Round 21: Efes moves three games clear
Anadolu Efes Istanbul overcame Real Madrid in Friday night’s battle of the top two, allowing the Turkish team to move three games clear at the top of the standings. Efes was the only road winner this week, with Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and Zalgiris Kaunas both putting triple figures on the board in big home wins on Friday, while Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul surged closer to the playoffs places. On Thursday, victories for FC Barcelona and CSKA Moscow along with a loss for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv created a three-way tie for second place. KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zenit St Petersburg were the round’s other winners.
CSKA Moscow 81-70 Valencia Basket
CSKA confirmed its good form by downing Valencia 81-70 in the Russian capital on Thursday. CSKA won its fourth straight game to take its record to 15-6, while Valencia slipped to 10-11. Johannes Voigtmann led the winners with 19 points and 10 rebounds. San Van Rossom paced Valencia with 16 points. Valencia entered the fourth quarter trailing 60-56, but Howard Sant-Roos and Voigtmann took over early in the fourth quarter as CSKA boosted its margin to 74-60 and never looked back.
Zenit St Petersburg 91-87 Olympiacos Piraeus
FC Bayern Munich 80-68 Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Bayern snapped a six-game losing streak and defeated Maccabi for the first time in the EuroLeague with an 80-68 victory on Thursday night at Audi Dome. Nihad Dedovic scored a season-high 19 points to lead Bayern, which upped its record to 7-14. Maccabi rallied to within 2 with 3 and a half minutes remaining, but Bayern closed the game on a 12-2 run to secure the victory. Elijah Bryant paced the Israeli champs with 14 points. The result saw Maccabi fall to fifth place in the standings at 14-7.
FC Barcelona 86-82 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Barcelona registered its first home win in 2020 by downing Crvena Zvezda 86-82 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Barcelona improved to 15-6 in the standings, while Zvezda dropped to 9-12. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 25 points. Lorenzo Brown scored 15 to pace the Zvezda attack. Zvezda managed rallied to within 79-78 late, but Mirotic and Pau Ribas each hit a triple in crunch time to seal the outcome.
KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 83-79 Khimki Moscow Region
In a tight game in which no team led by more than 6 points, Baskonia used its home floor to get back to winning by edging visiting Khimki 83-79 on Thursday night. Baskonia improved its record to 8-13 and Khimki dropped to 9-12 on the season. The teams traded leads in the first half before Khimki spent most of the second half in front. But it was Baskonia that had a stronger finish to the game. Shavon Shields led Baskonia with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Alexey Shved finished as Khimki's top scorer with 18 points but shot 3 for 15 from three-point range.
Zalgiris Kaunas 104-80 ALBA Berlin
Zalgiris Kaunas delivered a spectacular performance to cruise past ALBA Berlin with a crushing 104-80 victory at the Zalgirio Arena on Friday night. Zalgiris used a 10-0 run to establish a double-digit lead in the first quarter and steadily grew that margin to 29 points in the second. The outcome was never in doubt, with Zalgiris leading by 36 at one stage, and the lead stayed around that margin for the rest of the way. KC Rivers led the way with 17 points on 5-of-7 triples, while Edgaras Ulanovas scored 14, Jock Landale and Nigel Hayes both had 12, teenager Rokas Jokubaitis made a career-high 11 points and veteran Paulius Jankunas added 10. Landry Nnoko led ALBA’s resistance with 15 points and 7 rebounds, and Rokas Giedraitis and Peyton Siva scored 12. Both teams now have 7-21 records in a four-way tie for last place.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 73-64 AX Armani Exchange Milan
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul carried on climbing the standings by downing AX Armani Exchange Milan 73-64 at Ulker Sports Arena on Friday. Fenerbahce improved to 9-12 in the standings while Milan dropped to 10-11. Luigi Datome led the winners with 14 points. Nando De Colo added 12 while Nikola Kalinic, Kostas Sloukas, Malcolm Thomas and Jan Vesely each had 10 for Fenerbahce. Kaleb Tarczewski led Milan with 19 points. Keifer Sykes and Tarczewski shined early to give Milan a 12-13 lead, but Fenerbahce found a go-to guy in Kalinic, who got plenty of help from Datome and Vesely to give Fenerbahce a 24-15 edge after 10 minutes. Leo Westermann, Datome and Sloukas each hit a triple to break the game open, 37-20, before Arturas Gudaitis and Sergio Rodriguez brought Milan within 41-31 at halftime. Tarczewski and Rodriguez brought Milan as close as 60-58 but three-pointers by Kalinic, De Colo and Sloukas made the difference in the final minutes.
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 100-88 LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens extended its winning streak to three games with a 100-88 home victory over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne to continue its rise in the standings. Jimmer Fredette scored 22 points to pace six players in double figures as Panathinaikos improved to 13-8. Ioannis Papapetrou tallied 21 points, Nick Calathes collected 10 points and 17 assists, Tyrese Rice picked up 14 points, Giorgios Papagiannis had 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks and DeShaun Thomas added 10 points in the triumph. ASVEL’s freefall continues with a fifth straight loss - the last three on the road - to fall to 8-13 despite Theo Maledon tallying 19 points with Livio Jean-Charles contributing 16 points and 6 rebounds and Matthew Strazel and Antoine Diot both scoring 14 points.
Real Madrid 75-80 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Anadolu Efes Istanbul sent a message that echoed all around the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by edging Real Madrid 75-80 in the Spanish capital on Friday. Efes improved to 18-3 and is now three wins ahead of Real, CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona, who are tied for second on 15-6. Shane Larkin paced the winners with 32 points and Tibor Pleiss added 13. Trey Thompkins led Real with 15 points, Sergio Llull added 13 and Facundo Campazzo had 10 for the hosts. Campazzo and Walter Tavares stepped up early but Larkin and Pleiss soon rescued Efes and Chris Singleton struck from downtown to tie the game, 20-20, after 10 minutes. Jordan Mickey and Llull allowed Real to stay ahead for the best part of the second quarter but Krunoslav Simon and an unstoppable Larkin put Efes ahead, 40-43, at halftime. Larkin kept dominating after the break but Thompkins and Llull kept Real within 55-59 after 30 minutes. Real managed to get within 72-73 on a three-pointer by Campazzo but Pleiss answered from downtown and Larkin scored twice around the basket to seal Efes's win.