Real Madrid ends night at the top, EuroLeague Friday round

Photo: EuroLeague

Real Madrid end the week on top of the EuroLeague podium, after they edged an improving EA7 Milano side 94-89.

The 2015 champions certainly did not have things their own way. They were pushed by a Milano side that enjoyed a 73-69 advantage heading into the final quarter.

Not to be deterred, Real Madrid dug deep in the fourth to hop back into top spot.

“Very difficult win indeed,” Madrid coach Pablo Laso said. “The way we played first three quarters has made the last quarter more brilliant. It was an intense week, since one one week ago we played in Kaunas, Valencia, Bamberg, and today against Milan.

“We had some physical problems. In certain moments we were not calm, on offense and on probably defence. We are team which is capable of finding offensive solutions.”

Sergio Llull was an assist away from a double-double as he led the winners with 20 points.

CSKA Moscow did put pressure on Real though. Playing without Milos Teodosic and Victor Khryapa, they were able to beat Anadolu Efes 80-77 and go top for at least two hours.

The hosts took the lead for good in the second quarter and extended the margin to double figures in the third behind Kyle Hines, Nando De Colo and Dmitry Kulagin.

The visitors rallied in the final two minutes behind Thomas Heurtel, but ran out of time in the end.

“It was very big for us to come back after that devastating loss from Zalgiris,” said Hines, who managed a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead CSKA.

“But that is what we were able to continue to do through this whole entire season, keep bouncing back after losses. We did that tonight. We defended our home court, we held them to 77 points, so it was a good team effort, a good team defence, a good team defence.”

Baskonia returned to winning ways as they comfortably saw off rivals Barcelona 93-79 on the road.

Baskonia improved to 12-8 in the EuroLeague standings and stopped its three-game losing streak with this prestigious road win, while Barcelona dropped to 8-12.

Shane Larkin led the winners with 18 points.

Olympiacos secured their sixth straight EuroLeague home win as they defeated Brose Bamberg 83-77.

Athletic big man Khem Birch was the standout performer for Olympiacos with a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds. Veteran Vassilis Spanoulis led the offence for the Reds with 15 points and six assists as they stay in touch with the top two.

“This was a reaction game from our last game,” Birch said.

“We played terrible last time out and let them score 100 on us, so we had to come out stronger. You can’t let that happen again, so we came out strong and got the W. We’re taking it one game at a time.”

Zalgiris moved themselves into the Playoff picture with a vital 69-66 road win over Darussafaka Dogus.

The Lithuanian champs improved to 8-12 and a share of 10th place, while Darussafaka fell to 10-10 and is in eighth, the final spot that leads to the playoffs.

Kevin Pangos led the winners with 14 points, including a clutch three-pointer with 90 seconds to go that helped keep Darussafaka at bay.