The final Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games before Christmas played out on Friday. The two league leaders stayed top with wins, CSKA Moscow taking out Khimki and Olympiacos breaking Anadolu Efes. Baskonia put more pressure on Barcelona with a win, while Malaga collected a much-needed success with a win over Milan.
CSKA Moscow vs. Khimki Moscow Region, 79-68
In a Moscow derby, CSKA downed Khimki to secure its place at the top of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague at 11-3, albeit only due its earlier victory of Olympiacos (11-3). As for Khimki, the club is now at 8-6, still definitely in the mix. The hosts were consistent at both ends of the floor in the first half and led 43-33 at halftime. Khimki managed to steady the ship in the second half, but CSKA controlled the play and took the contest with a 22-13 fourth act.
Aanadolu Efes Istanbul vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, 58-61
To maintain its position at the top of the standings, Olympiacos faced a tougher test than CSKA Moscow. However, the Greek giant came through a low scoring game to win. If Olympiacos wins the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season, it won’t be through pretty expressive Basketball. Despite a valiant effort, Anadolu Efes continues to struggle and is now at 3-11 at the bottom of the standings. The visitors were losing 25-33 through the long break and managed to weather Efes in the second half to edge a victory.
Baskonia Vitoria vs. Barcelona, 85-82
In an all-Spanish clash, Baskonia inflicted further pain on Barcelona with a narrow victory. With this success, Baskonia moves to 7-7 in the middle of the table, while Barcelona is struggling at 4-10 near the bottom. A 22-17 first quarter got the hosts off to a good start before a 30-18 run in the second half secured a 52-35 halftime lead. Barcelona flew back into the game with an 11-25 fourth quarter that took the clash to the wire. Ultimately, Baskonia held on for the win.