A clutch Sergio Rodriguez three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left gave Real Madrid a 75-74 win over Zalgiris Kaunas in the Spanish capital.
Nikola Mirotic led the Whites with 17 points with Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez adding 10 as Madrid came back from 10 points down to go 3-0 in Group E.
“We have to be positive, know that we can do better and we have to think that even though we didn’t play well, we beat Zalgiris – a team playing at a very high level this season,” Mirotic said.
“There is no better way to start the Top 16 than with a 3-0 record. Each game is difficult, but we have to go step by step. This is what we have been doing and things are turning out the right way.”
Zalgiris, who now drop to 1-2 were led by Marko Popovic’s 21 points.
Elsewhere in the group, Anadolu Efes saw-off Alba Berlin 71-62 to record their second straight win in the Top 16.
The Istanbul side moves to 2-1 as they raced away in the third quarter thanks to the constant scoring of Jordan Farmar – and it was he and Dusko Savanovic that led the victors with 15 points each. The German side were led by Deon Thompson, who recorded a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. They drop to 0-3 in the group.
Barcelona got a measure of revenge for last year’s loss in the semi-finals of the Final Four with a 76-68 win over Olympiacos at the Palau Blaugrana.
Ante Tomic paced Barcelona with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Pete Mickael posted 12 points and four blocked shots and Marcelinho Huertas, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Victor Sada netted 10 each. There was a cause for concern though as Juan Carlos Navarro was forced to leave the game in the third quarter due to injury.
For the reigning Euroleague champions, Olympiacos go to 1-2 in Group F. They were led by Georgios Printezis’ 14 points, but he received little help as Vassilis Spanoulis was held to a season-low nine points.
Barcelona improve to 2-1 and have a share of third.BC Khimki suffered its first loss of the Euroleague season as Montepaschi Siena’s great Euroleague season continues. The Italians beat the Russians 82-76.
Leading MVP candidate Bobby Brown led Siena, who move to 3-0 with 20 points. Khimki were fronted by KC Rivers’ 13.