Round 4: Rallies, upsets, OT and a game-winner!
The fourth consecutive day of the first double-round week of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season produced optimal drama as German teams ALBA and Bayern won for the first time this century at CSKA and Fenerbahce, respectively. Bayern had trailed by 20 at halftime, just as Milan was down 14 at home before rallying to beat Real. But the biggest shot came from Piraeus, where Aaron Harrison's buzzer-beater lifted Olympiacos over Maccabi. Baskonia completed the Friday victors, joining Thursday home winners Barcelona, which survived overtime, and Zalgiris, which is alone in first place at 4-0.
Zalgiris Kaunas 89-73 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Zalgiris Kaunas remained atop the EuroLeague standings by demolishing the team with the best record from last season, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 89-73 on Thursday evening in its home opener at Zalgirio Arena. The Lithuanian champs led from tip to buzzer in improving to 4-0 on the season while dropping struggling Efes to 1-3. Nigel Hayes led five Zalgiris scorers in double figures with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Marius Grigonis and Lukas Lekavicius scored 12 points apiece, Joffrey Lauvergne posted 10 points and 8 rebounds and Arturas Milaknis also scored 10 for the victors. Bryant Dunston came up big with 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting, 4 assists and 2 blocks to lead Efes, Krunoslav Simon compiled 16 points and 6 assists and Rodrigue Beaubois added 12 in defeat.
FC Barcelona 97-89 Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
FC Barcelona shrugged off sidelined players and a double-digit deficit to work its way past Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 97-89 in overtime on Thursday night for a home victory. Cory Higgins collected 24 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists and Brandon Davies posted 20 points and 5 rebounds for Barcelona, which improved to 3-1 despite missing Nikola Mirotic and Victor Claver and losing Alex Abrines during the game. Kyle Kuric added 14 points and Nick Calathes tallied 14 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists against his former team. Panathinaikos dropped to 1-2 despite Marcus Foster pouring in 24 points with Howard Sant-Roos scoring 17 points. Kostas Mitoglou added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Nemanja Nedovic chipped in 15 points in the loss for Panathinaikos.
CSKA Moscow 88-93 ALBA Berlin
ALBA Berlin grabbed its first win of the season in dramatic fashion with a thrilling 88-93 victory at CSKA Moscow. An exciting game was closely contested throughout, with 62 points scored in a pulsating second quarter which featured 8 lead changes. ALBA continued to battle hard to lead by 3 at the end of the third quarter, and a big charge early in the fourth gave the visitors a double-digit lead. CSKA battled back to within 2 points, but it wasn’t enough as ALBA held its nerve in the final stages to claim its first ever win over the Russian giant. Simone Fontecchio led the German team to success with 20 points, followed by 15 from Maodo Lo. Marcus Eriksson made 3 triples in his total of 13 points, while Peyton Siva added 12 and Luke Sikma scored 11. Mike James produced a heroic effort in defeat with 27 points and 6 assists, while Will Clyburn scored 25 in defeat.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 71-75 FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich completed a perfect double-round week on the road in incredible fashion on Friday, rallying from 20 points down at halftime to stun host Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 71-75. Bayern outscored Fenerbahce 26-50 after halftime to raise its record to 3-1, good for a share of second place. Fenerbahce dropped to 2-2. Vladimir Lucic scored 18 points for the winners – including 4 of 4 insurance free throws in the last 10 seconds – while Jalen Reynolds came off the bench for 17 and 8 rebounds. Zan Sisko added 11 points and Nihad Dedovic 10 for Bayern. Fenerbahce, which had led by a high of 21 late in the second quarter, got 25 points and 8 rebounds from Jan Vesely plus 18 and 7 assists from Nando De Colo. Bayern out-rebounded the hosts 25-6 in the last two quarters.
Olympiacos Piraeus 85-82 Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
Aaron Harrison hit a long three-pointer at the buzzer to give Olympiacos Piraeus a thrilling 85-82 victory at home over Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv for its third straight win. Harrison’s heroics came after Scottie Wilbekin’s three-pointer had tied the game with 7.6 seconds remaining. Harrison finished with 12 points and 3 assists with Hassan Martin collecting 16 points and 8 rebounds to lead Olympiacos, which improved to 3-1. Sasha Vezenkov chipped in 14 points and Vassilis Spanoulis scored 11 for the winners. Wilbekin led all scorers with 18 points while Othello Hunter picked up 15 points and 7 rebounds for Maccabi, which dropped to 1-3 after three consecutive losses. Elijah Bryant and Chris Jones both had 12 points in the loss and Oz Blayzer pitched in 10 points.
AX Armani Exchange Milan 78-70 Real Madrid
AX Armani Exchange Milan stayed undefeated at home by downing Real Madrid 78-70 at Mediolanum Forum on Friday. Milan improved to 3-1 and broke a 14-game losing streak against Real, which dropped to 1-3. Sergio Rodriguez led the winners with 25 points, and Shavon Shields added 19. Trey Thompkins led Real with 15 points. Alberto Abalde scored 14, while Usman Garuba pulled down 11 rebounds for the guests. Real led by double digits at half-time and later used a 0-8 run to get within 66-65 in the final quarter, but Shields and Riccardo Moraschini both struck from downtown in crunch time, allowing Milan to successfully defend its home court.
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 77-60 Khimki Moscow Region
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz protected its home court, racing away in the second half to down visiting Khimki Moscow Region 77-60 at Fernando Buesa Arena on Friday night. Baskonia improved to 2-1, while Khimki dropped to 0-4. The teams traded blows in the first half, before Achille Polonara and Luca Vildoza put Baskonia up for good early in the third quarter, and the hosts closed out the game with a 15-4 run. Polonara shined with a career performance of 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals, while Rokas Giedraitis also scored 20 points and had 4 steals. Vildoza scored 15 in the winning effort. Vyacheslav Zaytsev led Khimki with an all-round performance, collecting 17 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Devin Booker had 16 points plus 12 rebounds, and Jonas Jerebko had 12 points and 9 rebounds playing all 40 minutes in a defeat.
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 68-89 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade cruised to a convincing 68-89 win at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne in a makeup Round 4 encounter on Wednesday night. The opening quarter was closely contested, but Zvezda finished the second strong to establish a 38-44 halftime lead. The visitors sprinted further ahead with a 0-11 run in the third and were never threatened again, maintaining a double-digit lead the rest of the way. League-leading scorer Jordan Loyd paced the winners with 29 points and also contributed on defense with 5 steals, while the outstanding Corey Walden delivered 20 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. All 11 Zvezda players scored in a true team effort. Allerik Freeman led ASVEL with 14 points, while David Lighty and Guerschon Yabusele netted 11 apiece. Zvezda improved to 3-4, while ASVEL dropped to 1-4.