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EuroLeague Round 22 (Day 1): UNICS stuns FC Barcelona; Real Madrid blows past ALBA Berlin

UNICS Kazan stunned FC Barcelona and achieved its first victory ever over the Catalans by prevailing 70-64 at home. Despite not playing in the last three weeks, the Russian club got past the Spanish powerhouse with Lorenzo Brown scoring 22 points and John Brown adding 20 points and seven steals.

The hosts trailed 17-24 in the middle of the second quarter; however, they got a six-point lead at the end of the third (54-48) to maintain the lead until the end thanks to their incredible defense. Barcelona for its part welcomed back Nick Calathes but did not have the services of Nikola Mirotic in dropping its third game in the last four for a 17-5 record.

UNICS improved to 12-7 and climbed to fourth place, adding its fourth win in the last five games. Last time, Kazan lost a game was against FC Barcelona on round 17, where famously wasted a 15-point lead and losing in overtime in Spain.

Fenerbahce came back from a 17-point deficit to get a 73-67 victory over Zalgiris Kaunas at Ulker Sports and Event Hall. The hosts trailed for 37 minutes before getting the upper hand in the affair, as they capped  their rally with a 14-2 run in the last four minutes.

Marko Guduric led the way with 19 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals in his best performance of the season. Shemus Hazel followed him with 13 points—all of them in the second half —, while Achille Polonara had an all-around performance with 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Fener improved to 9-10 with its sixth win in the last seven games, while Zalgiris dropped to 3-15 with another heartbreaking loss. AS Monaco prevailed over Zenit St. Petersburg (77-86) to achieve its fourth consecutive victory in EuroLeague.

Mike James led the way with 21 points and 5 assists, Dwayne Bacon added 20 points and Donatas Motiejunas posted 16 points and 8 rebounds to lead the way for the winning side, with Monaco improving to 9-11.

Zenit, who was coming from a big win over league rivals CSKA Moscow in VTB League, could not overcome the absences of Arturas Gudaitis and Conner Frankamp and fell to 12-7.

Real Madrid showed its superiority against ALBA Berlin, claiming a 74-89 victory in the German capital. The ‘Whites’ held several double-digit leads during the first half, but ALBA cut the lead to four (46-50) in the third quarter, before the Spanish giants make another run, sealing the win in comfortable fashion.

Thomas Heurtel led the winning side with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Vincent Poirier scored 13, Guerschon Yabusele added 12 and Trey Thompkins had 10. ALBA’s veteran guard Maodo Lo led all scorers with 21 points, as the German champions dropped to 6-13. Madrid remained atop of the standings with a 16-3 record.

Maccabi Tel Aviv put an end to its eight-game losing streak blowing past convincingly over Olympiacos Piraeus with 84-69. The Israeli club outperformed the “Reds” in the paint thanks to Ante Zizic’s 23 points. Neither team could pull away until a 15-4 Maccabi run to lead by 11 points (60-49) in the third quarter.

Olympiacos dropped its second consecutive game in EuroLeague, having a 3-7 record in the road. Maccabi won its first since Nov.10, when they prevailed over AS Monaco. The Israelis are at 8-11 after the end of round 22.

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