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Asvel - PAOK: 70-56


ASVEL sealed their spot in the Basketball Champions League Play-Offs by recording their eighth consecutive victory in the competition on Wednesday night.

The French club beat visitors PAOK, 70-56, to go top of Group C. DeMarcus Nelson had 15 points and 9 rebounds to lead the way.

"PAOK is a very, very physical team," Nelson said. "And they're a really good team. This was not an easy game for us. They created a lot of problems for us with their inside play, with their inside-outside play with their perimeter shooting. So we had to really make a lot of adjustments."

ASVEL took the lead for good in the first half but didn't put away their opponents until the fourth quarter when they outscored PAOK, 17-9.

"After the break at Christmas, you're always worried that your team will come out without any rhythm," ASVEL coach JD Jackson said. "It wasn't the case tonight. We had good rhythm, we were just a little sloppy. Far too many turnovers and offensive rebounds (for PAOK) which bothered me."

Keith Clanton grabbed most of them and finished with 9 offensive boards. He had 11 points and 19 rebounds.

Jackson was pleased overall.

"We were intense," he said. "We played with a lot of desire and in the end, that paid off. So I'm actually very happy with the win."

The Greeks, who went into the contest in fifth place, dropped to 5-6 with three games remaining. The top four sides in each of the five groups will progress to the next stage of the competition along with the four best fifth-placed teams.

With three rounds remaining, PAOK have their backs to the wall.

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