wilbekin finished with 8 points and 6 assists.
Round 9 opened Wednesday with a clash of the top-scoring teams in the league: CSKA Moscow topped Real Madrid 87-96 at Barclaycard Center in the Spanish capital. The victory was CSKA’s fifth in a row and when all was said and done in Round 9, it put it in sole possession of first place in the group. Kyle Hines led the way with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, Milos Teodosic added 15 points and Nando De Colo recorded 12 points and 8 assists. Gustavo Ayon led Madrid with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals. CSKA went into the fourth quarter up 2 points, but back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Vitaly Fridzon, De Colo and Cory Higgins created a 12-point margin. Madrid rallied to within 5 in the final minute, but CSKA held on, improving to 8-2, while dropping the hosts to 5-4. On Thursday, Khimki Moscow Region beat FC Barcelona Lassa 75-61 in the Russian capital to snap its three-game losing streak and join Madrid in a share of third place. Alexey Shved led the winners with 16 points and Tyler Honeycutt tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds for Khimki. Justin Doellman led Barcelona with 14 points. Khimki jumped to an early 16-7 lead, which was 24-14, after 10 minutes. Shved and James Augustine helped Khimki grow the difference to 41-22 in the second quarter and Barcelona never got within single figures again. However a three-pointer by Doellman brought the visitors as close as 69-58 in the fourth quarter, which proved to be enough for it to at least keep the potential tie-break advantage. In the first of two games on Friday, and a historic night for team captain Paulius Jankunas, Zalgiris Kaunas edged
Brose Baskets Bamberg 75-73 at Zalgirio Arena. Jankunas scored his 2,000th career point in the second quarter and overtook Mirsad Turkcan for third place in rebounding in Euroleague history in the fourth. Jankunas now has 2,007 points and 1,289 rebounds in his career. Jankunas starred early as Zalgiris took control with a 13-2 first-quarter run, but behind a career-night from a veteran Nikos Zisis, Bamberg remained close throughout. It came down to the final minute when Ian Vougioukas free throws put Zalgiris ahead before Bamberg missed twice in the closing seconds with a chance to tie. Jankunas finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Vougioukas posted 13 points and 9 rebounds for Zalgiris which improved to 2-7. Zisis recorded a personal best with 25 points to lead Bamberg, which dropped to 3-6. In the last game of the round, and a must-win home game after losing five of last six, Olympiacos Piraeus bested Laboral Kutxa 82-68 in resounding fashion. The win improved the Reds’s record to 4-5 for a share of fifth place with Barcelona, while Laboral fell to 6-3 and saw its five-game winning streak snapped. Olympiacos pulled away with runs of 11-0 in the first quarter, fueled by Georgios Printezis, and 16-0 in the second, as Daniel Hackett led the charge. The margin grew to 20 points late in the third, and the visitors never got closer than 8 the rest of the way as Printezis scored 17 points, while Vassilis Spanoulis had 14 points and 8 assists. Laboral’s Ioannis Bourousis collected 19 points and 7 rebounds against his former team.