Historic Friday night: crazy comebacks and wasted leads

2022-11-05 12:20

ALBA and Olympiacos wasted their largest leads, while Zalgiris registered their biggest comeback win.

Credit: ZUMAPRESS.com-Scanpix, Erikas OvĨarenko/BNS
Credit ZUMAPRESS.com-Scanpix, Erikas OvĨarenko/BNS

Friday night was packed with exciting action throughout Europe which capped off a EuroLeague Round 6.

It was the night when miracles came to reality, while three double-digit comebacks showed why EuroLeague is never easy.

The basketball show started in Zalgirio Arena, where Zalgiris Kaunas got their third consecutive win at home this season.

Player of the Game
Edgaras  Ulanovas
EFF
23
Edgaras Ulanovas
Points 21
Accuracy 6-7
Rebounds 3
Assists 0

Kazys Maksvytis' men erased a 20-point deficit to defeat ALBA Berlin marking the largest comeback in the club's history (since play-by-play was introduced in 2007), per Darius Garuolis.

Biggest Zalgiris' comebacks:

Rank Deficit Opponent Season Stage
1 -20 ALBA Berlin 2022-23 Regular season
2 -18 Prokom Trefl Sopot 2007-08 Regular season
3 -17 Nizhny Novgorod 2014-15 Regular season
4 -16 Olympiacos Piraeus 2017-18 Regular season
5 -15 Olympiacos Piraeus 2017-18 Playoffs
6 -15 Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 2019-20 Regular season

Zalgiris were down 23-43 in the second quarter. Nevertheless, Ignas Brazdeikis, Tyler Cavanaugh, and Lukas Lekavicius fueled a 14-1 run that Rolands Smits capped with a triple to give Zalgiris hope, 37-44, right after halftime. The Lithuanian powerhouse didn't stop in front of a sellout crowd.

Keenan Evans stepped up hitting four triples in a row and Zalgiris tied the game at 69 with 5 minutes to go. Both teams were trading buckets but Ignas Brazdeikis and Edgaras Ulanovas spoke the last words with Zalgiris leading 85-76 with 1:04 to play.

Ulanovas had 21 points and Evans added 15 on five second-half three-pointers that made a comeback win possible.

That was also the largest wasted lead by ALBA Berlin since 2007.

Largest wasted leads by ALBA:

Rank Wasted lead Opponent Season Stage
1 20 Zalgiris Kaunas 2022-23 Regular season
2 19 Real Madrid 2008-09 Top 16
3-4 18 UNICS Kazan 2021-22 Regular season
3-4 18 Valencia Basket 2020-21 Regular season
5 17 Baskonia Vitoria 2019-20 Regular season

Olympiacos vs. Valencia

One hour later, Olympiacos Piraeus wasted a 16-point (53-37) lead against Valencia Basket and saw the four-time EuroCup winners get away with a rather unexpected win from the Peace and Friendship Stadium.

Valencia won a game in which their only other lead was in the first minute of the match (2-3).

The Spaniards took the W after Chris Jones' 3 free throws with 3.9 seconds left on the clock. Olympiacos had a final possession to try and win the game, but James Webb stuffed Alec Peters at the rim to preserve Valencia's victory.

Georgios Bartzokas and Olympiacos players unleashed after the final whistle as they didn't get the foul they wanted.

Jones finished with 17 points and 7 assists. He was assisted by the big men duo of Bojan Dubljevic and Kyle Alexander, who had 17 and 10 points, respectively. 

16-point advantage was the largest wasted lead by Olympiacos in EuroLeague since 2007.

Largest wasted leads by Olympiacos:

Rank Wasted lead Opponent Season Stage
1-4 16 Valencia Basket 2022-23 Regular season
1-4 16 Real Madrid 2021-22 Regular season
1-4 16 Zalgiris Kaunas 2017-18 Regular season
1-4 16 Galatasaray Istanbul 2016-17 Regular season
5-7 15 Anadolu Efes Istanbul 2020-21 Regular season
5-7 15 Crvena Zvezda Belgrade 2019-20 Regular season
5-7 15 Zalgiris Kaunas 2017-18 Playoffs

Meanwhile, Valencia tied for their third-biggest recovery in the EuroLeague game.

Biggest Valencia's comebacks:

Rank Deficit Opponent Season Stage
1 -18 ALBA Berlin 2020-21 Regular season
2 -17 Unicaja Malaga 2017-18 Regular season
3-4 -16 Khimki Moscow Region 2019-20 Regular season
3-4 -16 Olympiacos Piraeus 2022-23 Regular season

Barcelona vs. Fenerbahce

EuroLeague was one point away from another monster comeback in the central game of Round 6.

FC Barcelona had the game under control, 60-44, late in the third period, but Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul rallied back and even had the last possession to tie the game.

The Turkish squad was trailing 81-78 with 10 seconds to go but Johnathan Motley decided to go for a two-point basket instead of trying the three. That meant Barca could celebrate besting the last unbeaten team in the 2022-23 EuroLeague.

If Fenerbahce could have pulled out an upset at Palau Blaugrana, it would mark the second-biggest comeback win.

Biggest Fenerbahce's comebacks:

Rank Deficit Opponent Season Stage
1 -17 Zalgiris Kaunas 2021-22 Regular season
2-4 -16 Zalgiris Kaunas 2018-19 Regular season
2-4 -16 Chorale Roanne 2007-08 Regular season
2-4 -16 Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens 2016-17 Playoffs

Biggest EuroLeague comebacks (since 2007)

Rank Deficit Team Opponent Season Stage
1 -28 Asseco Prokom Gdynia Montepaschi Siena 2012-13 Regular season
2 -26 Brose Bamberg FC Barcelona Lassa 2017-18 Regular season
3 -25 Emporio Armani Milan Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul 2016-17 Regular season
4 -23 Partizan Belgrade AJ Milano 2008-09 Regular season
5 -22 AS Monaco CSKA Moscow 2021-22 Regular season



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