Bayern routs ALBA to win German title
FC Bayern Munich is the German League champion and has earned a place in the 2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Bayern defeated the visiting ALBA Berlin 106-85 in the deciding Game 5 of their playoffs series on Saturday night. This is the fourth German title in club history, and first since 2014 for Bayern, which started to pull away early on when Danilo Barthel’s three-point play sparked an 11-2 run that opened first double-digit lead of the game. Reggie Redding ended the first quarter with a triple that made it 32-19, and Bayern kept the margin in double figures. Back-to-back threes from Nihad Dedovic fueled another run, capped by a triple from Alex King which made it 58-36 a minute before halftime. Spencer Butterfield got hot for ALBA at the start of the third, stringing together 10 points, including consecutive three-pointers that cut the deficit to 60-49, but a triple from Stefan Jovic stopped Bayern’s building before Dedovic fueled a run that blew the game wide open. Lead increased to 75-56 with 3 minutes to go, and 86-61 at the end of the third quarter after threes from King and Dedovic. Bayern had no letdowns in the fourth on the way to celebrating winning the championship. Dedovic finished with 19 points, Jared Cunningham scored 16, while Devin Booker contributed with 14. Butterfield scored 29 points for ALBA.
Zalgiris closes in on title with road win
Zalgiris Kaunas is one win away from defending its Lithuanian League title after holding off Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 78-82 in Game 4 of their best-of-seven playoff finals series on Saturday. With a 3-1 series lead in hand, Zalgiris will have first chance to win the title in Game 5 it hosts on Monday. Teams traded leads in the first quarter and early in the second before Rokas Giedraitis hit a triple, and baskets from Martynas Echodas and Loukas Mavrokefalidis helped Rytas open the largest margin of the first half, 36-30. The hosts led 43-39 at halftime but Zalgiris needed only 100 seconds in the third quarter, and a pair of three-pointers from Arturas Milaknis, to jump in front. Zalgiris then took control with a 0-10 run during which Axel Toupane hit a couple of triples to make it 47-57. A three from Paulius Jankunas and a three-point play from Brandon Davies helped the visitors to 48-63 in the penultimate minute of the third quarter. The margin was 11 points going into the fourth quarter, before a three-pointer from Mindaugas Girdziunas and a pair of baskets from Echodas cut the deficit to 59-65. However, Beno Udrih strung together 7 points, including a three-pointer, almost single-handedly restoring a double-digit lead for Zalgiris. Jankunas extended it to 61-74 by hitting a baseline jumper with 4:30 to go. Rytas attempted a comeback and got within 74-78 with 19 seconds to go, but Zalgiris prevailed. Udrih was the only double-digit scorer for Zalgiris with 16 points, while Aaron White, Davies, Jankunas and Milaknis each scored 9. Echodas scored 16, while Girdziunas and Giedraitis had 14 points apiece in defeat.