You couldn’t have written a better finish to this Euroleague basketball story than the dunk that Bobby Brown threw down as time ran out on the Montepaschi Siena come-from-behind road win over Fenerbance Ulker. With the game firmly in hand and little time left, Brown broke for the basket after team mate David Moss grabbed an errant Bojan Bogdanovic three-ball attempt and tossed it ahead to Brown. The Siena playmaker took a dribble and dropped in a dunk that put an exclamation point on the amazing 40 minutes that Brown had just completed. With those final two points, Brown tallied 41 and a Performance Index Rating of 50 on the day, both marks the highest in Euroleague competition in quite some time, but more importantly, they gave Siena a key win after being down by 11. The Italian squad has jumped out to a 2-0 record with wins over Maccabi Tel Aviv and now Fenerbahce and sit on top of Group E with BC Khimki MR.
The other contests of the day saw Zalgiris Kaunas even their record to 1-1 with a win over Unicaja; CSKA Moscow move to 2-0 after pounding Alba Berlin on their home court; and defending champions Olympiacos get their first win of the Top 16 with a solid win over Besiktas.
Fenerbahce Ulker – Montepaschi Siena, 92:98
As the Fenerbahce – Montepaschi game progressed and Brown’s totals kept going up, while Siena trailed their hosts on the scoreboard, the thought that someone was going to be named MVP for the week over this impressive performance became a real possibility. Fortunately for Siena, Brown put the club on his shoulders and carried them to their second win in the Top 16 with a career day on the court. According to the Euroleague website, Brown’s 41 points ties the single-game Euroleague scoring record and broke the Top 16 scoring mark that previously was 37 points by Sarunas Jasikevicius in 2004. His PIR of 50 is the highest recorded since 2007, is tied for the sixth highest ever, and is the second highest in Top 16 competition with the 51 turned in by Jaka Lakovic in 2004 being N0.1.
Said Brown after the game:
“It was a special night for me and my teammates. I’m happy to help the team to win. We did very well especially in the crunch time. We remained calm at the end and had a very important win on the road. But this is just the beginning. We still have plenty of games to play the same way.”
The two clubs played to a 26-all tie after the first quarter and in the second they exchange the lead numerous teams until inside the last minute when Ulker took advantage of a missed triple and a rare Brown turnover to drop in seven unanswered to head into the lockerroom with a six-point margin, 51:45.
Later in the third quarter the hosts, while holding a three-point advantage, ran off eight unanswered to build an 11-point lead, 69:58. Siena countered with a 4:11 run to close out the frame only down four, 73:69.
Mid-way through the final 10 Fenerbahce still held a three point gap, 85:82, when Romain Sato fouled Brown behind the arc to give the Siena playmaker three singles, which he made quick work on, to knot the score at 85. Of note, Brown was 56 of 65 (86.2%) from the line in the Euroleague Regular Season and after going 13 of 13 Friday, he’s a perfect 19 of 19 record from the line in Top 16 play.
From that point forward Siena controlled the game by dropping in their free throws, hitting 9 of 10 down the stretch.
Overshadowed by Brown’s performance was Bojan Bogdanovic’s day, scoring 31 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing off eight assists and finishing the night with a PIR of 34.
In addition to Brown’s 41, Siena got 19 from Viktor Sanikidze, who also picked up eight rebounds and had a PIR of 23. Bo MaCalebb added 17 for Ulker, while Emir Preldzic contributed 15 points, six rebounds, eight assists and a PIR of 21.
Alba Berlin – CSKA Moscow, 57:75
CSKA extended their Euroleague winning streak to seven games with a convincing 57:75 win in Berlin. The win moves CSKA to 2-0 and in a tie for the top spot with Real Madrid as the only two undefeated teams in Group E. The loss drops Alba to 0-2, tied with Brose Baskets for the bottom spot in the group.
CSKA opened the game up late in the first 10 with a 2:12 run to finished the quarter with the guests up 13:24. They squads played even in the second quarter, which meant that the Russian club took a 12-point lead into the dressing room at the half, 28:40.
Alba made some adjustments at halftime and was able to cut the gap to six, 47:53 late in the quarter, but two pairs of singles pushed the advantage back to double digits, 47:57 heading into the final frame.
CSKA turned up the defensive pressure in the last quarter and benefitted from fast break points and a 2:11 run early in that iced the contest for the visitors.
Milos Teodosic tallied 17 points for CSKA, and Nenad Krstic added 15. Alba got 14 from Dashaun Wood and 11 from Derrick Byars.
Zalgiris Kaunas – Unicaja Malaga, 75:63
The hosts jumped out early, but Unicaja settled in and kept this Group E match up close until the final quarter. Zalgiris lead 21:17 after the first 10 and started building a lead in the second until Unicaja ran off seven unanswered to cut the gap to two and tie it up shortly after. The home club benefitted from a foul as time was running out on the half and the successful conversion to points to close out scoring in the front end at 34:30.
Zalgiris opened an eight-point lead to start the third, but Unicaja countered with a 1:10 run to overtake the lead. They ended the third with the hosts up by one, 52:51.
A three-ball and a lay-up after the fourth started gave Zalgiris a six-point lead, then the lids fell on both baskets for two minutes keeping each team from scoring. Unicaja broke through with a six minutes to play to cut the margin to four, but Zalgiris dropped in a pair of singles then a deuce in the paint to extend back to eight. The visitors were able to get to within six a couple of times, but they just couldn’t string any scoring runs together and ended up on the short end of a 75:63 score to fall to 1-1, along with Zalgiris, Panathinaikos and Anadolu Efes. The win gets Zalgiris back on track after their Week 1 loss to Panathinaikos.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas led the hosts with 14 points and six rebounds, Ksistof Lavrinovic added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Luka Zoric paced Unicaja with 11 points and six rebounds and Earl Calloway also added 11 points.
Olympiacos Piraeus – Besiktas JK, 77:64
The defending champions evened their Top 16 record at 1-1 with a decisive win over Besiktas JK at home in front of an estimated 9,000 friendlies. The loss drops the Turkish club to 0-2 on the second phase of Euroleague competition.
The hosts never trailed in this one, opening a 20:13 margin at the end of the first quarter and extending the lead to 37:27 at the half.
Besiktas came out after the intermission and ran up a 2:9 set that cut the margin to three, but Olympiacos countered and took a 57:46 lead into the final 10.
The Reds pushed the margin to 18 late in the fourth quarter, with the guests trimming the lead by five in the final seconds to wrap up scoring at 77:64.
Vassilis Spanoulis duplicated his Week 1 performance of 18 points to led the champs to the win. Georgios Printezis added 14 for Olympiacos.
Damir Markota contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds for Besiktas and Curtis Jerrells dropped in 14 in the losing effort.
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