Euroleague: Efes hands Real Madrid first loss

FC Barcelona Regal’s Marcelinho Huerta gets set to put a move on Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Ricky Hickman Thursday.

Day one of Week 7 in Euroleague Top 16 competition featured five games, four of which were separated by 10 points, total. The fifth game was the day’s blow-out with a differential of 17 points.

The game of the day was held in Turkey as Anadolu Efes, who came into the contest 5-1, hosted the only undefeated team in the Top 16, Real Madrid, who was 6-0 at game time. Madrid had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but when the horn sounded and the ball hit the floor, Efes had claimed an equal spot at the top of Group E with a 74:72 win.

Group E
Anadolu Efes – Real Madrid, 74:72
In a match up of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Group E, the result came down to a shot at the buzzer, that Real Madrid’s Jaycee Carroll came up empty on giving the hosts a six-game winning streak, while knocking off the sole undefeated club in the Euroleague. The contest gives both clubs equal 6-1 records and a share of the Group E lead.

The hosts ran off seven unanswered mid-way through the first quarter to get an early 14:7 advantage. Madrid’s Rudy Fernandez kept his club in the contest by knocking down 10 points in the initial frame. Efes held a 23:19 lead after one.

Madrid’s shooters went stone-cold in the second quarter and came up empty on their first nine shots. In the meantime, the home club extended their margin to 13, 32:19, before the guests found the cords again mid-way through the second 10. Madrid finally got back on track and cut the advantage to seven inside a minute to play before Dusko Savanovic nailed a three-ball for Efes to lead the teams into the intermission, 46:36.

Jamon Lucas gave the hosts a 13-point margin right out of the gate with a three-pointer. From there Madrid outscored Efes 6:16, to cut the gap to three, 56:53. A rapid exchange of baskets in the closing seconds of the frame pushed the lead back to five, 59:54, setting up a showdown in the last 10.

Sergio Rodriquez and Filipe Reyes and connected for six straight points for Madrid to give them a lead early in the fourth. Efes countered with seven of their own to get back up by six, 66:60. The clubs exchanged baskets for a couple of minutes, then Madrid ran off five unanswered to move to within two points. 71:69. Savanovic sank a pair of singles to give Efes a four-point lead inside a minute, 73:69. Nikola Mirotic canned a triple with 12 seconds to play to cut the lead to one, 73:72. The strategy was to foul immediately to put a shooter on the line, which turned out to be Savanovic, who split the pair to put the lead at two, 74:72 and give Madrid an opportunity to win or tie. The visitors got the ball in the hands of Carroll, who launched a three-pointer for the win but couldn’t connect and Real Madrid’s unbeaten streak ended as the ball bounced away from the hoop.

Lucas was game-high for Efes with 16 points and 5 assists, Savanovic added 13 points and 8 rebounds, and Jordan Farmar dropped in 10. Fernandez paced Madrid with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Carroll and Reyes added 11 points each, and Rodriquez and Mirza Begic contributed 10 each.

CSKA Moscow – Panathinaikos Athens, 86:69
CSKA Moscow gave up the lead twice early on, otherwise controlled the game from start to finish to improve their Top 16 record to 5-2, while dropped the Greens to 4-3. The win also snaps a two-game losing streak CSKA carried into the contest.

Panathinaikos was able to secure an advantage twice in the early going of the first quarter, otherwise spent the game trying to catch up. CSKA had a scoring run of 12:3 and by the end of the first frame CSKA held a 25:15 lead.

The Greens opened the second by dropping in the first eight points to cut the lead to two, 25:23. The clubs exchanged baskets for the entire quarter with CSKA never getting farther away than five-points, and Panathinaikos never getting closer than two. At the have the hosts led 35:31.

CSKA pulled away in the third on the strength of a 19:5 run that gave them a 66:50 lead after three.

The hosts got up by as many as 26 in the final frame, only to have the lead cut by 10 with a 0:10 run in favor of the Greens. By the time the final horn sounded, CSKA had a 17-point win, 86:69.

Milos Teodosic was game high for CSKA Moscow with 20 points, also adding 7 assists. Sonny Weems added 19. Sasha Kaun added 13 points, and 8 rebounds, accumulating a PIR of 30 on the night.

Jonas Maciluis, led Panathinaikos with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Stephane Lasme and James Gist each added 12, while Gist also hauled in 10 rebounds.

Alba Berlin – Unicaja Malaga, 65:67
It took a last second shot by Marcus Williams to finish this contest off, but as his triple sliced the cords, Unicaja’s Top 16 record in Group E improved to 3-4. Alba Berlin was dealt their sixth loss in seven games and stayed in the seventh spot, one game ahead of Brose Baskets.

Unicaja tallied the first six points of the contest, before Alba was able to find the net with a pair of singles. The Unicaja advantage went from a max of six points to a low of two points for the better part of the first quarter, until Alba was able to knot the score at 18 with just over a minute to play in the period. As the clocked ticked off the final seconds of the first frame, EJ Calloway nailed a triple to put Unicaja up by two, 20:22.

The hosts outscored their visitors 22:12 in the second frame to build an eight point margin heading into the intermission, 42:34.

Unicaja’s Krunoslav Simon took on the task of making up the eight points and dropped in three, three-pointers to open the scoring on the second half. When Simon was finished Unicaja was up 42:43 until Andy Panko dropped in a jumper on the next possession and to push the guests’ margin up to three, 42:45. At the end of the frame the score was 51:55.

The clubs exchanged baskets and the lead throughout the fourth, and ended up with Alba up by one with 20 seconds left and the ball in Unicaja’s hands. They ran the clock down and got the ball to Williams, who knocked down the game winner with a couple of ticks to play. Alba was able to get a lob to Deon Thompson, but he missed the tip in at the buzzer to preserve the Unicaja victory.

Simon’s 12 was high for Unicaja, followed by 11 from Fran Vazquez. Calloway and Williams each contributed 10 to the win.

Thompson and Nihad Djedovic were game-high with 16 points, while Thompson added 9 rebounds and Djedovic was able to snag 6 rebounds of his own.

Brose Baskets – Zalgiris Kaunas, 87:88
Many basketball games are won and lost on the free throw line and the Brose – Zalgiris contest on Thursday was a great example. Free throws sent the game into overtime and free throws won it for Zalgiris. An interesting fact from the game was that Brose shot 25 of 30 from the charity stripe, while Zalgiris was 26 of 30. The win improves Zalgiris’ Top 16 record to 3-4, while Brose has yet to notch a win in this round of Euroleague play and falls to 0-7.

The game was tight for the entire time the clubs were on the court with neither team able to get any kind of breathing room. If a club got up by five, the other would put together a mini scoring run to catch them and build a small advantage themselves. Through the first frame Zalgiris led 20:23, and Brose cut the margin by one to head into the locker rooms at the break with Zalgiris up 36:38. They played to a 19:19 tie in the third to take a 55:57 scoring into the final 10.

Zalgiris was able to stretch a lead out to 10, 61:71, only to have Brose counter and get back in the game, but still down four, 72:76 with just over a minute to play. Darjus Lavrinovic fouled Anton Gavel with under a minute left, then was slapped with a technical to give Gavel four free throws and Brose the ball after. Gavel sank all four singles to knot the score at 76. Brose turned the ball over, then on consecutive possessions neither team could convert and the contest when into an extra five.

Most of the overtime period was spent on the free throw line, with 13 singles being tallied out of 23 total points in the period. As time ran down in the final minute of the extra frame, three different players were given the opportunity to win or even up the contest for their clubs and all three delivered. First, Ksistof Lavrinovic toed the line for a pair of singles with 32 seconds to play and Zalgiris down by two. He sank both, to tie the score at 85. Shortly after, Gavel was fouled by Lavrinovic with 16 seconds to play. Gavel connected on his free throws to give Brose a two-point advantage. Zalgiris got the ball back, worked the clock down and got it in the hands of Marko Popovic who was fouled as he released the shot, which left his hands just prior to the game close expiring and the buzzer sounded. With Popovic behind the arc at the time, he was awarded three free throws, which he calmly dropped in for the one-point win, 86:87.

Popovice led Zalgiris with 21 points, while Lavrinovic added 16, and Rimantas Kaukenas contributed 14. Gavel was game-high for Brose with 25 points, including going 14 of 16 from the line. Sharrod Ford added 20 to the losing effort.

Euroleague Group E

This Week’s Matches[matches league_id=20 match_day=7 group=E template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings[standings league_id=20 group=E show_website=false template=nolink]

Next Week’s Matches[matches league_id=20 match_day=8 group=E template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Group F
Maccabi Electra – FC Barcelona Regal, 77:82
In the Thursday’s only Group F contest, FC Barcelona Regal used a 12-point advantage in the third quarter to set up a five-point win, 77:82, over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Regal improves to 6-1 on the Top 16 round, while Maccabi falls to 2-5.

The hosts got up 9:2 early in the first, but there was no extended scoring runs during the frame and Maccabi closed the period up 22:20.

The second was similar, only this time it was Regal getting a small advantage in the frame, 31:37. Maccabi countered and tied the contest up at 39, only to have the visitors hit a jumper to close out the scoring 39:41.

Barcelona tallied the first nine points of the second half to get up 39:50. Maccabi cut the gap to six, but Regal was able to extend back to 10 and in the final minute of the quarter pushed the lead to 14 heading into the fourth, 53:67.

The home club was able to cut the margin early in the final frame, but Regal opened it up shortly after. With the score at 67:80, Maccabi went on a 10:0 scoring run to pull to within three, 77:80, with 16.4 seconds to play. The hosts had to foul to try to get the ball back and Ante Tomic was on the receiving end of that foul by Devin Smith. Tomic connected on both singles to ice the game with 10 seconds to play, up 77:82.

Tomic led Regal with 18 points, while Juan Carlos Avarro and Sarunas Jaskevicius added 14 each to the win. Ricky Hickman was game-high with 19 for Maccabi, Shawn James added 16, and Smith and Yogev Ohayon dropped in 11 each.

Euroleague Group F

This Week’s Matches[matches league_id=20 match_day=7 group=F template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings[standings league_id=20 group=F show_website=false template=nolink]

Next Week’s Matches[matches league_id=20 match_day=8 group=F template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

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