Holders Maccabi show the way for Euroleague big guns

Thu Jan 8, 2015 5:17pm EST
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By Zoran Milosavljevic

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Holders Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Red Star Belgrade 78-67 after an electrifying display and other basketball heavyweights also lived up to their billings in round two of the second group stage of the Euroleague on Thursday.

Real Madrid, winners of a record eight titles in Europe's premier club competition, eased to a 93-78 home triumph against Galatasaray while CSKA Moscow stretched their perfect run to 12 victories by defeating Laboral Kutxa 99-90.

Olympiakos Piraeus, who clinched successive honors in 2012 and 2013, blew away Emporio Armani Milan 81-58.

An athletic Maccabi were held back by plucky Red Star for three quarters before they broke down the visitors in the final quarter, their high-tempo game producing an avalanche of fast breaks and second-chance points.

Forward Brian Randle and towering center Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 31 points between them for Maccabi but it was livewire playmaker Jeremy Pargo who pulled the strings with his ball-handling skills and lethal long-range shooting.

"We struggled a bit in the third quarter but we dominated the boards and produced a lot of energy in the last 10 minutes," coach Guy Goodes told Euroleague television.

Six-times champions CSKA had plenty left in the tank after overpowering Spaniards Laboral Kutxa who were undone by the depth of the home team's roster.

Former NBA forward Sonny Weems claimed a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds, leading a pack of five players who finished with double-scoring digits for the Russian side.   Continued...