Game Center: It's Barca, Efes for the title!
After one of the most exciting nights of semifinals in Final Four history, the 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game will pit FC Barcelona against Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Friday's first semifinal was a thriller that went down to the last seconds in which Efes outlasted CSKA Moscow 86-89 at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, in what was a rematch of the 2019 championship game. Then Barcelona edged AX Armani Exchange Milan 84-82 on Cory Higgins's game-winning jumper in the final second.
CSKA Moscow 86-89 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Anadolu Efes Istanbul advanced to its second straight Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game after dismissing outgoing champion CSKA Moscow 86-89 in the first semifinal of the 2021 Final Four at Lanxess Arena in Cologne Germany. Efes, which lost to CSKA in the 2019 final, will face the winner of Friday's second semifinal between FC Barcelona and AX Armani Exchange Milan in the championship game on Sunday. CSKA scored the game's first basket, but never led again as Efes opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter, led 37-39 at halftime and opened the third quarter with a 2-11 run. However, Iffe Lundberg sparked a 10-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and gave CSKA hope. The game came down to the closing seconds and Will Clyburn missed a go-ahead three, which allowed Efes to hold on. Vasilije Micic led the Efes attack with 25 points and 6 assists before fouling out. Sertac Sanli also shined with 19 points and 8 rebounds, Rodrigue Beaubois added 15 points, Shane Larkin 11 and Krunoslav Simon 10. For CSKA, which saw its hopes of defending the EuroLeague crown for the first time come to an end, Clyburn scored 26, Daniel Hackett had 11 of his 17 in the fourth quarter, Iffe Lundberg netted 15 and Toko Shengelia paired 10 points with 7 rebounds.
FC Barcelona 84-82 AX Armani Exchange Milan
Cory Higgins made the game-winning jumper with 0.8 seconds remaining to lift FC Barcelona to its first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game in more than a decade. Barcelona eked out a thrilling 84-82 semifinal triumph over AX Armani Exchange Milan on Friday night at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany. The victory brought Barcelona within one win of its third EuroLeague crown and set up a date with Anadolu Efes Istanbul in Sunday's championship game. Barcelona fought back from an 8-point third-quarter deficit and survived a fourth quarter that featured three lead changes and was tied entering the final minute. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 21 points, Nick Calathes tallied 17 points and 6 assists before leaving with an ankle injury. Higgins finished with 11 points and Pau Gasol scored 10 points for Barcelona, which last played in the championship game in 2010 when it won its second EuroLeague crown. Kevin Punter paced Milan with 23 points, Vladimir Micov scored 14, Shavon Shields 13 and Sergio Rodriguez 11.