Regular Season Round 4: It only gets better!
After Round 4, we can say it just keeps getting better and better. This week of action captured history with one team winning for the first time ever in Europe’s premier competition, while another claimed its first ever Euroleague road win – and did so against the champs! The Game of the Week came down to the final shot. A team record was set. There was one road winner in each group. And there were a great many individual performances to marvel at. With four teams still undefeated, there will be more drama next week too!
Matching the Euroleague assist record of 33 it set only a week ago, Real Madrid stayed unbeaten by smashing Dinamo Sassari 115-94 on Wednesday with the most points scored in the competition in almost seven years. It was Madrid's second-best scoring total this century by a single point and its 227 over the last two weeks are the most by any Euroleague team without benefit of an overtime. Felipe Reyes led Madrid with 17 points, while Andres Nocioni, Sergio Llull and Jaycee Carroll added 15 each. On Thursday, Anadolu Efes Istanbul outlasted Nizhny Novgorod by 66-76. Efes dominated at both ends of the floor as Dario Saric doubled his Euroleague career high with 18 points. Stephane Lasme moved into second place on the competition's all-time list of shot-blockers with 3 more to give him 143 for his career. Zalgiris Kaunas edged Unics Kazan 77-71 in its one-night-only return to Kaunas Sports Hall. James Anderson led Zalgiris with 27 points and 11 rebounds, including free throws that sealed the outcome down the stretch. Arturas Milaknis had all of his 14 points in the third quarter to keep Zalgiris ahead for good.
In a clash of two undefeated teams, Milos Teodosic scored 27 points on 5-for-6 three-point shooting and dished 10 assists as CSKA Moscow defeated Unicaja Malaga 95-85 in the Russian capital on Friday. CSKA improved to 4-0 for sole possession of the first place in the standings, while Unicaja dropped to 3-1 and second place. CSKA took the lead for good in the first quarter, and built a 42-28 lead behind Vitaly Fridzon and Sonny Weems. Unicaja later rallied to 69-66, but Teodosic hit 3 triples to give the hosts some breathing room before Weems and Kyle Hines finished off the job. ALBA Berlin blasted Limoges CSP 89-66 for its first victory. It marked the biggest victory margin for ALBA in more than five seasons in the competition this century. A 23-4 run that bridged halftime put ALBA in control for good. Rookie forward Niels Giffey hit 4 three-pointers on the way to 18 points to lead ALBA and Jamel McLean followed with 16 points. In Thursday’s lone Group B fixture, Cedevita Zagreb hit 14 three-pointers to silence Nokia Arena and stun the reigning Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion: Cedevita defeated Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 73-83 for a historic, first ever Euroleague road win. The visitors trailed only one all game – for 20 seconds in the first quarter. Roko Ukic finished with 17 points and 6 assists, Nemanja Gordic netted 16 on 4-for-6 three-point shooting for the winners.
The Game of the Week came down to the final shot. After it missed, FC Barcelona had beaten Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 78-80 on the road to improve to 4-0 record, while Fenerbahce dropped to 2-2. Brad Oleson paced the winners with 16 points on 4-of-4 three-point shooting. Oleson had 5 points in a 0-11 run that put Barcelona ahead for good and sank back-to-back triples for a 64-72 Barcelona edge. Fenerbahce rallied and got within 78-80 on a jumper by Rickey Hickman. The hosts had the chance to win the game but Hickman and Emir Preldzic missed respective three-point shots with 39 and 4 seconds left, respectively. Earlier Thursday, PGE Turow Zgorzelec defeated FC Bayern Munich 89-78 for the club’s first ever win in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. The Polish champs outrebounded Bayern 41-24 and recorded 21 assists to Bayern’s 13. Damian Kulig shined with 22 points for the winners and Tony Taylor scored 15. Panathinaikos Athens cruised past EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 90-63 at home. Esteban Batista led the way for the Greens with 15 points and Dimitris Diamantidis tallied 6 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. The Greens led by 10 after 10 minutes and went up 44-30 by halftime. A big third quarter turned the game into a rout and allowed the hosts to coast the rest of the way.
Olympiacos Piraeus held off a late Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade charge for a 57-62 road victory to remain undefeated with 4-0 record. The game appeared to be in Olympiacos’s hands with a 14-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but the home team rallied to get within 2 points twice. October bwin MVP Vassilis Spanoulis sank 3 free throws in the final 20.1 seconds to seal the Reds’ fourth victory. Spanoulis finished with 14 points and Bryant Dunston added 11. In an all-Spanish showdown, Valencia Basket rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 79-69, getting its first win of the campaign. Valencia finished the second quarter with a 14-2 run for a slim halftime lead, and pulled away in the second half as Luke Harangody finished with 23 points on 5-for-7 three-point shooting, while Sam Van Rossom had 14 points and 9 assists. Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul thrashed Neptunas Klaipeda 94-68 in a dominant performance on its home floor. Galatasaray took control early in the game, built 46-32 halftime lead behind Sinan Guler, before a 14-1 run to start the third quarter broke the game wide open. Guler paced the winners with 18 points.
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