Real Madrid are through to the Euroleague Top 16 from Group A, by edging Nizhny Novgorod 101-98 in the north-west of Russia.
The Liga Endesa side though had to work hard for their win and it wasn’t assured until the last two seconds when Tarence Kinsey missed his second free throw intentionally with 1.9 seconds remaining and Felipe Reyes made sure of the win from the foul line.
Sergio Rodriguez led six Madrid players in double figures with 19 points. Andres Nocioni added 15 points and 9 rebounds for the winners as they move to 6-2.
“I’ve got to give credit to the other team,” Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso explained. “Nizhny played a great game. They had a lot of threes. When we had five- and six-point advantages, they always came back with threes. So it was difficult for us to stay in the game, to focus, but we did it for 40 minutes in the end. Offensively, we moved the ball well and got a lot of open shots. I think it was a great game of basketball. We’re happy to win it and to be in the Top 16.”
Taylor Rochestie was unable to finish the game for Nizhny due to injury but ended with a game-high 22 points. The Russians drop to 3-5.
Elsewhere in Group A, Unics Kazan stayed in the hunt for a Top 16 place by ending Dinamo Sassari’s Euroleague campaign, winning 72-68 in Italy.
Despite the loss Sassari will feel that they were unlucky. A three from David Logan tied the game at 60-60, when his side were trailing Unics by as many as 18 points, but the experience told in the end and the Russians live to fight another day at 4-4, while Sassari go to 1-7.
“We knew that it would be a hard game, Dinamo played a good game and they proved to be at the Euroleague level,” Unics coach Evgeny Pashutin said. “We kept the concentration all the time, also in the crucial moments. My guys have experience and they know how to win a game. It was another step toward the Top 16.”
D’or Fischer ruled inside for 23 points and 15 rebounds for the winners. James White seconded him with 14 points. Logan finished with 17 for Dinamo Sassari.
Anadolu Efes moved to 6-2 in Group A as they held Zalgiris to just 2 points in the first quarter, which was a Euroleague record low as the the Turkish side recorded a 66-57 win in Kaunas.
Despite a spirited effort to claw the deficit back, the Turkish side had too much power for their Lithuanian counterparts as they advanced to the Top 16.
Dontaye Draper led the winners with 14 points. James Anderson replied with 18 for Zalgiris who go to 4-4.
Daniel Hackett drilled a long two-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining to lead EA7 Milano to an 83-81 over Bayern Munich in the early Wednesday game in Group C.
The result eliminates Bayern from Top 16 contention at 1-7, but Milano are still alive at 3-5. Hackett ended up with 25 points in the win.
A strong third quarter from Fenerbahce saw them defeat Panathinaikos 84-62 in Istanbul as they joined Barcelona and the Greeks in the Top 16.
The game was nicely balanced at 36-32 to the hosts before a game-changing 12-0 spurt in the third saw them home. Andrew Goudelock led Fenerbahce with 18 points as they hit four three-pointers on five attempts.
“We tried to play a good game, and the truth is our transition game and our set plays in half-court were bad,” Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic said. “[In the] second half we changed, we played much better, starting with Drew Goudelock. That gave power to everybody to play better.”
Limoges came back from 20 points down to edge Unicaja Malaga 67-64 in Group B to keep themselves mathematically in with a shot of qualifying.
The French side improved to 2-6 as they snapped a five-game losing run but they still need results from other games to go their way as well as winning their remaining two encounters in order to advance.
Jamar Smith nailed four three-pointers to score 18 points to lead Limoges. Despite starting the season well, Unicaja have dropped its fourth game in the last five and are 4-4.
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv have joined CSKA Moscow in the Top 16 from Group B after beating ALBA Berlin 95-89 at the Nokia Arena.
The Euroleague champions move to 5-3, while the Germans drop to 3-5. Devin Smith dropped 26 points to lead the winners.