Two games came down to the final shot, and another was decided in the last minute in a heart-stopping start to Round 9. CSKA Moscow edged Maccabi 74-73 in a battle of classic clubs. Later UNICS Kazan escaped Athens with a 72-74 triumph. In both cases, the losing side missed the final shot for the victory. Crvena Zvezda held off a late ASVEL rally to win 73-67. The champs earned their first road win of the season as Efes mauled ALBA 63-90, with EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic scoring his 2,000th career points. And last season’s runner-up, Barcelona, blasted Spanish League rival Baskonia 93-67. Round 9 will conclude with four Friday games, including league-leading Milan visiting Fenerbahce.
CSKA Moscow 74-73 Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv
CSKA Moscow snapped a three-game losing streak by fending off Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 74-73 in a thrilling back-and-forth showdown of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague powerhouses. The most significant lead for either team was 5 points, and CSKA avoided losing its fourth straight game, which would have been the first time the club suffered such a streak during a season in league history. Iffe Lundberg scored 14 points to lead CSKA, which improved to 5-4. Joel Bolomboy added 12 points and six rebounds, and Marius Grigonis chipped in 10 points in his first game back with the team since Round 1. Maccabi saw its five-game winning streak fall to 6-3 despite Derrick Williams pouring in 20 points and Ante Zizic collecting 16 points and six rebounds.
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 73-67 LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade grabbed its second consecutive win by downing LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 73-67 in the Serbian capital on Thursday. Zvezda improved to 4-5 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, while ASVEL dropped to 6-3. Nikola Kalinic led the winners with 22 points, and Nikola Ivanovic added 14. Elie Okobo paced ASVEL with 16 points, Chris Jones scored 14, and Youssoupha Fall 11. Kalinic stepped up early, getting help from Ognjen Dobric and Austin Hollins to give Zvezda an 18-9 lead after 10 minutes. William Howard and Dylan Ostekowski rescued ASVEL, brought the visitors within 33-32 at halftime. Kalinic and Dobric combined for all the points in a 10-0 run, which allowed Zvezda to get a 50-45 lead at the end of the third quarter. Ivanovic buried back-to-back three-pointers to break the game open, 63-48, and Zvezda held on late despite a last-ditch ASVEL comeback.
ALBA Berlin 63-90 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Anadolu Efes Istanbul captured its first road win of the season with a 63-90 triumph over ALBA Berlin at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Thursday night. The champs took control of the game with a 4-25 run in the second quarter to lead 35-51 at halftime and cruised the rest of the way in lifting their record to 3-6. It was Efes’s seventh consecutive victory over ALBA. Reigning MVP Vasilije Micic led the way with 19 points, nine assists, and nine steals, Kruno Simon contributed 18 points, and Tibor Pleiss had 16 points and eight boards in his home country. Oscar da Silva led the home side with 13 points as ALBA fell to 3-6.
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 72-74 UNICS Kazan
UNICS Kazan collected its first road victory of the season by prevailing 72-74 in a back-and-forth game at Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. The contest was tight throughout, with 8 points being the biggest lead. But Lorenzo Brown knocked down the game-winning jumper with 19 seconds left to give UNICS a 4-5 record. Brown finished with 13 points while Andrey Vorontsevich and Isaiah Canaan both scored 15 points, and Mario Hezonja chipped in 9 points and four rebounds in his return to Athens to face his former team. Panathinaikos dropped its third straight game to fall to 2-7. Georgios Papagiannis collected 14 points and 17 rebounds, while Daryl Macon Jr. scored 14 points, Kendrick Perry had 10 points, and Ioannis Papapetrou tallied 10 points – though the Greens captain missed a three-pointer at the buzzer at the end of a poorly-executed offense.
FC Barcelona 93-67 Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
FC Barcelona returned to its winning ways in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by overwhelming Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 93-67 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Barcelona improved to 7-2 in the standings, snapping a two-game losing streak, while Baskonia dropped to 3-6. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 25 points and Nico Laprovittola and Brandon Davies each added 11 for Barcelona. Steven Enoch paced Baskonia with 22 points while Rokas Giedraitis added 12. Barcelona used a mammoth 18-0 run to get a 32-15 margin at the end of the first quarter. The hosts boosted their margin to 55-31 at halftime and to 68-37 behind an outstanding Mirotic, more than enough to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.