Euroleague: Lokomotiv and Malaga stay untouched

EuroleagueRound 4 of the 2014/2015 Euroleague season wrapped on Friday with six games in the elite competition for Europe. The evening saw teams grab their first wins, while other clubs maintained their unbeaten records.

Group A

Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs. Fenerbahce Istanbul, 60-74
Serbian giant Crvena Zvezda Belgrade looked overpowered by Fenerbahce at home as the club slumped to a third consecutive defeat. Fenerbahce on the other hand were in cruise control and moved to 3-1 for a joint lead in Group A.

The visitors punished a sloppy Belgrade display in the first half, winning the opening stanza 19-25 and then extending with a quality filled 12-20 second frame. The score was 31-45 at halftime and Fenerbahce put it beyond doubt with an 11-14 winning third frame that allowed the Turkish team to cruise in the fourth quarter. Pero Antic topped the winners with 14 points, while also adding 7 rebounds.

Group C

Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar vs. Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir, 72-53
Lokomotiv continued to send a message with a strong home win over Turkish TBL champions Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir, a victory that kept the Russians unbeaten at top of Group C. On this evidence the Krasnodar outfit is able to grind out wins while also turning on the style when needed.

The Turkish guests opened the stronger of the teams, carving a 17-21 lead through ten minutes of the game and even extended to 30-35 through the long break. The third quarter proved decisive as Lokomotiv dug in defensively to allow just 7 points while plundering 22 points at the other end. Through half hour on the hardwood the hosts had reclaimed the lead at 52-42 and then carried the momentum into the final frame to wrap up the victory.

Zalgiris Kaunas vs. Barcelona, 78-85
Barcelona to build confidence with a solid road win over Zalgiris. It was a contest that would decide which club claims sole possession of second place in Group C, the honor ultimately going to Barcelona over the Lithuanians of Kaunas.

A high octane first quarter saw the teams trading buckets until Zalgiris opened a slender one point advantage at the first split (23-22). Barcelona kept is scoring consistent in the second while the hosts tailed off, allowing the Spanish team to hold a 39-45 lead at halftime. The visitors stayed in the ascendency in the third frame, using an 18-22 run to extend to 57-67 with just ten minutes to spare. It was enough to win the game as Zalgiris’ rally proved to be short lived in the final stanza.

Stelmet Zielona Gora vs. Panathinaikos Athens, 71-68
Greek Euroleague giant Panathinaikos continued to be plagued by patchy for as the club was outthought by Stelmet on the road in Poland. It was Gora’s first win of the Euroleague this season, enough to tie with Panathinaikos 1-3 in the standings.

The hosts stayed one step ahead throughout, winning the first half 40-33 and then moving to 57-49 through thirty minutes. Panathinaikos rallied in the fourth, but Stelmet Zielona Gora weathered the Greek storm to win the game. Mateusz Ponitka grabbed a double-double in the winning team, scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 boards.

Group D

Unicaja Malaga vs. Dinamo Banco Di Sardegna Sassari, 80-62
Unicaja Malaga kept pace with CSKA Moscow at the top of Group B with a slick home win over Sassari on the Spanish south coast. Malaga remains unblemished on 4-0, while Italian club Sassari is getting cut adrift with a 0-4 record at the bottom, winless this season.

Malaga’s 20-16 first quarter lead was wiped out in the second frame as Sassari opened a 36-37 lead as the buzzer sounded for halftime. The hosts came out refreshed through and in the third act put the Italians to the sword, putting together a 24-7 run that made it 60-44 at the final split. In the fourth stanza the Spanish eased down the straight for an easy home win.

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