Archrivals Real Madrid and Barcelona share first place in Euroleague standings

Archrivals Real Madrid and Barcelona share first place in the Euroleague standings. Both have a 10-2 record and a two-victory lead on all other teams after posting solid wins over Baskonia and Zalgiris in round 12. Olympiacos moved into a three-way tie for third place at 8-4 by beating another of that trio, Milan, for its first road win. CSKA, UNICS, and ASVEL – the latter with a miraculous game-winner – stayed among four teams at 7-5 with their own wins, while Efes now sits behind them in 10th place at 6-6 due to its Turkish Derby road triumph. Among the last eight teams in the standings, ALBA was able to turn back visiting Maccabi while Panathinaikos ended the winning streak of Zenit. In the end, it was a road winner’s round by a margin of 5-4.

Archrivals Real Madrid and Barcelona share first place in Euroleague standings

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 78-98 UNICS Kazan

UNICS Kazan led from start to finish, hitting a club-record 15 triples, to run past host Crvena Zvezda Belgrade 78-98 at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall on Friday night. It was the sixth win in the last seven games for UNICS, which improved to 7-5 on the season, while Zvezda lost its third straight to drop to a 4-8 record. UNICS scored the first 8 points of the game and held a double-digit lead in the first quarter. The hosts did get within 3 points in the second quarter but never got closer as UNICS broke the game wide open in the third and led by as many as 25 points in the fourth. John Brown paced the winner with 18 points. Mario Hezonja and Isaiah Canaan scored 17 apiece, while Dmitrii Uzinski scored 11 in the winning effort. Austin Hollins finished with 15 points for the hosts. Nate Wolters had 13, Ognjen Dobric 11 and Nikola Kalinic 10.

AS Monaco 84-85 LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne

The first EuroLeague game this century between French League teams could not have been more dramatic, with the lead changing hands 22 times before visiting LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne edged AS Monaco 84-85 on a buzzer-beating half-court shot by William Howard. ASVEL improved to 7-5, snapping a three-game losing streak, while Monaco fell to 5-7 with its third loss in a row. A 0-8 run to open the game and another 2-11 late in the second quarter gave ASVEL a 40-48 halftime advantage, although the lead had changed 15 times in the interim. Monaco inched its way back to go ahead by a high of 4 points, 75-71, late in the game, setting up the dramatic finish. Howard led the winners with a double-double of 23 points and ten rebounds. Charles Kahudi followed with 15 points, James Gist with 13, Elie Okobo with 11, and Chris Jones with 10. Monaco was led by Lee Paris, who came off the bench for 20 points. Mike James added 18, Alpha Diallo 15, and Donta Hall 12.

AX Armani Exchange Milan 72-93 Olympiacos Piraeus

On Friday, Olympiacos Piraeus confirmed its good momentum by downing AX Armani Exchange Milan 72-93 at Mediolanum Forum. Both teams now have 8-4 records. It was Olympiacos’s first road win. Milan is now on a three-game losing streak. Giannoulis Larentzakis led the winners with 18 points. Tyler Dorsey added 14, while Sasha Vezenkov had 12 for Olympiacos. Shavon Shields led Milan with 26 points while Luigi Datome added 12. Dorsey buried four three-pointers in the opening quarter. Thomas Walkup, Kostas Papanikolaou and Vezenkov each added their own for a 25-30 Olympiacos lead after 10 minutes. Milan managed to tie the game, 33-33, on a layup by Kyle Hines but Hassan Martin, fueled a 0-10 Olympiacos run and an outstanding Larentzakis helped the Reds get a 45-60 margin at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as Olympiacos extended its margin to 53-70 late in the third quarter and did not find much trouble en route to an outstanding road victory.

FC Barcelona 96-73 Zalgiris Kaunas

FC Barcelona used a robust offensive display to get past Zalgiris Kaunas 96-73 at Palau Blaugrana on Friday en route to its fourth victory in a row to remain atop the Turkish Airlines Euroleague standings with a 10-2 record. The hosts trailed 5-11 in the early going, but three consecutive triples lit the fuse on their offense on the way to a 50-33 advantage right before halftime that Zalgiris could never recover from. Pierre Oriola paced the winners with 13 points, nine rebounds, and five assists for a performance index rating of 25. Rokas Jokubaitis followed him by posting 15 points and career-high seven assists against his former club. Nigel Hayes-Davis added 12 points, Nikola Mirotic 11 and Kyle Kuric 10. Tai Webster and Marek Blazevic, with 13 and 10 points respectively, led Zalgiris, who dropped to 2-10.

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