Shane Larkin made another piece of history in Round 20 with his performance in Anadolu Efes Istanbul’s victory making him the first ever player to win the MVP of the Round honor in three consecutive rounds. In a 101-74 home win over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, Larkin shined with 29 points on 3-for-4 two-point shooting, 6-for-9 from three-point range and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. He also dished a game-high 7 assists, pulled down 6 rebounds, had 1 steal and drew 7 fouls for a performance index rating of 45, which is the season’s second-best after his own 53. The victory sent Efes two wins clear atop the standings after 20 games. Mike James of CSKA Moscow had the second highest PIR, 34. In a home victory over KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, James netted 33 points and had 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 8 drawn fouls. The next-best performance belongs to Alexey Shved of Khimki Moscow Region, who finished with 21 points, a career-high 13 assists and 5 rebounds for an index rating of 31 in a win over Real Madrid. Baskonia’s Youssoupha Fall had a career night with a PIR 30, posting 19 points and 10 rebounds in the loss against CSKA. Rounding out the list of top performers are Othello Hunter of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and Real’s Jordan Mickey, each with a 29 index rating. Hunter had 14 points plus 14 rebounds in a win over AX Armani Exchange Milan, while Mickey posted 20 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss against Khimki.
Individual highs: Paul Biligha of AX Armani Exchange Milan, 4 blocks
James was this round’s top scorer with 33 points against Baskonia. He has also climbed to first place in the Regular Season standings, averaging 21.5 points per game. Hunter led all rebounders by pulling down 14 against Milan. Nikola Milutinov of Olympiacos Piraeus leads the overall rebounding list at 8.5 boards per game. Shved led Round 20 in assists by dishing 13 against Real, a new personal-best. Nick Calathes of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, who had 11 this week, leads the assists table at 9.5 per night. Janis Timma of Khimki, Edy Tavares of Real, Brandon Davies of FC Barcelona, Yovel Zoosman of Maccabi, Jordan Loyd of Valencia Basket, Luke Sikma of ALBA Berlin, Kostas Papanikolaou of Olympiacos, Wesley Johnson of Panathinaikos, Thomas Walkup of Zalgiris and his teammate Nigel Hayes each collected 3 steals in Round 20. Pierria Henry of Baskonia leads the steals’standings at 1.7 per night. Paul Biligha of Milan had 4 blocks against Maccabi. Tavares is the best shot blocker in the competition at 2.0 per game. Eight players – Calathes, Shved, Hunter, Fall, Sikma, Kostas Sloukas of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, Nikola Mirotic of Barcelona and Greg Monroe of FC Bayern Munich – registered double-doubles in this round.