BELGRADE (Reuters) - Red Star Belgrade produced their best Euroleague display of the season by beating holders Maccabi Tel Aviv 89-76 on Thursday while six-times winners CSKA Moscow ground out an 81-74 victory at Laboral Kutxa Vitoria.
Barcelona triumphed 81-77 at Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce Istanbul steamrolled to a 92-79 home win over Russians Nizhny Novgorod after all 12 players scored for the Turkish side.
Having netted just one three-pointer from 33 attempts in their previous two games, Red Star nailed 13 from 29 against Maccabi as American playmaker Marcus Williams and guard Charles Jenkins finally found their range.
Maccabi seemed to have turned the tide after a 22-7 run gave them a 65-57 lead early in the fourth quarter but Red Star came storming back to win the final period 35-17.
Livewire Williams claimed 17 points and Jenkins added 16 while towering center Boban Marjanovic again led the Serbian side with 19 points and 17 rebounds.
“I have to congratulate Red Star for an impressive fourth quarter and a deserved win in a great atmosphere generated by the home fans,” Maccabi coach Guy Goodes told a news conference.
“We missed a lot of open three-point shots and couldn’t contain Marjanovic but we always knew it was going to be a tough match in the Belgrade Arena.”
Red Star coach Dejan Radonjic heaped praise on his battling outfit.
“We are delighted to have treated our fans to such a splendid win against the defending European champions,” he said.
“I want to thank the supporters for lifting us at crunch time. The players also showed great character when the match seemed to be slipping away from us and in the end it was a morale-boosting performance.”
Having suffered their first home defeat this season when they lost to Fenerbahce last week, CSKA overcame a 12-point first-quarter deficit against Vitoria after a balanced team effort canceled out a fine individual show by home guard Darius Adams.
The American poured in a season-high 31 points but the Basque outfit were undone by CSKA’s deep roster. Vitaly Fridzon claimed 13 points and Milos Teodosic and Nando De Colo picked up 11 apiece.
Forward Justin Doellman (21 points) and the Euroleague’s all-time leading scorer Juan Carlos Navarro (17) led a Barcelona comeback at Panathinaikos while Nemanja Bjelica amassed 16 points and seven rebounds for victorious Fenerbahce.
Editing by Tony Jimenez