Zalgiris Kaunas stunned Real Madrid to snatch the final Euroleague playoff berth on a night of drama as the regular season concluded.

Past winners Maccabi Tel Aviv and David Blatt’s Olympiacos were among those missing out.

On a night when Panathinaikos needed to win to be sure of reaching the playoffs, Nick Calathes went beyond the call of duty in leading his team to a resounding 87-67 victory over Buducnost with the first triple-double in 12 years.

In almost 37 minutes on the floor, Calathes amassed 11 points, 18 assists and 11 rebounds to join the great Nikola Vujcic as the only EuroLeague players this century to post triple-doubles. The milestone was reached on his 10th rebound, a tip-in attempt on the offensive glass, with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter.

“Obviously, it’s an honuor to be next to that guy, to be even considered, for the legend he is as a player and what he accomplished,” Calathes said after the game. “I know I got close a lot in the last couple of years. It feels good to get it, but it feels better to be in the playoffs.”

Calathes had 11 assists, 7 points and 4 rebounds at halftime, and soon started piling up more numbers after the break. His assists kept climbing until he threatened that all-time single-game record. His 18 assists in the end fell just short of the 19 that Stefan Jovic dished for Crvena Zvezda Belgrade on November 12, 2015.

EuroLeague playoffs, quarter-finals

Fenerbahce v Zalgiris Kaunas, CSKA Moscow v Baskonia, Real Madrid v Panathinaikos, Efes Istanbul v FC Barcelona

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