Game Center Round 10: Shifting sands below the leaders
The top six teams in the standings held their ground, whether playing at home or not, in Round 10, while below them the sands shifted with one huge upset to finish the week by leaving 10 teams separated by two victories in their ambitions to move up the charts in the month of December.
Khimki Moscow Region 82-73 Brose Bamberg
Khimki Moscow Region said goodbye to its three-game losing streak by outlasting visiting Brose Bamberg by 82-73 at home on Thursday, breaking a tie between them. In its first game since losing Thomas Robinson, Khimki (6-4) was boosted by Tyler Honeycutt's 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in his season debut following his own injury. Alexey Shved led the winners with 26 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Anthony Gill followed with 14 points, while James Anderson had 12 and Malcolm Thomas 10. Brose (5-5) got 21 points from Ricky Hickman, 14 from Bryce Taylor and 13 each from Dorell Wright and Daniel Hackett.
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 73-68 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Anadolu Efes Istanbul registered its first home win of the season by holding off AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 73-68 on Thursday. The result put both teams’ records at 3-7. Neither team had a double-digit advantage at any point in the game and they traded leads in the second half as Vladimir Stimac carried Efes. But Errick McCollum stepped up with 13 points in the fourth quarter. He also dished a key assist on Stimac’s three-point play with 37 seconds to go that gave Efes the lead for good. Stimac collected 19 points plus 10 rebounds in victory for his third double-double of the season for Efes. Vladimir Micov and Jordan Theodore scored 15 apiece for the visitors.
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 81-74 Zalgiris Kaunas
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv held off a late Zalgiris Kaunas charge for an 81-74 victory on Thursday at Menora Mivtachim Arena. Norris Cole scored a season-high 26 points off the bench to pace Maccabi, which improved to 6-4. The hosts led by as many as 16, but Arturas Milaknis made 4 fourth-quarter three-pointers, including a pair on a 0-10 run to start the quarter, as Zalgiris rallied to within 3 before Pierre Jackson and Jonah Bolden helped Maccabi hold on. Bolden posted 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks in a standout defensive performance. Milaknis finished with 19 points for the Lithuanian champs, who fell to 5-5.
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 69-83 Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul registered its third consecutive win by downing Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 69-83 at Fernando Buesa Arena on Thursday. Fenerbahce improved to 7-3 in the standings, while Baskonia dropped to 4-6. James Nunnally led six Fenerbahce scorers in double figures with 16 points and Kostas Sloukas added 14 plus 6 assists. Toko Shengelia paced Baskonia with 13 points. The hosts led 25-15 after 10 minutes, but Fenerbahce rallied with outstanding team basketball to seal the outcome minutes before the final buzzer.
Valencia Basket 64-72 Olympiacos Piraeus
Co-leader Olympiacos Piraeus made sure of maintaining at least that status for another week by condemning Valencia Basket to its sixth straight loss with a 64-72 triumph in Spain. It was a true team effort from the Reds, which led from start to finish and were paced by 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists from Kostas Papanikolaou. There was also a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds for Georgios Printezis, while Janis Strelnieks continued his fine form with 12 points. Former Olympiacos sharpshooter Erick Green registered 26 points for Valencia.
CSKA Moscow 92-78 FC Barcelona Lassa
CSKA held off a stern challenge from Barcelona in a hard-fought and entertaining battle in the Russian capital, triumphing 92-78 to retain a share for first place in the standings. CSKA and Olympiacos Piraeus are both 8-2 at the top of the table while Barcelona dropped to 4-6. The outcome flattered CSKA after a closely contested game that was in the balance for the first 37 minutes. Nando De Colo was the inspiration, registering a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists – the latter tying his career high. He was outscored by Will Clyburn (22 points) and Cory Higgins (20), while Kevin Seraphin and Thomas Heurtel had 11 apiece for Barcelona.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 82-71 Unicaja Malaga
Panathinaikos extended its winning streak to five games, downing the visiting Unicaja 82-71 on Friday to lift is record to 7-3 and retain a share of third place with Fenerbahce. Two teams traded blows throughout the night, but Nick Calathes and Nikos Pappas stepped as the hosts hit 7 of their 13 triples in the fourth quarter to build a double-digit lead and hold onto another victory. James Gist starred with 17 points plus 11 rebounds, and Calathes had 16 points and 12 assists for Panathinaikos. Nemanja Nedovic had 16 points for Unicaja, whose fourth straight defeat left its record at 3-7.
Real Madrid 83-87 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
In a thrilling showdown that went down to the wire, Crvena Zvezda bounced back from recent losses by downing Real Madrid 83-87 on the road in the Spanish capital on Friday. Zvezda improved to 3-7 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings while Madrid dropped to 5-5. Taylor Rochestie paced the winners with 18 points. Milko Bjelica added 16 for Zvezda, which hit a club-best 17 three-point shots in the game, also tying the most in the EuroLeague this season. Luka Doncic led Madrid with 20 points. Zvezda led 47-60 late in the third quarter but Madrid rallied to get within 83-84 already in the final minute. A three-pointer by Pero Antic sealed Zvezda's win in style.