Euroleague Basketball completed its last round before Christmas week on Friday with three contests to close out Round 12. Of the three games, there were three home successes. CSKA Moscow downed Barcelona in a message-sending performance. Also defeating a fellow title chaser was Panathinaikos Athens, the Greek team taking out Fenerbahce. Home spoils also went to Galatasaray courtesy of a win over Milan.
CSKA Moscow vs. Barcelona, 92-76
It was the wrong time to play runaway Euroleague leader and current champion CSKA Moscow. Barcelona could not handle the champs and the Spanish giant has gone from one of the tournament favorites to struggling in mid-table. Barca is now without a win in two and slips to 5-7 with a lot of work to do. CSKA is serene this season and tops the standings on 11-1, three more wins that nearest rivals. Barcelona kept this game interest in the middle quarters, but the Moscow contingent was strong at either end and secured a cruising win.
CSKA has managed well without MVP Nando De Colo, who is missing through injury. Cory Higgins claimed 23 points here, while Milos Teodosic had a double-double of 16 points and 11 assists. Nikita Kurbanov managed 15 points.
Victor Claver scored 17 points for Barcelona, with Petteri Kopenen adding 13 points.
Galatasaray Istanbul vs. EA7 Milan, 83-80
Galatasaray welcomed Milan to Istanbul and dispatched the Italian champs by the narrowest of margins. The win let the Turkish club climb the standings to 4-8 and the recovery from a poor start this Euroleague season continues. Milan’s inconsistencies also continued and now the club sits on 4-8 with Galatasaray. The hosts were cruising 43-32 through halftime, but Milan drained 27 points in the third act and pushed Galatasaray down the straight, but ultimately slipped to defeat.
Vladimir Micov nailed 23 points in the win, while Blake Schilb secured 17 points and Alex Tyus 14 points.
Rakim Sanders hit 18 points in the losing effort, followed by Krunoslav Simon with 15 points.
Panathinaikos Athens vs. Fenerbahce Istanbul, 81-70
The game of the week was arguably in Athens, where two top of the table clubs clashed. With an eye on the title, both these teams had plenty to gain. Panathinaikos used home advantage to see off Fenerbahce in style, moving to 7-5 in sixth place in the process. Fenerbahce fell to 8-4 in a tie for third after this loss.
Nick Calathes took a double-double of 16 points and 11 assists for the winners, while Demetris Nichols secured 14 points for The Greens.
James Nunnally secured a game-high 23 points for Fenerbahce.