On Thursday in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, the start of Round 12 was dominated by El Clasico between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. Both teams are struggling, but Madrid took the victory and the bragging rights until the clubs meet again. Elsewhere, current champs Fenerbahce were stunned at home by Zalgiris Kaunas thanks to a buzzer beater.
Brose Bamberg took advantage of an underperforming Olympiacos to knock the leaders off their perch, while Unicaja Malaga collected a rare win over Khimki Moscow Region.
Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona Lassa, 87-75
The biggest game of the week was hosted in the Spanish capital as Real Madrid played Barcelona in the latest El Clasico. The two giants and former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champs entered this contest in a bad place. Madrid has lost 5 from 6 and Barcelona is increasingly becoming less of a European force as the week’s progress. The home team of Madrid managed to down their arch rival to move to 6-6 in the standings, leaving Barca languishing down at 4-8 in 12th place. The game was close at 40-38 during the midway rest, but the hosts turned the screw in the third act with a 28-14 run, before carrying the momentum to a cruising victory.
Luka Doncic scored 16 points and dished 7 assists for Los Blancos, while Felipe Reyes hit 14 points and Trey Thompkins 12 points
Ante Tomic scored 12 points for the Barcelona bench.
Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Zalgiris Kaunas, 89-90
Zalgiris is having its most productive Turkish Airlines EuroLeague in years. On Thursday the Lithuanian giant traveled to the reigning champs and came away with win that shows the team deserves its billing of dark horse this season. The result leaves Fenerbahce on 8-4, while Zalgiris moves to 7-5. This game went to the final buzzer as Arturas Milaknis secured the win for the visitors with a triple, capping a comeback performance from Zalgiris.
Kevin Pangos secured 22 points and 7 assists in the win, followed by Axel Toupane with 16 points and 7 rebounds.
Jan Vesely drained 20 points in the losing effort, while Brad Wanamaker added 19 points.
Brose Bamberg vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, 67-65
Brose Bamberg showed it can beat anyone on its day with a low-scoring success over joint leaders Olympiacos. The inconsistent German champs now move to 6-6 in the standings. Olympiacos is now on 9-3, but could lose first place if CSKA Moscow defeats Maccabi Tel Aviv tomorrow. In this game, the Greek giant looked to be cruising after three quarters with a 50-58 lead. However, the guests collapsed as Bamberg compiled a 17-7 fourth act run to take the win.
Dorell Wright nailed 20 points to the Brose Bamberg scoreboard, while Augustine Rubit was good for 15 points.
Georgios Printezis led a poor Olympiacos effort with 12 points.
Unicaja Malaga vs. Khimki Moscow Region, 93-84
Malaga entered this game in a joint position for last place, so needed a win. The EuroCup champs finally clicked and defeated high-flying Khimki to move to 4-8 in the standings. Khimki is still in the mix, although dropped to 7-5 on the loss. A scoring 27-26 first quarter opened the game, before Khimki opened a 47-48 lead through the long break. From there, Malaga took the momentum and took 46 second half points to victory, with Khimki adding 18 points in the third and fourth frames.
Nemanja Nedovic poured in 21 points to pace the win, while James Augustine offered a double-double of 14 points and 11 boards.
Alexey Shved drove the visitors with a game-high 27 points.