A busy Thursday in the Euroleague ushered in Round 12 of the Regular Season with five big games around the continent. As it transpired, most of the games focused on clubs in the middle and bottom of the standings. There was plenty up for grabs then as positions changed hands.
Baskonia edged Unics Kazan by a single point on the road. Elsewhere, Darussafaka stunned Real Madrid with a confident performance, while Crvena Zvezda Belgrade swept aside an out of sorts Maccabi Tel Aviv. Olympiacos breezed past Zalgiris away from home, while Brose Baskets won at home against Anadolu Efes.
Unics Kazan vs. Baskonia Vitoria, 91-92
Unics Kazan and Vitoria played out a minor classic, which was edged by the Spanish team on the road. The win moves Baskonia to 8-4 and a guarantee of a tie for third this week. As for Unics, the Russians slipped to bottom on 3-9. The teams were locked 67 apiece through thirty minutes and traded through the fourth act before Vitoria won it when Tornhike Shengelia drained in literally the last second.
Shane Larkin topped the win with 20 points, while Shengelia finished on 19 points.
Keith Langford was explosive again with 28 points for Unics, but failed in an attempt to hit a game winning bucket. Langford is currently averaging 23.4 points per game and is the best scorer in the Euroleague.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul vs. Real Madrid, 81-68
Darussafaka would have been expecting a tough evening when 2015 champ, record Euroleague title holder, and one of this year’s favorites rolled into town. However, the hosts dispatched Real Madrid with relative ease, sending the Spaniards packing with their fourth loss of the season (8-4). The Istanbul club is on 6-6 in mid table, while Madrid holds a tie for third with Baskonia.
Brad Wanamaker was excellent with 27 points in the win, while Will Clyburn drained 14 points.
Felipe Reyes led a below par Los Blancos with 16 points.
Zalgiris Kaunas vs. Olympiacos, 75-88
Olympiacos had too much for Zalgiris, despite the Kaunas outfit enjoying home court comforts. The Greek team edged the first half 40-42 and extended to 60-63 after thirty minutes. The fourth quarter proved the difference as the Piraeus team poured in 25 points to cruise down the straight. Olympiacos moved to 8-4 alongside Baskonia and Real Madrid, while Zalgiris Kaunas slipped to 4-8 in the lower half.
Matt Lojeski and Kostas Papanikolaou scored 16 points to lead the victors, followed by Georgios Printezis with 15 points and Khem Birch 13 points.
Paulius Jankunas topped the losing effort with 18 points, while Brock Motum hit 12 points.
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, 83-58
Crvena Zvezda took full advantage of an inconsistent Tel Aviv and demolished the Israeli giant in the Serbian capital. Neither team has been able to string consistent wins together and as such both are now firmly in the middle of the standings sharing a 5-7 record. The hosts were stronger here, however, and had a commanding 24-42 lead through the long break. Tel Aviv was unable to rally as Crvena Zvezda drove home its momentum through a comfortable second half.
Marko Simonovic topped the Serbia champions with 14 points, while Ognjen Kuzmic hit 12 points and Milko Bjelica 11 points.
D.J. Seely paced the visitors with 15 points, with Andrew Goudelock following with 13 points.
Brose Bamberg vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 91-83
Brose Baskets is finally getting its rewards and claimed a second consecutive win on Thursday. The only difference between the last two weeks and a few rounds ago is the excellent performances are being converted to wins. As a consequence, the German team is climbing the standings on 4-8. Anadolu Efes has won has many as it has lost, with a 6-6 record. The hosts stayed one step ahead for long periods of this game and thwarted any ideas of a comeback with a professional closing quarter.
Fabien Cuaseur led the win with 28 points, while Darius Miller added 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Jayson Granger took a game high 23 points for the Turkish guests. Derrick Brown logged a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Tyler Honeycutt scored 17 points.