Real Madrid pulled away late from CSKA Moscow to secure a 95-85 win at the WiZink Center in the Spanish capital laving the race for top spot wide open.
Madrid improved its record to 11-5, the same as Olympiacos and Baskonia in second place, while league leaders CSKA fell to 12-4 with its first three-game losing streak in six years.
Sergio Llull led the winners with 24 points as Real pulled away in the final three minutes after a close second half. The Liga Endesa side now hold the head-to-head over CSKA.
“We are happy,” said Llull.
“I think the team played a really good game. Everybody was ready to play. We fought a lot and we played against the reigning champions. We know that we had to win the game. We lost there by only one point, and we stay up in the standings, so we are happy.”
Olympiacos grabbed its sixth win in seven games as they downed their bitter rivals Panathinaikos 77-69 in Piraeus.
The Reds won both games against Panathinaikos, giving it the tie-break advantage if needed. Ioannis Papapetrou led the winners with 13 points as they improved to 11-5, while Panathinaikos dropped to 9-7.
“This is a very big win for us, because every EuroLeague win is very important and also because we beat our great opponent Panathinaikos,” said Olympiacos coach Ioannis Safaropoulos. “It is a win that gives us good momentum and for sure, it is very important that we beat Panathinaikos one more time.”
Mike James paced Panathinaikos with a game-high 24 points.
Pushed to the limit on their homecourt, Fenerbahce got a big three-pointer in the final minute from James Nunnally to finally repel last-place EA7 Milano 86-79.
Fenerbahce improved to 10-6 as they continue to keep the pace up at the top, while Milan, playing without top scorer Rakim Sanders, lost its ninth straight and is now 4-12.
Nunnally led the winners with 19 points and five assists.
Crvena Zvezda eased to a third straight EuroLeague win as they beat a rather woeful Zalgiris side 77-61 in Kaunas.
The Serbian champs’ improved their record to 8-8 and a tie for seventh place in the standings. Zalgiris lost its third straight home game in falling to 6-10.
Ognjen Kuzmic scored all of his 8 points in a 14-2 first-quarter run that put Zvezda in control early and Zalgiris never seemed to recover.
Marko Simonovic had 16 points to lead Red Star.