Anadolu Efes offically eliminated EA7 Milano from quarter-final conversation after a Thomas Heurtel masterclass inspired them to an 86-78 win in Group F of the Euroleague Top 16.
The French international scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter as the Turkish side battled from a double-digit deficit in this pivotal period to land a 12-0 run that bridged the third and fourth to lead 68-59.
From there, Milan were silenced once and for all.
“This is a very important win for us to keep our chances alive in the group,” said Heurtel. “We started the game bad. Maybe we were a little bit nervous. But we balanced the game in the second half with good defence. And then good defence fired up our offence.
“I’m happy to help the team in any way. I also want to congratulate my teammates for their great effort.”
Anadolu move to 6-7 in Group F and a win next week at fellow rivals Fenerbahce will see them through.
CSKA Moscow have locked home-court advantage after beating Olympiacos 76-70 and can win Group F next week if they beat EA7 Milano.
But for now, CSKA can be proud of a strong display despite letting their Greek counterparts enjoy sizeable runs to get them back into the game.
Sasha Kaun and Sonny Weems led the winners with 16 points.
In the lone Group E, Zalgiris ended their home campaign this season with a 76-70 win over Red Star Belgrade in a game played with pride and nothing else.
A close game was decided with one of the plays of the season as two saves led to a long alley-oop from Will Cherry to James Anderson that ultimately decided the outcome.
Paulius Jankunas led Zalgiris with 19 points in victory.