Crvena Zvezda make Group E interesting, Euroleague Top 16 hangover

Crvena Zvezda leaped into second place in Group E of the Euroleague Top 16 following an 80-66 win over Lokomotiv Kuban in Belgrade.

The win creates a three-way tie for second along with Lokomotiv and also Anadolu Efes as Quincy Miller went 4/5 from three-point range for Red Star in the comfortable win.

We had to play great defence,” Crvena Zvezda coach Dejan Radonjic explained. “We opened the game in style and it gave us self-confidence on offence. They tried to get back in the rhythm but we were ready to answer.

“We showed a lot in first half when we scored an even 50 points. In second half, we controlled the game until the end.”

Anadolu Efes improved to 3-2 as Jayson Granger poured in a game-high 22 points, with Jon Diebler adding 16 points, including five in the final 35 seconds in the 85-75 road win over Unicaja Malaga.

The game itself though featured 22 lead changes and 10 ties before the Turkish side held Unicaja scoreless for the final five minutes in the win.

The third Group E game saw Panathinaikos edge Darussafaka Dogus 82-79 in Athens to go to 2-3, while keeping their Turkish counterparts winless in the Top 16.

Miroslav Raduljica scored 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the victors as they steadied the ship without veteran Dimitris Diamantidis.

“I think our approach from the start of the game won this game,” Raduljica said. “We showed this is the way how we should play every game, with a great effort from all of the guys.”

In Group F, Laboral Kutxa scored a strong 81-78 win on the road to Barcelona after a session of overtime.

Darius Adams nailed a game-tying triple with 11 seconds left to force overtime at 70-70, and from there, the Vitoria side had enough to grind out the win even though they had a nailbiting moment when Pau Ribas’ three-pointer with seconds left nearly gave the Catalan crowd a second period of extra time.

Ioannis Bourousis collected 24 points and eight rebounds for Laboral, which has now given Barcelona its only two losses in its last 41 home games in the Top 16.

Tyrese Rice went for 20 points and 11 assists as Khimki dismantled Zalgiris 111-80 in Moscow.

After a close first quarter, Sergey Monya and Tyler Honeycutt fueled a 12-1 run that broke the game open for Khmki, which gave them a 43-26 lead, late in the second quarter and from there, the Russian side never looked back.