Euroleague: Real Madrid and FC Barcelona slip

EuroleagueThe eighth round of the Euroleague Top 16 is underway and once again the competition is showing that this is a year where all teams are evenly matched.

The high standard of the competition is exemplified by the two Spanish giants of Real Madrid and Barcelona, who both lost again this week in Group F. Madrid opened the week with a home loss to CSKA Moscow, while Barcelona’s visit to the Russian capital resulted in a loss to Khimki.

In Group E, Lokomotiv made it a sweep of Russian successes this week with a cruising win over Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Darussafaka Istanbul won its third game in four weeks with a road triumph over Cedevita Zagreb, while Panathinaikos made it five on the trot with a win over Malaga.

Group E

Cedevita Zagreb vs. Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul, 77-83
Darussafaka Istanbul made it three wins from their last four with victory over Cedevita Zagreb, keeping itself in contention. The Turkish club has warmed into the Euroleague Top 16 and kept cool in the Croatian capital on Thursday to take a road victory. The guests led 38-43 through halftime, but Cedevita hit back to lead 61-59 through three frames. The Istanbul contingent doubled down and took the fourth act 16-24 to win the game.

Marcus Slaughter scored 17 points in the win, while Manuchar Markoishvili added 16 points and Reggie Redding 10 points.

Jacob Pullen kept Cedevita in the game with a game high 26 points, followed by Miro Bilan with 13 points.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, 61-76
Lokomotiv’s fine Euroleague Top 16 form continued in the cauldron of Istanbul, the Russians visiting and taking out Anadolu Efes to consolidate second place in Group E with a 7-2 record. It was a close game through ten minutes (16-17), but Lokomotiv pulled away in the second period, using a 12-21 run to lead 28-38 through the long break. The visitors made the double digit advantage tell by extending to victory through the second half.

Malcolm Delaney paced the win with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Anthony Randolph compiled 17 points and 6 boards, and Victor Claver drained 14 points.

Thomas Huertal drove Anadolu Efes with 17 points and 7 assists.

Unicaja Malaga vs. Panathinaikos, 58-76
Unicaja Malaga cannot buy a win at the moment, while Panathinaikos has come through its own sticky patch and has won its last five consecutive Euroleague Top 16 games. The victory was enough for the Greek giant to hold third for this week, with a 6-3 record, while Malaga is on a slippery slope at 2-7. The first quarter was important as the guests took a 7-26 lead and never looked back, controlling the hardwood despite Malaga cutting the deficit at certain points.

Elliot Williams led The Greens with 16 points, while Miroslav Radljica scored 12 points and Nick Calathes had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas was the best of the bunch with 15 points for Malaga.

Group F

Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moscow, 87-96
The two title contenders clashed in the early game on Tuesday, with CSKA inflicting a moral boosting home defeat on the reigning champions. The consistency of CSKA throughout the Euroleague campaign suggests they are well placed for a title push, whereas Madrid still has some work to do. Los Blancos seems to lack belief in the closing stages of games, and so it proved here. The hosts were tight with CSKA going into the fourth act (62-64), but 32 points from the Army Men in the deciding frame settled the contest.

Kyle Hines paced the win with 16 points, followed by Milos Teodosic with 15 points, and Nando De Colo with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 scoring passes.

Real Madrid players actually performed well despite the loss, one of the anomalies of hoops. Gustavo Ayon doubled up with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Sergio Llull claimed his own double with 14 points and 10 dimes. Sergio Rodriguez scored 15 points, and Felipe Reyes contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds.

Khimki Moscow Region vs. FC Barcelona Lassa, 75-61
Khimki bounced back from a couple of straight losses to cruise past former champions Barcelona in Russia, putting the club back to third with a 5-4 record. As for Barca, the Spanish giant is struggling with a 4-5 record and just can’t find consistency on the continent this season. 48 points in the first half gave Khimki a 48-29 lead, and the hosts controlled the game on the back of that 20 point cushion. Barcelona won the second half, but it was due to a Khimki team not trying anything fancy on the road to victory.

Alexey Shved led Khimki with 16 points, while James Augustine and Paul Davis scored 13 apiece. Tyler Honeycutt doubled up with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Justin Doellman was the sole double digit scorer for Barcelona, he compiled 14 points while also adding 7 rebounds.

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