Barcelona won the regular season of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague on Friday after a 73-82 win over Fenerbahce in Istanbul. They secure the first seed going into the playoffs come April 20 as they face the eighth-ranked team which has still to be confirmed. Bayern Munich made history on Thursday as they become the first German side to make the playoffs, Bayern securing the sixth seed with their close 71-70 win over Zalgiris Kaunas.
Marko Guduric and former New York Knicks center Kyle O’Quinn put up big numbers for Fenerbahce on Friday as they scored 19 and 17 respectively, but this was not enough to stop leaders Barcelona from securing the first seed for this season’s playoffs.
Barca, through forward Kyle Kuric’s team-high 16 points dominated the game-winning all but the third quarter on the night, with center Brandon Davies and former Milwaukee Bucks forward Nikola Mirotic adding 13 and 12 respectively. Davies came close to a double-double with nine boards.
This win brings Barca up to 24, following their overtime loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv in their last game. The Turkish side remain fifth, with playoff contention secured but risking home-court advantage.
CSKA Moscow got their advantage with a blowout 97-72 win over Khimki Moscow Region on Friday. CSKA never trailed and took control of the first three quarters with last-placed Khimki rallying for the final quarter.
Johannes Voigtmann and Iffe Lundberg both scored 16 for CSKA, with Voigtmann also grabbing nine boards to help the side as they cruised to 22-10, keeping second seed for the playoffs.
Former 33rd overall pick for the Boston Celtics Jordan Mickey grabbed his team’s high with 16 points and seven rebounds as the side remain at the bottom of the standings.
Third and fourth seeds Anadolu Efes and Olimpia Milano were both taken to overtime on Thursday with number three seed Efes beating Baskonia 111-101, and Milan losing 86-83 to Panathinaikos.
Efes set a club scoring record, improved its record to 22-11 and edged closer to securing home-court advantage in the playoffs. Baskonia, which allowed the most points in its history, saw a four-game losing streak snapped and fell to 18-15 as Shane Larkin scored 30 – 28 of them in the second half. Krunoslav Simon added 21 points, Vasilije Micic tallied 16 points and 5 assists.
Mario Hezonja scored a game-high 17 points and Ben Bentil tallied a career-high 16 points with 6 rebounds for Panathinaikos, as the side trailed 22-42 in the second quarter, but allowed only 24 points in the third and fourth quarters combined and rallied to win in the first period of overtime.
Bayern Munich have claimed a spot in the playoffs, making them the first German side to achieve such a feat in the 21st century. They brought down 11-placed Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday in a game that came down to the final shot.
Bayern forward Vladimir Lucic scored 13 points, including the game-winning freethrows and a block in the final seconds, while center Jalen Reynolds added 12 and Nick Weiler-Babb got 11. Thomas Walkup got 16 for the Lithuanian side but this was not enough as the Germans were up 37-36 at halftime. However, the third and fourth quarter proved crucial as both sides kept close with Bayern depending on Lucic from the charity stripe with the side 67-70 with a minute to go. The Serbian then showed his defensive power to block Joffrey Lauvergne at the death and give Bayern the historic win.
Bayern now hold a 21-13 record as they secure sixth seed for the playoffs.
The final two spots have Real Madrid and Zenit St Petersburg as favourites after both grabbing important wins on Friday. seventh-placed Real beat twelfth-placed Olympiacos 72-63 in a game which they never trailed.
With one game to go, Real took control and Gabriel Deck scored 18 with 7-for-7 made from two-point range while Walter Tavares added 15 with eight rebounds. Sasha Vezenkov netted 22 points as the only double-digit scorer for Olympiacos.
Zenith blew out Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne 87-53 and moved into the eighth seed, tied with Baskonia. A 15-2 run after halftime leading to a 25-6 third-quarter difference was decisive as Zenit amassed a 20-point lead that continued climbing to the finish. Billy Baron and Austin Hollins lead the Russian side with 15 points each. David Lighty, with 12 points, was the only ASVEL player able to get into double figures.