Regular Season, Round 2: Six teams undefeated!
Road warriors came to the fore on Friday night, with four of the five games won by the away teams. The most dramatic of those was taken by CSKA Moscow, which hold firm to win a battle of recent champions, 96-100, at Anadolu Efes Istanbul. AS Monaco, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and AX Armani Exchange Milan were also road winners, all improving to 2-0 as a result. Olympiacos Piraeus was the only team to win at home on Friday, overcoming Real Madrid, 74-68, and also staying perfect so far. Thursday also saw three of the four games won by the visitors, including in front of packed crowds in Kaunas and Lithuania. Zenit St Peterburg improved to 2-0 with both wins on the road, while Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade manhandled Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. FC Barcelona also scored a road victory, at the expense of FC Bayern Munich. Only Panathinaikos OPAP Athens managed to celebrate with its fans on Thursday after a come-from-behind triumph over Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul.
Zalgiris Kaunas 64-70 Zenit St Petersburg
Zenit St Petersburg won its second straight road game to start the season and improved to 5-0 all-time against Zalgiris Kaunas with a 64-70 victory at Zalgirio Arena on Thursday night. Jordan Loyd scored a game-high 19 points to lead the winners – including a key jump shot and 2 free throws in the final 30 seconds to hold off a late Zalgiris rally. Billy Baron added 11 points and Mateusz Ponitka tallied 6 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists for Zenit, which held its opponent below 70 points for the second game in a row. Janis Strelnieks led the Zalgiris attack with 14 points and Joffrey Lauvergne and Lukas Lekavicius scored 10 points apiece. Lekavicius also delivered 6 assists.
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 91-87 Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens enjoyed an unforgettable night when it defeated visiting Fenerbahce BEKO Istanbul 91-87 at OAKA on Thursday night. The hosts were 5 points down with just 40 seconds ’ to go, but they kept believing and drew 2 unsportsmanlike fouls in a row that sparked a late 9-0 run from the free-throw line that turned the game upside down. Panathinaikos improved to 1-1, the same record as Fenerbahce. Nemanja Nedovic scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to lead the greens with 20. Ioannis Papapetrou followed with 14 points, 5 boards and 4 assists and Daryl Macon Jr. and Okaro White added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Jan Vesely registered a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Nando de Colo poured in 16 points in as many minutes. Devin Booker and Pierria Henry followed them with 14 and 12 in losing effort.
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 63-75 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade entered the win column in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with an impressive 63-75 victory at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Nikola Kalinic led all scorers with 19 points while Nate Wolters poured in 17 points against his former club and Luka Mitrovic picked up a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds in the victory - which gave the Serbian side a 1-1 mark. Maccabi has the same record after a disappointing showing in front of a sold-out Menora Mivtachim Arena. Scottie Wilbekin knocked down 6 three-pointers for 18 points and Mathias Lessort chipped in 16 points in the loss.
FC Bayern Munich 72-80 FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona made it two wins out of two with a hard-earned 72-80 road victory over FC Bayern Munich at Audi Dome on Thursday night. The visitors scored the last 10 points of the first half to take control, stayed ahead after the break behind Cory Higgins, and leaned on strong defense to seal the deal. Higgins led the way with 16 points and 5 assists, while Brandon Davies scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic added 11. Bayern’s Darrun Hilliard topped all scorers with 18 points, with DeShaun Thomas (14) and Augustine Rubit (13) also scoring in double digits. Barca improved to 2-0, while Bayern is still waiting for its first win at 0-2.
UNICS Kazan 80-88 AS Monaco
In a thriller that needed overtime to determine the winner, AS Monaco stayed undefeated in its first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by downing UNICS Kazan 80-88 on the road on Friday. Monaco improved to 2-0 in the standings while UNICS dropped to 0-2. Donta Hall led the winners with 16 points. Mike James added 14, Paris Lee 12, Brock Motum 11 and Danilo Andjusic 10. Mario Hezonja led UNICS with 17 points. John Brown added 14, Lorenzo Brown had 13 while Isaiah Canaan and Andrey Vorontsevich each had 10 for the hosts. An outstanding Andjusic allowed Monaco to get a 15-18 lead at the end of the first quarter. John Brown and Lorenzo Brown fueled a 7-0 run that put UNICS ahead, 32-31, but Donatas Motiejunas and Rudy Demahis – who hit a buzzer-beating three from beyond midcourt – restored a 35-39 Monaco edge at halftime. Hezonja scored 10 points in the third quarter, getting help from John Brown and Canaan to put UNICS in charge, 58-50, after 30 minutes. Leo Westermann, Motum and Hall allowed Monaco to get a 72-73 lead with a minute left. Hezonja scored down low and James split foul shots to send the game to overtime, 74-74. James, Hall and Lee made the difference in crunch time.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul 96-100 CSKA Moscow
Despite missing two stars, CSKA Moscow rose up to win a thriller, 96-100, on the court of defending champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul to claim its first victory of the new season on Friday. CSKA evened its record at 1-1 while Efes fell to 0-2. The visitors led by a high of 16 points late in the third quarter but had to withstand a furious late rally by Efes to take the victory back to Moscow. Toko Shengelia had 23 points and Will Clyburn added 18 while Johannes Voigtmann and Iffe Lundberg sored 17 each for the winners. Efes wasted a 32-point show on 7-for-11 three-point shooting from Vasilije Micic while Adrien Moerman added 14 and Shane Larkin 12 for the hosts. CSKA lost big man Nikola Milutinov to injury in Round 1 and traveled without major off-season acquision Marius Grigonis to Istanbul, while Efes was without Krunoslav Simon.
ALBA Berlin 67-71 LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne survived a battle on the road and knocked off ALBA Berlin 67-71 to improve to 2-0 to start the season. ASVEL struggled with 20 turnovers but the team’s defense held strong. Chris Jones scored a career-high 24 points in the win, and Elie Okobo had 13 points with Kostas Antetokounmpo chipping in 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. ALBA could not make use of a club record 19 offensive rebounds in falling to 0-2. Maodo Lo came off the bench to score 22 points while fellow reserve Oscar Da Silva had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals on his team debut.
Olympiacos Piraeus 74-68 Real Madrid
In a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague classic decided in the final minute, Olympiacos Piraeus held off Real Madrid 74-68 in a jubilant Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday night. The win improved Olympiacos to 2-0, while Real dropped to 1-1. Neither team held a lead bigger than 6 points until Olympiacos used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to open a 70-59 margin. Real answered and got within a single possession in the final minute, but the Reds held on thanks to a basket from Sasha Vezenkov who paced the hosts with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Dorsey finished with 12 points in victory. Nigel Williams-Goss scored 16 for Real, and Walter Tavares had 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 64-78 AX Armani Exchange Milan
AX Armani Exchange Milan stayed undefeated by downing Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 64-78 in front of over 7,000 fans at Buesa Arena on Friday. Milan improved to 2-0 while Baskonia dropped to 0-2. Malcolm Delaney led the winners with 13 points, Shavon Shields and Devon Hall added 12 points apiece while Nicolo Melli had 10 for Milan. Shields also contributed 10 rebounds for a double-double. Simone Fontecchio led Baskonia with 16 points. Wade Baldwin and Rokas Giedraitis each added 14 while Steven Enoch had 10 for the hosts. Melli took over early in the game and Hall struck twice from beyond the arc to help Milan get a 17-19 lead after 10 minutes. Delaney and Hall fueled a 0-10 run which boosted the guests' margin to 30-38 at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Milan boosted its margin to 58-68 at the end of the third quarter and then again to 51-66 with under 7 minutes left, enough to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.
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