Real Madrid and Olympiacos both lost sight of current EuroLeague leaders CSKA Moscow as they both slipped up on Thursday night.
Madrid were beaten 82-70 in Belgrade as Crvena Zvezda ran the Liga Endesa side ragged in transition, taking advantage of 16 turnovers by the Spaniards.
Marko Simonovic led the winners with 20 points as Red Star moved to 6-8, while Madrid dropped to 9-5.
“It was a great game for us,” Simonovic said. “We played an unbelievable game, especially on defence, which allowed us to get a lot of fast break points. Our fans were crazy and gave us lots of energy. This is a big night for us; congratulations to everybody.”
Meanwhile in northern Germany, Olympiacos’ four-game winning run was emphatically halted by Brose Bamberg, who claimed an 82-68 win.
Bamberg opened the game with an 11-0 run and never relinquished it. A 17-6 spurt in the second quarter broke the 20-point barrier and the hosts never let Olympiacos closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Darius Miller led the way for the winners with 20 points.
“Usually good teams, made of good people, after a terrible and embarrassing loss are able to regroup and bounce back,” Bamberg coach Andrea Trinchieri said. “This is what my team did tonight. It was an embarrassing loss against a great Madrid team, and we never showed up for that game. But we owed respect to ourselves for hard work we are doing every day.
“Tonight we played an amazing first half. I believe close to perfection offensively and defensively. It was expected to struggle a little bit in the second half. But the team never lost the handle and the poise of the game, even when Olympiacos came within less than 10 points.
“A great game, a great night, a great Christmas gift for everybody against one of the best teams in Europe at this moment. They held the longest win streak besides CSKA in EuroLeague until tonight. It was a great night for all.”
Anadolu Efes overcame Galatasaray 86-76 in the Istanbul derby, with Brandon Paul having a breakout game for the victors in just his second game for the club.
Paul had 19 points and five steals to end a two-game losing streak for Efes.
“I just wanted to come out and bring energy,” Paul said. “It started off on defence; I wanted to make sure I brought energy on defence, defended my man, help side, and the offence came.”
Anadolu Efes improved to 7-7 while Galatasaray drop to the bottom of the EuroLeague standings at 4-10.
Unics Kazan erased an 11-point deficit heading into the fourth to beat Zalgiris 88-80 in Kaunas.
The Russian side outscored their Lithuanian counterparts 30-11 in that final frame to improve their record to 5-9; the same as Zalgiris.
Keith Langford and Art Parakhouski, finished with 26 and 24 points respectively for Unics, and were huge inspirations behind that huge fourth-quarter performance.