Barcelona and Real Madrid stay on top of Euroleague standings

After home teams swept through all five games on Thursday, road warriors used overtime on Friday to help tilt the balance, winning three of four. Barcelona (11-2) avenged its 2021 title game loss to defending champ Efes (6-7) with a thrilling road win in overtime. That sets up the first El Clásico ever to decide first place next week when Barca hosts Real (11-2), who needed a late layup to beat visiting Maccabi (7-6) on Thursday. Third-place Olympiacos (9-4) was Friday’s other OT winner, ending the home winning streak of UNICS (7-6). CSKA (8-5) smoked visiting Panathinaikos (3-10) to join a three-way tie for fourth place with Friday losers Zenit, at the hands of visiting Zvezda (5-8), and Milan, which fell to host ALBA (5-8). Bayern (6-7), Fenerbahce (4-9), and Zalgiris (3-10) were Thursday’s other winners, giving five of Round 13’s victories to teams in the bottom half of the standings. An equal number of games were decided by 5 points or less.

Barcelona and Real Madrid stay on top of Euroleague standings

UNICS Kazan 84-87 Olympiacos Piraeus

In a game where neither team had a lead larger than 7 points, Olympiacos Piraeus pulled out a dramatic 84-87 overtime win over UNICS Kazan on Friday night. The Reds registered their third consecutive victory and second on the road to improve to 9-4, while UNICS had its four-game winning streak snapped, dropping to 7-6. Sasha Vezenkov scored half of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead Olympiacos. Kostas Sloukas finished with 12 points and eight assists, while Giannoulis Larentzakis and Moustapha Fall scored ten apiece in the victory. Lorenzo Brown scored 21, and Isaiah Canaan netted 20 for the hosts. John Brown and Mario Hezonja added 11 apiece in a losing effort.

Zenit St Petersbourg 58-69 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Crvena Zvezda Belgrade snapped a three-game losing streak by claiming a solid 58-69 road win over Zenit St Petersbourg at Sibur Arena on Friday night. The visitors had a strong start on offense, leading 16-23 after the first period, and confirmed the outcome by holding the home team to just 24 points in the following 20 minutes, good enough to build a 40-58 advantage that Crvena Zvezda never surrendered. Nate Wolters paced the winners with 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists, as Nikola Kalinic and Ognjen Kuzmic netted 11 points apiece to help Zvezda improve to 5-8. Jordan Mickey was the top scorer with 16 points, and Conner Frankamp added 12 for Zenit, who dropped to 8-5 with its second loss in a row.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul 93-95 FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona exacted a bit of revenge on Anadolu Efes Istanbul for losing in the 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game as it collected a 93-95 overtime victory on the road in an instant classic. Both teams had four-game winning streaks, and Efes built a 12-point lead early in the third quarter. Former Efes hero Sertac Sanli helped Barcelona come back and send the game to overtime, where Kyle Kuric and Rokas Jokubaitis stepped up to win the game and give Barcelona an 11-2 record. The victory also snapped a four-game losing streak to Efes, thanks to Sanli scoring a career-high 24 points. Nikola Mirotic scored 18 points, Kuric ended with 16 points, and Nicolas Laprovittola chipped in 14 points and eight assists in the win. Efes dropped to 6-7 with the loss despite Vasilije Micic pouring in 26 points while Adrien Moerman had 16 points, Shane Larkin scored 14 points with six assists, Tibor Pleiss tallied 13 points and Krunoslav Simon chipped in 10 points in the defeat.

ALBA Berlin 81-76 AX Armani Exchange Milan

ALBA Berlin won consecutive games for the first time this season by holding off the visiting AX Armani Exchange Milan 81-76 on Friday night. The win took ALBA’s record to 5-8, while Milan suffered its fourth consecutive loss, dropping to 8-5. ALBA took the lead for good early in the second quarter, built a 17-point lead in the third behind Marcus Eriksson, then made clutch stops and key shots after Milan closed to within a single point in the fourth quarter. Eriksson netted 21 points on 5-for-8 three-point shooting to lead the winners, while Maodo Lo had 12 points and six assists. Malcolm Delaney scored 12, and Kyle Hines had 10 points for Milan.

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