Euroleague: Baskonia claims final ticket to playoffs

Euroleague: Baskonia claims final ticket to playoffs

Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz claimed the eighth and final ticket to the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague playoffs with a Thursday night victory over ninth-placed Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv.

Baskonia clinched a playoff berth by downing Maccabi 83-72 in front of over 13,800 fans at Fernando Buesa Arena. Baskonia improved to 16-13 in the standings while Maccabi dropped to 13-16 and will miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Johannes Voigtmann led the winners with 14 points and Patricio Garino added 11. Norris Cole and Jonah Bolden fueled a 2-12 run that rallied Maccabi back from a double-digit deficit to tie the game at 53-53 late in the third quarter. However Garino had the game's next 7 points, including back-to-back dunks. Vincent Poirier and Voigtmann kept scoring fluently as Baskonia boosted its margin to 73-64 with less than three minutes left and cruised to a historic win.

Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul controlled the final third of the game to defeat Khimki Moscow Region 64-73 at Arena Mytishchi. With the score tied 52-52 late in the third quarter, the champs went on a 5-17 tear during which Kostas Sloukas scored 6 points and delivered an assist to give his team control for good. Second-placed Fenerbahce improved to 21-8, while Khimki fell to 16-13.

Brad Wanamaker led the Fenerbahce attack with 14 points and Nicolo Melli posted 12 points and 10 for his first double-double since Round 2. Fenerbahce, which was without leading scorer Jan Vesely, outrebounded Khimki 28-38. Alexey Shved scored 19 points and delivered 8 assists to lead Khimki; his first basket of the game gave him the EuroLeague record for points scored in a single season, which stood at 628 by game's end.

FC Barcelona Lassa delivered a record-breaking performance to gain a thumping 83-107 victory over Anadolu Efes Istanbul, with the Spanish team hitting 19 three-pointers to set a new club record and tie the highest mark ever recorded in the competition. The points tally also equaled Barcelona’s best in the EuroLeague, with the biggest contribution coming through 20 points from Thomas Heurtel. Victor Claver and Pau Ribas both made 4-of-4 triples in their respective totals of 16 and 12 points.

Efes also had a productive night from long-range, making 12-of-28 attempts from beyond the arc, led by 19 points from Brock Motum and 17 from Sonny Weems. Last-placed Efes fell to its eighth straight defeat and a 6-23 record, while Barcelona improved to 10-19 with its third win in five games.

EA7 Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan snapped its three-game losing streak by rallying in the fourth quarter for 78-83 road win over Brose Bamberg. The two teams traded leads throughout the night and neither side held a double-digit lead at any point in the game. It was Milan who delivered the final blow with Dairis Bertnas hitting a pair of triples in a 7-19 fourth-quarter run that turned a 6-point deficit into a 6-point lead, which Milan never relinquished.

Vladimir Micov led Milan’s balanced offense with 14 points and Amath M’Baye scored 13 for Milan, which improved to 10-19 on the season. Daniel Hackett scored 17 points in Brose’s final home game as the team dropped to 11-18.

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