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Jerusalem, March 31 – Maccabi Tel Aviv achieved an 85-66 home win over Italian champions Armani Milan, while FC Barcelona cruised past Alba Berlin 72-56 in the 32nd round of basketball’s EuroLeague.
Barcelona’s fourth win in a row secured them the home-court advantage in the playoffs. The other two teams that will enjoy the advantage are leaders Olympiacos Piraeus and second-placed Real Madrid, reports Xinhua.
Sertac Sanli devoted 12 points for Barcelona while former Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic had 11. Nikola Kalinic contributed 10 points for Barca. There were no double-digit scorers on Alba Berlin’s side as Yanni Wetzell scored a team-high nine, and Louis Olinde added seven.
Maccabi clinched their sixth consecutive EuroLeague win, close to securing a spot in the eight-team playoffs. Milan, on the other hand, remain with 14 wins from 32 games, losing all chances to qualify for the playoffs.
The first quarter of the game ended 29-21 for the hosts, thanks to points by Roman Sorkin and assists by Lorenzo Brown. Wade Baldwin, Sorkin and Brown dominated the second quarter, helping Maccabi reach halftime with zero turnovers and a 53-36 lead.
Three-pointers by Shabazz Napier cut the gap to 57-50 before the third quarter ended 66-56 for Maccabi. Early in the decisive quarter, the visitors cut the deficit to 66-60, but important points by Jarell Martin and Sorkin secured Maccabi’s win.
Sorkin scored a game-high 18 points for Maccabi, while Brown contributed 17 points and eight assists. Baldwin finished with 15 points. Napier scored a team-high 15 points for Milan.
Elsewhere, Anadolu Efes beat Virtus Bologna 86-67.