Barcelona keeps a perfect record in the Euroleague

After a Thursday night with five games decided by five points or less, Friday saw three double-digit victories, including ALBA surprising Zvezda in Belgrade. Barcelona blasted Zenit, its playoffs opponent of last spring, one night after Milan survived at home against ASVEL as both remain unbeaten at 5-0. CSKA won its fourth straight against visiting Olympiacos and sits behind the leaders at 4-1 alongside Real, which turned back feisty Fenerbahce. Thanks to hard-fought home wins, Maccabi and Baskonia joined ASVEL, Olympiacos, and Zenit at 3-2 each. Only ALBA improved to 2-3, while Bayern and Efes won their first games of the season. That leaves only Zalgiris without a victory through five games as the second double-round week looms starting Tuesday, October 26.

Barcelona unbeaten in Euroleague

CSKA Moscow 88-82 Olympiacos Piraeus

CSKA Moscow registered its fourth consecutive victory by downing Olympiacos Piraeus 88-82 in the Russian capital. CSKA’s record improved to 4-1 while Olympiacos dropped to 3-2. Will Clyburn paced the winners with 29 points. Iffe Lundberg and Joel Bolomboy each added 16, while Nikita Kurbanov and Alexey Shved had ten apiece for CSKA. Tony Dorsey led Olympiacos with 32 points while Livio Jean-Charles added 11. Dorsey struck three times from beyond the arc in an opening 4-15 run for the visitors. Kurbanov and Bolomboy fueled a 13-0 run that Daniel Hackett capped with a triple to put CSKA ahead for the first time, 28-25, early in the second quarter. Clyburn and Lundberg helped the hosts boost their margin to 48-38 at halftime. Clyburn stayed on fire, and Kurbanov made it a 17-point game, 66-49, late in the third quarter. Dorsey and Jean-Charles sparked a 0-14 run that brought Olympiacos as close as 66-63 in the fourth, but Lundberg, Bolomboy, and Clyburn joined forces to restore a 78-66 CSKA lead, allowing the Russian powerhouse to seal the outcome.

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 63-78 ALBA Berlin

ALBA Berlin collected its first road victory by subduing host Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and its crowd all night for a 63-78 decision in the Serbian capital on Friday. Zvezda came into the game with defense as its calling card, but it was ALBA that shined in that department, using a 6-26 run over 12 minutes spanning the first two quarters to seize control. Zvezda managed to trim the deficit to 6 points once, but ALBA never surrendered its hold and lifted its record 2-3, the same as Zvezda. Maodo Lo led the winners with 17 points. Yovel Zoosman and Luke Sikma both added 11 points, and Tamir Blatt scored 10. Ognjen Kuzmic was Zvezda’s leading scorer with 16 points. Nate Wolters tallied 13 points and five assists, Luka Mitrovic had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Austin Hollins chipped in 10 points.

Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 78-66 AS Monaco

Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz used a big third-quarter run to defeat visiting AS Monaco 78-66 on Friday night at Buesa Arena. Its third straight win took Baskonia’s record to 3-2, while Monaco lost its third consecutively and dropped to 2-3. The two teams traded blows until early in the third quarter when Baskonia put together a 20-2 burst, turning a close game into a comfortable advantage that the hosts never relinquished. Simone Fontecchio paced the winners with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Landry Nnoko collected 14 points and seven rebounds, while Jayson Granger had 12 points and six assists. Steven Enoch scored 12, and Rokas Giedraitis 10 points, while Tadas Sedekerskis pulled down 11 rebounds. Mike James finished with 18 points for Monaco, and Danilo Andjusic netted 15 points. Jerry Boutsiele combined 11 points with ten rebounds while Donatas Motiejunas scored 10 in defeat.

FC Barcelona 84-58 Zenit St Petersburg

FC Barcelona recorded its fifth without a loss this season by downing Zenit St Petersburg 84-58 on a special night at Palau Blaugrana. Barcelona celebrated a belated 10th anniversary of its last Turkish Airlines EuroLeague title, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and pleased over 4,500 fans with a no-doubt-about-it victory. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 20 points, while Brandon Davies and Sertac Sanli each added 11. Dmitry Kulagin, Jordan Loyd, and Billy Baron led Zenit with 8 points apiece. Mirotic and Kyle Kuric allowed Barcelona to shake off a slow start and get a 20-19 edge after 10 minutes. Nigel Hayes-Davis, Brandon Davies, and Cory Higgins took over in the second quarter, helping the hosts boost their margin to 44-27 at halftime. Mirotic opened the second half with eight unanswered points to break the game wide open, 52-27, and even when Zenit kept trying, Barcelona sealed the outcome way before the final buzzer.

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