Game Center, Round 4: Barca, Milan stay perfect
Barcelona and Milan shared first place with unbeaten 4-0 records after closing out the season's first double-round week with victories on Friday. Barca suffered into overtime before stopping host Monaco while Milan held off still-winless defending champion Efes. Olympiacos, CSKA, Zenit and Real stayed on the heels of the leaders with home wins to reach 3-1 and were joined by LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, whose first loss came at the hands of visiting Maccabi. Fenerbahce and Baskonia joined Maccabi in rising to 2-2, where they are tied with Round 4 losers Monaco and Zvezda. Six more unsuccessful Thursday and Friday teams follow, ALBA, UNICS and Panathinaikos at 1-3 each while Bayern, Efes and Zalgiris all continue searching for first victories.
Zenit St Petersburg 79-71 FC Bayern Munich
Zenit St Petersburg dominated the fourth quarter to erase an 8-point deficit and march to a 79-71 victory over FC Bayern Munich in its home opener at Sibur Arena. Zenit outscored Bayern 25-11 in the fourth quarter as it improved to 3-1. The hosts scored the game's first 13 points and behind Jordan Mickey, who scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the first quarter, led 31-16 after 10 minutes. Bayern took charge with a big third quarter led by Corey Walden and Darrun Hilliard, but Zenit was too strong down the stretch. Alex Poythress added 14 points, Conner Frankamp scored 12, Billy Baron 10 and Jordan Loyd paired 9 points with a career-high 11 assists. Darrun Hilliard scored 24 and Corey Walden tallied 20 points and 7 assists for Bayern, which fell to 0-4.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 80-41 UNICS Kazan
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul snapped a two-game losing streak with an emphatic 80-41 victory at home over UNICS Kazan. Fenerbahce took control of the game with a 26-4 run spanning the first and second quarters in moving to 2-2 on the young season. Marial Shayok paced Fenerbahce with 17 points while Devin Booker scored 16 points with 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Nando de Colo tallied 13 points and Ahmet Duverioglu chipped in 10 points and 8 rebounds. UNICS dropped to 1-3 with a historically bad offensive performance, setting several negative club records. Isaiah Canaan was the only player to score in double figures with 10 points.
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 85-93 Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv handed LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne its first defeat of the season with a dominant 85-93 road triumph on Thursday night. Maccabi made a fast start and was ahead for nearly all of a high-scoring first half. The visitors maintained a double-digit lead for most of the third quarter and were never less than 8 points in front throughout the final stanza. James Nunnally was the star of the show with 25 points. Jalen Reynolds added 17 points and 5 rebounds, while Keenan Evans and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 13 points. Elie Okobo paced ASVEL with 23 points and Chris Jones netted 14 points against his former team. Maccabi improved to 2-2, while ASVEL dropped to 3-1.
ALBA Berlin 76-80 Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz used a huge first half to build a large lead before holding off ALBA Berlin 76-80 in the German capital on Thursday night. Baskonia improved to 2-2 on the season, while ALBA dropped to 1-3. Baskonia took control early with its ball-movement and three-point shooting, then started to blow the game open in the second quarter. The visitors scored 52 first-half points and led by as many as 27 points in the third before ALBA slowly melted the deficit. Baskonia held on at the end as Simone Fontecchio scored 17 points, while Jayson Granger had 15 points and 6 assists. Matthew Costello finished with 10 points in the victory. Luke Sikma shined for ALBA with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while Oscar da Silva finished with 15 points plus 6 rebounds in defeat.
CSKA Moscow 78-76 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
In a hard-fought battle that saw several lead changes and ties, CSKA Moscow prevailed over visiting Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 78-76 in the Russian capital on Friday night. The visitors led 69-71 late in the last period, but CSKA prevented Zvezda from scoring for almost 4 minutes and a 9-0 run led by Alexey Shved and Iffe Lundger put the game on ice. CSKA collected its third straight win to improve to 3-1, as Crvena Zvezda dropped to 2-2. Will Clyburn was CSKA’s top scorer with 18 points, with Shved posting 16 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists for PIR of 25, as Johannes Voigtmann and Joel Bolomboy had 12 and 11 points respectively. Nate Wolters led the way for the visitors with 16 points, while Ognjen Kuzmic contributed 14 points and 7 boards. Nikola Kalinic, Ognjen Dobric and Nikola Ivanovic made 11, 10 and 10 respectively in defeat.
AS Monaco 81-85 FC Barcelona
In a physical game that went to overtime, FC Barcelona remained undefeated by edging AS Monaco 81-85 at Salle Gaston Medecin. Will Thomas scored 9 points in the first quarter, and got help from Donta Hall and Donatas Motiejunas to give Monaco a double-digit margin, 22-12, after 10 minutes. Nick Calathes and Brandon Davies stepped up for Barcelona, bringing the guests within 35-31 at halftime. Nico Laprovittola, Davies, Nigel Hayes-Davis and Rolands Smits each struck from beyond the arc to put Barcelona ahead, 52-54, late in the third quarter. Monaco led 74-71 with 20.1 seconds left but Davies followed a layup with a wild put-back basket to force overtime, 75-75, and Calathes, Davies and Cory Higgins made the difference in the extra period. Davies led the winners with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic added 14 points while Laprovittola and Calathes each added 12 for Barcelona. Calathes also grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double. Mike James led Monaco with 16 points. Thomas added 15 and Leo Westermann scored 10. Barcelona improved to 4-0 while Monaco dropped to 2-2.
Olympiacos Piraeus 83-68 Zalgiris Kaunas
Olympiacos Piraeus shook off a slow start and ended up racing away from Zalgiris Kaunas for an impressive 83-68 home victory. Two days after losing in overtime to FC Barcelona, Olympiacos fell behind by 14 points midway through the second quarter. But the Reds tied the game in the third quarter en route to a 27-10 period and ended up improving their record to 3-1. Kostas Sloukas paced four Olympiacos players in double figures with 17 points while Giannoulis Larentzakis scored 13 points, Sasha Vezenkov 12 and Kostas Papanikolaou had 10. Zalgiris remained winless at 0-4 despite Emmanual Mudiay tallying 19 points with 4 assists while Arturuas Milaknis scored 14 points and Josh Nebo added 12.
AX Armani Exchange Milan 75-71 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
AX Armani Exchange Milan continued its perfect start to the season season by beating reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul 75-71 at the Mediolanum Forum on Friday night. The victory improved Milan’s record to 4-0, while Efes drop to 0-4. Milan took control of the game and opened a double digit lead thanks to a 21-2 run that bridged the second and third quarters. The hosts kept Efes at bay until midway through the fourth quarter when the visitors started their rally and got within 63-60, but never closer than that. Malcolm Delaney paced Milan with 16 points and 5 assists. Devon Hall netted 13 points, Shavon Shields had 12, and Luigi Datome scored 11, with each player hitting 3 triples apiece. Vasilije Micic scored 15 of his 17 points in the first 15 minutes, and had 5 assists for the night. Shane Larkin had 13 points plus 9 rebounds, Adrien Moerman scored 12 and Filip Petrusev 10 points in the loss.
Real Madrid 88-65 Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
In a battle of classic powerhouses, Real Madrid remained undefeated at home by topping Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 88-65 in the Spanish capital on Friday. Alberto Abalde and Sergio Llull each struck from downtown late in the first quarter to give Real a double-digit lead, 30-18, after 10 minutes. Abalde kept pacing Real, getting help from Thomas Heurtel to keep the hosts way ahead, 42-30, at halftime. Daryl Macon stepped up for Panathinaikos but Walter Tavares and Fabien Causeur gave Los Blancos a 62-46 margin late in the third quarter. Nothing changed after that, as Real cruised to a well-deserved win. Tavares led the winners with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Abalde added 16 points, Guerschon Yabusele had 14 and Vincent Poirier 10 for Real. Macon led Panathinaikos with 18 points, while Georgios Papagiannis added 12 and Kendrick Perry 10. Real improved to 3-1 while Panathinaikos dropped to 1-3.
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