Game Center, Playoffs Game 4: Day of destiny!
Another day of destiny is at hand on Friday as all eyes turn to Istanbul for Game 4 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs, which could see the remaining two places secured for next month's Final Four in the same city.
First, at Volkswagen Arena, Real Madrid will aim for a Final Four-clinching victory after having won on the road on Wednesday for a 2-1 series lead over host Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul. In a closely contested series, one notable difference between the teams has been their ability to share the ball, with Madrid averaging 19.7 assists per game against Darussafaka's 12.7. The Spanish team also has the edge in two-point shooting accuracy, converting 54.7% of shots while the hosts have made 51.7%. Darussafaka trails all playoffs teams by averaging just 2.7 steals, two fewer than Madrid's 4.7 per game. As always, rebounding could prove crucial and the two teams have been very closely matched in that category so far, with Madrid averaging 34.7 boards compared to Darussfaka's 33.7.
Later, Abdi Ipekci Arena is the venue as Anadolu Efes Istanbul looks to secure its Final Four passage by making it three wins in a row over Olympiacos Piraeus. It is likely to be a low-scoring contest, with Efes averaging just 69.7 points per game in the series compared to Olympiacos's 72.7. The visitors will look to prevail by controlling the boards after having outrebounded Efes by 42.3 to 34.0, on average, so far. Another area of dominance for Olympiacos has been three-point shooting, with the Greeks converting 39.5% of their long-range strikes while Efes has only managed 23.7%. But the Turkish team is taking much better care of the ball, averaging just 8.3 turnovers per game to 14.0 for Olympiacos. Efes is getting additional chances to score through its ability to steal the ball, too, averaging 8.0 thefts per game compared to 5.0 by Olympiacos.
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