Fenerbahce recovered from a woeful third quarter to prevail against Olympiacos in Istanbul.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a career-high 27 points including vital buckets late in the fourth as Fenerbahce were 67-64 victors over Olympiacos. However, the Reds secured the head-to-head tiebreaker due to their nine-point win in Piraeus earlier in the season.
The win improved fourth-place Fenerbahce’s record to 15-8, while Olympiacos dropped to the third place with a 16-7 mark. The hosts enjoyed a 40-34 lead at the half but Olympiacos hit back to hold Fenerbahce to just seven points in the third to take a 56-47 cushion heading into the final period.
But Fenerbahce fought back in an intense fourth quarter to hold the Reds to eight points while hitting 20 of their own to secure the win.
“The third quarter, and it is not first the time, we started very lazy, without moving the ball on offence, including assisting directly to them for an easy fast break layup,” explained Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic.
“They also scored some baskets in the last seconds of possessions, which happens in basketball, so we tried to talk to players, tell them it is not over, we have to continue to play and continue to fight and don’t need to change a lot of things in our game. We played the last quarter absolutely differently, with absolutely different wish and approach, and that is why we won.”
CSKA Moscow beat a short-handed Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv side 93-81 in the Russian capital as they keep up the pace with Real Madrid at the top of the EuroLeague.
Nando De Colo starred with a season-high 29 points as CSKA improved to 17-6. Maccabi, which was without leading scorer Andrew Goudelock due to injury, dropped its seventh straight road game to fall to 8-15.
“We played a pretty good game. We relaxed too much in the second quarter, but we won the game, so that is the most important thing right now. It is difficult to win every game. Even though they missed players, they kept playing till the end, so we needed to stay focused. And now we must keep working.”
Sylven Landesberg paced Maccabi with a season-high 19 points off the bench.
Barcelona snapped a four-game losing streak by downing EA7 Milano 83-78 on the road.
The Catalan side broke the game open with a 22-2 run that bridged the second and third quarter to turn a 45-30 deficit into a 52-47 advantage. It was a run that rocked Milan and they never really recovered.
Ante Tomic led the winners with 19 points on 9/12 two-point shooting to go along with nine rebounds. Petteri Koponen added 16 points for the winners.
“Every game is important, especially away from home,” Tomic said. “It was a tough game as we expected. It is not easy to play here against Milan, after all, they won the Italian Cup a few days ago and were playing with loads of confidence, but in the end, we won and that is the most important thing.”
Crvena Zvezda pulled away in the second quarter to breeze past Galatasaray 77-58 in Belgrade and end their two-game skid.
After losing two straight games before the bye week, the pressure was on Red Star to solidify its position in the top half of the standings, and the Serbian champs certainly delivered as Ognjen Kuzmic – who received his January monthly MVP award before tip-off – produced another big performance with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Vladimir Micov led Galatasaray with 11 points.