Olympiacos rallies past Anadolu Efes to stay on top; Mario Hezonja has career night vs Monaco – EuroLeague Round 23 recap

Olympiacos used another stellar defensive performance and rallied past Anadolu Efes at the sold-out Peace and Friendship Stadium to stay on top of the EuroLeague standings.

Olympiacos limited the two-time, reigning champions to a season-low 70 points and went on to win the game by six (76-70), extending their winning streak to five games.

The “Reds”, who have won seven of their last eight, improved to 16-7 and made another step towards clincing a playoff spot and the home-court advantage.

On the other hand, Anadolu Efes continues to play inconsistently and remained outside of the playoff zone, falling to 11-12 on the table.

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At Salle Gaston Medecin, Real Madrid survived a late thriller vs Monaco (91-95) and shares the top spot with Olympiacos.

The “Whites”, who will miss Rudy Fernandez for a few weeks with injury, needed a career-high 30 points from Mario Hezonja (11/17 shooting, 6/10 from beyond the arc, six rebounds, six assists, PIR of 34) to claim a big road win over the Monegasques, who missed the chance of maintaining a Top-2 push and fell to 14-9, tied with Fenerbahce.

In a game with multiple lead changes and where no team led by more than seven points, Mike James had the chance to tie the game, but instead of shooting the wide-open three, he passed to Jarron Blossomgame, who was not looking for the pass, convinced that James would shoot it. Hence, the resulting turnover helped Real Madrid seal a dramatic win.

At Zalgirio Arena, Partizan triumphed over Zalgiris Kaunas (74-88) and entered the playoff zone, tied with the Lithuanians at 12-11.

The Serbians were in control from start to finish and led by as many as 22 (20-42). Zalgiris attempted a comeback, cutting the deficit to seven (57-64), but Partizan stood tall and claimed a crucial victory, extending their winning streak to three games. On the contrary, Zalgiris has lost three in a row.

At Ulker Sports Arena, Fenerbahce recovered from Tuesday’s blowout loss to Olympiacos (73-93) and dominated ALBA Berlin (101-86) to stay within the Top-4. For its part, ALBA remained at the bottom (6-17) and has lost five in a row.

Α season-high 21 points from Marco Belinelli helped Virtus Bologna escape from Astroballe with a crucial win over ASVEL Villeurbanne (64-77) and keep its playoff chances alive.

In a night where Nando De Colo made history by becoming the all-time scoring leader in European club basketball, Marco Belinelli turned the clock back and led the Italians to their second straight win.

Virtus is one win away from the playoff zone with an 11-12 record, whereas ASVEL dropped to 8-15, tied with Armani Milano and Panathinaikos.

At Fernando Buesa Arena, Baskonia erased a 12-point, early deficit (4-16) and defeated Panathinaikos to get back on track after Tuesday’s road loss to Armani Milano (95-90).

The Basques dominated the “Greens” after the opening quarter and led by as many as 20 (60-40). The visitors attempted a late comeback, but never made it an one-possession game, suffering their second straight loss.

Baskonia improved to 13-10 in the standings and remained sixth, keeping its place in the playoff zone. Meanwhile, Panathinaikos fell to 8-15.

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