Game Center: 5 road wins cap first two-game week for EuroLeague clubs
The first-ever two-game week in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season came to a close with Round 4, which ended with two teams still undefeated. One of the lead storylines was five road wins in Round 4, as well as the completion of 2-0 weeks for Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, which were both playing under new head coaches.
In the first of two Round 4 Istanbul city derbies, Anadolu Efes Istanbul rallied on the road to beat Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul 79-84 on Thursday night. Darussafaka led for 36 minutes, and by as many as 13 points, but Efes came back to register its first win of the season and improve to 1-3, while dropping Darussafaka to 2-2. The hosts led 50-37 early in the third quarter, but Efes rallied behind Thomas Heurtel and DeShaun Thomas. The visitors got their first lead, 75-77, with less than four minutes to go and then scored the final 6 points in the last minutes to pull out victory. Thomas scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, and Heurtel finished with 15 points and 9 assists in victory.
The Game of the Week was a high-scoring affair in which Real Madrid earned a 90-101 road win against EA7 Emporio Armani Milan at a sold-out Mediolanum Forum. Anthony Randolph had a big double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds for Madrid, which took control - and the lead for good - early on. Madrid led 41-52 at the break and the visitors pulled away to a 15-point advantage before the hosts, inspired by Jamel McLean and Rakim Sanders, went on a 17-4 run to bridge the third and fourth quarters and make it a two-point game. But the Spanish powerhouse replied quickly, restoring a double-digit advantage. Othello Hunter had 18 points, and Sergio Llull collected 18 points and 6 assists in victory, while Ricky Hickman scored 19 in defeat.
Vassilis Spanoulis starred with 15 points and a career-high 15 assists as Olympiacos Piraeus grabbed its third consecutive win by downing Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 90-94 on the road on Thursday. Spanoulis moved past his countryman Theo Papaloukas (977) into second place on the EuroLeague's all-time assists list in the second quarter and now has 984. Vangelis Mantzaris scored 17 points for the winners, but it was Erick Green who scored all of his 13 points – including 3 three-pointers - in the fourth quarter. He first helped put the Reds up 80-85, then preserved victory with his last, game-deciding triple 18 seconds before the final buzzer. Toko Shengelia led Baskonia with 20 points.
A second derby in as many nights saw undefeated Fenerbahce Istanbul claim bragging rights with an 87-103 victory over winless Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul at a red-hot Abdi Ipekci Arena. Despite missing injured top scorer Bogdan Bogdanovic, Fenerbahce recovered from an early deficit thanks to solid defense and some spectacular individual performances. Kostas Sloukas led the offense with 24 points and 7 assists, Bobby Dixon scored 22 and Ekpe Udoh posted 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv won its second straight EuroLeague game since appointing Rami Hadar as head coach and the club’s 10th consecutive game against Zalgiris Kaunas with a 74-87 decision at Zalgirio Arena on Friday. Andrew Goudelock led five Maccabi scorers in double figures with 18 points in helping his team improve to 2-2 on the season. After taking its first lead midway through the opening quarter, Maccabi never trailed again and led by as many as 15 in the fourth quaretr. Lukas Lekavicius turned in a fine all-around effort for the Lithuanian champs with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists as his team fell to 1-3.
Coach Xavi Pascual and Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens registered their second consecutive win together, a comfortable 70-59 win over visiting Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade in the Greek capital on Friday. ther than the visitors’ opening lead, Panathinaikos controlled things for 40 minutes. The hosts used defense to open a double-digit margin in the first quarter and increased it to 23 points early in the second. Behind Nick Calathes and James Gist, Panathinaikos had a 46-25 cushion at halftime and Zvezda never threatened. Calathes finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Gist netted 17 in victory.
FC Barcelona Lassa recorded its first home win of the EuroLeague season by downing Brose Bamberg 78-74 in yet another nail-biter at Palau Blaugrana on Friday. Despite losing yet another player to injury, Ante Tomic late in the game, Barcelona won with efforts of 18 points and 6 assists from Tyrese Rice and 13 and 3 assists from Victor Claver. Barcelona played without the injured Juan Carlos Navarro, Justin Doellman and Pau Ribas, but got a boost by the return of Petteri Koponen just a month after he was hospitalized following a car accident. Koponen played 15 minutes. For Bamberg, Fabien Causeur scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, while Daniel Theis matched his scoring and had 5 rebounds.