Round 6: Zalgiris, Barca rule the roost
FC Barcelona and Zalgiris Kaunas continued atop the standings after they pulled off the first and last of four road victories in Round 6. Each has a 5-1 record. The two other road warriors, Istanbul teams Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce Beko, climbed into the middle of the pack, as did home winners CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. Last but not least, Khimki Moscow Region won its first game of the season at home.
CSKA Moscow 84-75 Valencia Basket
CSKA Moscow snapped a two-game losing streak by downing Valencia Basket 84-75 at Megasport Arena in the Russian capital on Thursday. The hosts built a double-digit lead in the second quarter boosted by Mike James, who had 15 points over that period, and resisted several comeback attempts by Valencia. Key three-point shots at the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth gave CSKA a definitive advantage that Will Clyburn confirmed in crunch time. The hosts improved their record to 3-3, while Valencia dropped to 3-2. James led CSKA with 17 points and 5 assists, followed by Clyburn, Darrun Hilliard, Johannes Voigtmann and Tornike Shengelia, who scored 15, 12, 11, and 10 respectively. Nikola Kalinic tallied 15 without missing a two-point attempt and Louis Labeyrie had 10 in defeat.
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 74-83 Zalgiris Kaunas
Zalgiris Kaunas fought back from a double-digit deficit to collect a hard-fought 74-83 victory at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Zalgiris held ASVEL to just 24 points in the second half after giving up 50 points in the first 20 minutes. Marius Grigonis scored 25 points for Zalgiris, which trailed by 13 points late in the second quarter and by 11 points midway through the third. Lukas Lekavicius added 13 points and Thomas Walkup totaled 11 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for the Lithuanian champs who lead the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with a 5-1 record and are 4-0 on the road. ASVEL came into the game having not played since Round 2 due to several COVID-19 positive cases. The big first half was not enough as the club dropped to 0-3. Charles Kahudi scored 18 points, Guerschon Yabusele had 17 points, David Lighty 16, Paul Lacombe 10 and Moustapha Fall chipped in 7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 block for an index rating of 27.
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 65-75 Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul did away with its three-game losing streak by downing Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 65-75 on the road on Thursday. Fenerbahce improved to 3-3 in the standings while Maccabi dropped to 2-4. Ali Muhammed led the winners with 17 points, Nando De Colo added 13 while Jarell Eddie had 11 for Fenerbahce. Scottie Wilbekin paced Maccabi with 23 points, Ante Zizic posted 11 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Jones scored 10 for Maccabi, which led for the best parts of the opening three quarters. Dyshawn Pierre. Muhammed and De Colo made the difference down the stretch.
Real Madrid 100-82 FC Bayern Munich
Real Madrid found its offensive rhythm to get back into winning ways with a 100-82 home triumph over FC Bayern Munich. Los Blancos came out strong to score 27 points in the first quarter and kept up a similar pace throughout, eventually outgunning a Bayern team that fought hard for the first three quarters before finally running out of steam. Real improved to 2-4, while Bayern dropped to 4-2. Jaycee Carroll led all scorers with 19 points, Trey Thompkins combined 16 points with 7 rebounds, Sergio Llull made 3 of 4 three-pointers in his total of 14 points, while Anthony Randolph scored 13 and Alberto Abalde added 10. Wade Baldwin paced Bayern with 18 points and Jalen Reynolds contributed 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Khimki Moscow Region 83-77 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Khimki Moscow Region finally gained its first win of the season by outlasting Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 83-77 in a hard-fought game in the Russian capital. It was fiercely contested during the first three quarters, with neither team leading by more than the 8-1 advantage claimed by Khimki in the opening minutes. The lead swapped hands regularly and it was anyone’s game until new Khimki signing Errick McCollum inspired a charge midway through the fourth, and Zvezda could not respond. Alexey Shved led Khimki with a double-double of 15 points and 12 assists, but he was outshone by McCollum who gave Khimki a huge lift in the second half with 22 of his 23 points coming after the break. Jordan Mickey also posted a double-double for Khimki with 11 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 5 blocked shots. Jordan Loyd top scored for Zvezda with 18 points, while debutant Johnny O’Bryant added 14 and Corey Walden netted 11.
Olympiacos Piraeus 79-84 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Anadolu Efes Istanbul celebrated the return of Shane Larkin with a strong 79-84 road victory over Olympiacos Piraeus on Friday. Vasilije Micic poured in 20 points with 7 assists while Larkin, in his season debut, joined Rodrigue Beaubois in scoring 15 points. Efes improved its record to 2-3. Bryant Dunston picked up 8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks, the first of which made him the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague's all-time leader. Hassan Martin paced Olympiacos with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. Kostas Sloukas chipped in 10 points and 7 assists and Shaquielle McKissic scored 10 points in the loss. The Reds have now lost two straight games to drop to 3-3.
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 71-72 FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona registered its fourth consecutive win by downing TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 71-72 at Buesa Arena on Friday. Baskonia led 71-61 with 3 minutes left but Barcelona improved its defense while Mirotic, Kyle Kuric, Davies and Abrines fueled a 0-12 run that put the guests ahead, 71-72. It all came down to the final play, when Alec Peters took on a mid-range shot which was blocked by Mirotic as the home team failed to score in the final four minutes. Mirotic led the winners with 18 points. Brandon Davies added 12 while Alex Abrines had 10 for Barcelona. Zoran Dragic led Baskonia with 15 points. Achille Polonara added 14, Youssoupha Fall had 11 and Tonye Jekiri 10. Barcelona improved to 5-1 while Baskonia dropped to 2-2.