Huge third quarter lifts Madrid over Baskonia
Real Madrid evened the Spanish League finals series with 98-91 win in Game 2. Teams were deadlocked at halftime, but Madrid used a huge third quarter to open a 20-point lead and cruise to victory. Both teams had it going offensively from the start and traded blows throughout the first half. Back-to-back triples from Matt Janning sparked Baskonia’s run which opened 17-27 lead after only 7 minutes, but Madrid halved the deficit before the end of the quarter with Trey Thompkins in the main role, and Thompkins hit a three-pointer that gave Madrid 41-40 lead midway through the second stanza. Things were tied at 52-52 in at the break, but it was all Madrid in the third quarter. Fabien Causeur and Luka Doncic started the spurt, before Thompkins and Facundo Campazzo each hit a triple to open the hosts’ first double-digit lead of the night, 66-54. Madrid did not stop there, as Gustavo Ayon and Felipe Reyes initiated a run that gave it 81-60 margin late in the third quarter, and there was no coming back for Baskonia which never came closer than the final margin. Thompkins scored 16 points in 17 minutes. Jaycee Carroll also had 16 points, and Ayon collected 14 points plus 10 rebounds. Luka Doncic and Felipe Reys added 11 points apiece in the victory. Janning netted 18 points on 6-for-6 from three-point range for Baskonia, while Ilimane Diop had 16 points in defeat.
Milan wins Italian League title
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan returned to the Italian throne on Friday night. In Game 6 of the Italian League playoff finals, Milan dominated to defeated Dolomiti Energia Trento 71-96 to claim the series 4-2 and become the Italian champion for the 28th time in club history. This is also third league title in the last five years for Milan which took control of this game from the start. Vladimir Micov and Mindaugas Kuzminskas hit triples and Arturas Gudaitis had a pair of dunks in a 1-10 first-quarter run that helped Milan to a 20-25 lead after 10 minutes, before a pair of triples from Dairis Bertans, one from Andrew Goudelock, and baskets from Gudaitis and Curtis Jerrells opened 23-42 margin early in the second quarter. The visitors went into halftime with a 15-point lead, and never relinquished it. Trento got within 50-57 midway through the third, but Milan entered the final period with a 56-66 lead, before Goudelock, Bertans and Kuzminskas each hit once from downtown in the first 2 minutes of the fourth, restoring a 15-point lead and Milan cruised the rest of the way. Milan had a balanced attack with six scorers in double figures. Goudelock finished with 21 points, Kuzminskas and Bertans netted 15 apiece, and Gudaitis collected 14 points and 9 rebounds. Dominique Sutton scored 15 for Trento, and Shavon Shields and Toto Forray each scored 14 in the losing effort.
Le Mans ties French finals at 1-1
French League best-of-five final series is tied at 1-1 after Le Mans Sarthe held of AS Monaco Basket 77-87 in Game 2 on Friday. Le Mans led from start to finish, building a 10-point lead in the first half. Monaco rallied for the first time in the game at the start of the second quarter, but Wilfred Yeguete and Youssoupha Fall extended the margin to 26-37. The hosts got within 41-46 at halftime and cut the lead to a single point with baskets from D.J. Cooper and Gerald Robinson in the third, but Romeo Travis sparked another run that kept Le Mans in control. Monaco finally got within 70-71 early in the fourth, but with 7 minutes to go, Fall and Travis fueled a 0-8 run as visitors pulled away for good. Mykal Riley was top scorer in victory with 21 points, and Justin Cobs scored 18 with 6 assists. Fall amassed 16p points and 12 rebounds, while Travis scored 12 for Le Mans. Emeldin Kikanovic scored 19 points for Monaco, and Paul Lacombe scored 15 in defeat.