Panathinaikos successfully defends Greek crown
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens successfully defended its Greek crown by seeing off archrival Olympiacos Piraeus 84-70 in the fifth and deciding game of the best-of-five Greek League finals. Mike James scored 18 points off the bench and Chris Singleton hauled in 17 rebounds to lead the Greens to their 36th league championship. Nikos Pappas added 13 points for the winners, Matt Lojeski scored 12 and James Gist 11. Jamel McLean posted 16 points and 7 rebounds for Olympiacos, Georgios Printezis and Brian Roberts netted 13 points apiece and Vassilis Spanoulis 11.
Gist scored twice in a 10-0 run that gave the Greens an early 10-4 lead, but back-to-back threes by Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou ignited a 0-9 Olympiacos response to surge ahead. After Nick Calathes pushed Panathinaikos in front, free throws by Georgios Bogris left the Reds with a 14-15 edge after 10 minutes. The back and forth continued early in the second quarter. After a three-point play by Gist put the hosts up 24-22, McLean and Spanoulis led a 1-8 Olympiacos run. Panathinaikos responded with 6 straight points, but a Roberts triple and McLean free throws left the visitors with a 31-35 halftime advantage. Lojeski and Singleton heated up in the third quarter as Panathinaikos grabbed a 42-39 edge. Pappas came off the bench to score twice and give the hosts the game's first double-digit lead, 57-47. Spanoulis and James traded threes to make it 60-50 with 10 minutes to go. Pappas and James teamed up for an 8-0 Panathinaikos run early in the fourth quarter that essentially put the game out of reach at 68-52. K.C. Rivers added a triple to stretch the lead to 17 midway through the fourth and the Greens cruised the rest of the way en route to the title.
Real Madrid takes 2-1 edge in Spanish finals
Real Madrid regained the home-court advantage in the best-of-five Spanish League finals in a 78-83 road win on Sunday night at Fernando Buesa Arena, home of the 2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four. Los Blancos trailed by as many as 9 in the second half, but rallied behind Luka Doncic and Jaycee Carroll to take charge, win the game and take a 2-1 series lead. Doncic starred with 20 points and 9 rebounds and Carroll scored 15 points in 16 minutes to lead the winners. Trey Thompkins contributed 12 points for the visitors. Rodrigue Beaubois led Baskonia with 17 points, Matt Janning added 12, Vincent Poirier posted 11 points and 7 rebounds and Luca Vildoza and Toko Shengelia had 10 points each.
Baskonia kept Madrid scoreless for the first three minutes of the game, while Poirier, with a pair of dunks and 6 points, lifted the hosts to an 8-0 start. Carroll got Madrid going and later Thompkins added a pair of triples to close the gap to 19-18. Janning scored 5 points to give Baskonia a 24-20 edge after 10 minutes. Doncic led a 0-8 Madrid run, which Rudy Fernandez capped with a triple that gave the visitors their first lead, 28-30. Vildoza scored the next 5 points to put Baskonia back in front. The lead changed hands twice more before the break, with a Beaubois triple giving Baskonia a 42-40 halftime advantage. Beaubois opened the second half with back-to-back threes and Shengelia also struck from downtown to make it 51-42. Doncic scored the game's next 8 points to bring Los Blancos back. Rudy Fernandez soon tied the score with a three-pointer and Thompkins connected from downtown to put his team ahead 58-61. Johannes Voigtmann also scored from downtown to bring Baskonia within 63-65 through three quarters. Janning started the fourth quarter with a triple that lifted the hosts back in front and later added a jumper that capped a 9-0 Baskonia run. Carroll responded with 5 straight points and before long sank a three that put the visitors up 76-77. The Madrid defense held Baskonia without a basket for the final three and a half minutes of the game and free throws by Doncic and a Felipe Reyes slam put the game on ice.