Four games opened round 3 of the 2015/2016 Euroleague Top 16, with the rest of this week’s action set to happen on Friday. It was a busy evening in Group E with three games, including Fenerbahce impressing again with a win over Lokomotiv. Panathinaikos was shocked at home at the hands of Crvena Zvezda, while Unicaja Malaga let loose on Cedevita Zagreb for a cruising home win.
In Group F the best game of the night saw CSKA Moscow take down Barcelona on home soil to lay its title credentials down once again.
Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Lokomotiv Krasnodar, 85-79
Fenerbahce continues to look a formidable Euroleague team this season and could well be a title contender. The Turkish club rallied past Lokomotiv in Istanbul, fighting back from a losing position to defeat the Russians. Unbeaten Fenerbahce was outplayed in the first half as Lokomotiv carved a 37-45 advantage at the long break. The visitors held the lead at 51-60 through thirty minutes before the hosts exploded with a34-19 fourth act that swung the game in favour of Fenerbahce.
Bogdan Bogdanovic topped the winners with 18 points, followed by Jan Vesely with 17 points, Luigi Datome with 16 points, and Bobby Dixon with 13 points.
Victor Claver led Lokomotiv with a game high 21 points, while Malcolm Delaney added 12 points and 7 assists in the loss.
Panathinaikos Athens vs. Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, 64-74
Panathinaikos is having it all its way domestically, currently topping the Greek A1 with an unbeaten 13-0 record, but in the Euroleague it has been a patchy season. The Greek giant lost again on Wednesday, slipping to Serbian champ Crvena Zvezda Belgrade in Athens. The visitors led through each split, including a four point cushion at halftime. Crvena Zvezda consolidated in the third to lead 48-54 and then continued to extend in the final frame to wrap up the victory.
Maik Zirbes led a sharing Belgrade attack with 12 points, while Valdimir Stimac and Branko Lazic managed 11 points apiece.
James Gist topped the scoring with 15 points for The Greens, with James Feldeine and Miroslav Radlujca splitting 24 points between them.
Unicaja Malaga vs. Cedevita Zagreb, 90-67
Malaga bounced back from defeat last week to down a Zagreb outfit that could not build on victory a week ago. The Spanish hosts were simply explosive through the first half, pouring in 52 points and keeping Cedevita at 31 points. The game was out of touch for the visitors and Malaga pulled away in the second half, tying the third and then easing down the straight with a 19-17 winning fourth quarter. It ended a comfortable win for the hosts.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas stood out with 17 points for Unicaja, while Daniel Diez was good for 16 points.
Luka Babic stopped it from being embarrassing for Cedevita Zagreb with a stunning 24 points haul that was backed up by 16 points courtesy of Jacob Pullen.
There was a single game in Group F in the Euroleague on Thursday, but it was the pick of the action on the night as two Euroleague stalwarts and consistent title contenders squared off. CSKA Moscow welcomed Barcelona to the Russian capital and managed to win 93-82 at home. It is still early days, but CSKA seems to be turning it on against the best teams, while Barcelona has now lost two from three in the Top 16 stage. In this contest the hosts stayed a step ahead largely thanks to a 54-46 winning first half, and rarely looked in danger from there on.
Cory Higgins provided 20 points in the winning effort, while Milos Teodosic grabbed 16 points and supplied 5 assists. Andrey Vorontsevich also scored 16 points and went close to a double-double with 9 rebounds.
Juan Carlos Navarro put in 16 points to pace Barca, with Justin Doellman adding 14 points.