Game Center, Regular Season Round 19: Three road warriors
Round 19 ended up with three teams getting valuable road wins on Friday. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan edged Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 82-83 on a game-winning lay-up by Jordan Theodore with 0.6 seconds left. In a battle of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague giants, CSKA Moscow topped Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 70-75 in the Greens' first home loss this season. In a Turkish derby, Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul downed Anadolu Efes Istanbul 84-89. And Unicaja Malaga defeated Real Madrid 80-75 at home, stopping Los Blancos' seven-game winning streak in the competition. On Thursday, Khimki Moscow Region, Zalgiris Kaunas, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and FC Barcelona Lassa all registered home wins.
Khimki Moscow Region 82-54 Olympiacos Piraeus
Khimki finished its first-ever double-victory week in style on Thursday by crushing second-place Olympiacos 82-54 at home thanks to pyrotechnic first-half scoring and consistently solid defense. Against an Olympiacos team that allowed just 73 points per game to its first 18 opponents, Khimki led 49-25 at halftime, raised that margin to 27 points after three quarters and danced to victory. EuroLeague top scorer Alexey Shved had 19 points and dished 7 assists to lead the winners. Charles Jenkins matched his personal high with 4 three-pointers among his 16 points, while Malcolm Thomas scored 12. Olympiacos got 11 points from Kyle Wiltjer, but was bested in every single statistical category except fouls. Khimki rose to 11-8 and solidified its seventh-place standing, while Olympiacos fell to 13-6 to jeopardize its exclusive hold on second place.
Zalgiris Kaunas 86-82 Valencia Basket
Zalgiris Kaunas held on to a valuable 86-82 home win over Valencia Basket on Thursday after surviving a big second-half rally by the visitors. With Kevin Pangos running the show and his teammates making shots, Zalgiris opened the game with 13-0 run and led by 16 at halftime. But Erick Green and Tibor Pleiss led a comeback and Valencia took its first lead midway through the fourth quarter. The hosts made more plays down the stretch, however, and pulled out a win that boosted their record to 12-7. Pangos finished with 11 points and 15 assists, the most in the EuroLeague this season, while Axel Toupane paced the hosts with 18 points. Pleiss had 20 points for Valencia, which dropped to 6-13 on the season.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 89-75 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Maccabi protected its place in the playoff zone with an 89-75 victory over Crvena Zvezda on Thursday at Menora Mivtachim Arena. The hosts bounced back from a whooping in Greece by taking care of the Serbian champs to improve to 10-9 and keep eighth place. Zvezda lost its third straight game to fall to 7-12. Pierre Jackson scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the winners, who finished the first half on a 9-0 tear for a 47-29 halftime advantage. The margin reached the 20s on a DeShaun Thomas triple to open the second half. Zvezda rallied to get within 7 in the third quarter, but Jackson took charge and Maccabi closed out the win long before the final buzzer.
FC Barcelona Lassa 81-66 Brose Bamberg
FC Barcelona Lassa bounced back from recent losses by topping Brose Bamberg 81-66 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Both teams now have 7-12 records. After trailing by double figures, Brose rallied to 67-66 with over three minutes left. Rakim Sanders rescued the hosts with a three-pointer, a layup-plus-foul and a huge dunk off a steal in scoring the first 8 points in a 14-0 run that won the game. Sanders led the winners with 17 points plus 6 steals. Maodo Lo paced Brose with 14 points.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul 84-89 Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul grabbed its fourth consecutive win in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by downing cross-town rivals Anadolu Efes 84-89 at Sinan Erdem Dome on Friday. Fenerbahce improved to 13-6 in the standings while Efes dropped to 5-14. Brad Wanamaker led the winners with 18 points. Melih Mahmutoglu got 16, Nicolo Melli added 14 while Jan Vesely and Marko Guduric each had 12 points apiece for Fenerbahce. Toney Douglas led Efes with 29 points and just one missed shot while Errick McCollum added 18. Mahmutoglou had 14 points in the second quarter to give Fenerbahce a 35-46 margin. Fenerbahce led all the way in the second half and even when Douglas had 22 points in the final 10 minutes, the guests held on to an important win.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 70-75 CSKA Moscow
In a classic battle that went down to the wire, CSKA Moscow sent Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens to its first home defeat of the season, a 70-75 decision on Friday night in the Greek capital. CSKA improved to 15-4 on the season, two games clear at the top of the standings, while Panathinaikos dropped to 12-7 in a share of the fourth place. CSKA was down by 10 points in the third but quickly rallied back, then took control late in the fourth quarter. Still, the game came down to the final minute, when Sergio Rodriguez hit a game-deciding shot-clock beating triple. Rodriguez finished with 21 points on 4-for-6 from three-point land. Cory Higgins had 14 points in victory, while Nick Calathes collected 13 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds for Panathinaikos.
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 82-83 AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
Jordan Theodore capped a fine personal performance by scoring the game winner with 0.6 seconds remaining, giving AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan a dramatic 82-83 road triumph over Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz. The visiting team led for most of the game but Baskonia fought until the very end, nearly winning on the final buzzer when Toko Shengelia just failed to convert a lay-up. Theodore excelled throughout, finishing with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals, while Andrew Goudelock also scored 16 points and Arturas Gudaitis combined 12 points and 7 rebounds. Shengelia led Baskonia’s efforts with a double-double of 17 points and 12 assists.
Unicaja Malaga 80-75 Real Madrid
Unicaja Malaga broke its three-game losing streak in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague regular season by topping Real Madrid 80-75 in front of over 10,000 fans at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on Friday. Unicaja improved to 8-11 in the standings while Madrid dropped to 12-7 and saw its seven-game winning streak, the longest in the EuroLeague this season, come to an end. Ray McCallum and Adam Waczynski led the winners with 15 points apiece. Nemanja Nedovic had 11 while Jeff Brooks got 10 for Unicaja. Luka Doncic led Madrid with 16 points while Jaycee Carroll and Rudy Fernandez each had 10 for the guests. Unicaja led 38-27 at halfime but Madrid rallied and tied it at 48-48. Waczynski, McCallum and James Augustine stepped up after that and a three-pointer by Nedovic sealed the outcome.