Spain: Carroll’s triple lifts Real to 2-0
Real Madrid completed an improbable rally with Jaycee Carroll knocking down a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left to lift his team to an 81-80 win and a 2-0 series lead over FC Barcelona Lassa in the Spanish League finals. Barcelona held a 12-point margin in the third quarter and was up by 65-74 after a three-pointer from Kevin Pangos with under 3 minutes remaining. However, a three-pointer from Llull and a pair of threes from Anthony Randolph got Real to 77-79 with 19 seconds left. Victor Claver split free throws on one end, and Llull split a pair with 9 seconds left, missing his second attempt. But Rudy Fernandez picked up the offensive rebound, and the ball eventually got to Carroll who calmly nailed a game-winning triple. Carroll finished with 25 points in 22 minutes, making 5-of-7 three-point shots for the night. Llull scored 13, and Walter Tavares collected 11 points and 9 rebounds in a victory. Thomas Heurtel scored 30 points for Barcelona, while Claver and Pierre Oriola scored 12 apiece in a losing effort. With Real needing one more victory to lift the title, Barcelona hosts Game 3 of the series on Wednesday.
Efes inches closer to Turkish crown
Anadolu Efes Istanbul has taken a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Turkish League finals series, downing Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 86-76 on Monday night at Sinan Erdem Dome. Efes is now a win away from winning its first Turkish championship since 2009. Efes led 39-37 at halftime of this contest with Adrien Moerman and Kruno Simon combining to score 28 first-half points for the hosts. When Bryant Dunston strung together 9 points early in the third quarter, Efes opened a double-digit lead, 52-42. But that was just a start of a big run, which Shane Larkin continued by scoring 5 points, and Simon added a three-pointer as Efes scored 16 unanswered points and opened a 63-42 lead late in the third quarter. The lead was as big as 22 points early in the fourth quarter before Fenerbahce cut into the deficit before the final buzzer. Moerman led the way in victory with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Dunston collected 19 points and 7 rebounds, Simon scored 15 points, and Vasilije Micic had 9 points and 9 assists. Kostas Sloukas led Fenerbahce with 22 points. Ali Muhammed had 15 points, and Melih Mahmutoglu netted 12 in a loss. Fenerbahce will host Game 6 on Wednesday.
France: ASVEL holds on to go up 2-0
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne held off AS Monaco 73-67 to take a 2-0 lead in best-of-five French League finals. ASVEL led by as many as 19 points but had to fight for victory as the game went down to the wire. Amine Noua set the tone early and reached 10 points at the start of the second quarter, before a triple from De Marcus Nelson sparked a 9-0 run helped open 34-19 lead midway through the second. ASVEL took 40-24 margin into halftime and held 47-28 after 3 minutes in the third quarter. Monaco got things going through Erick Buckner and Elmedin Kikanovic, and the visitors scored the last 6 points of the third to cut within 53-42. Monaco continued with momentum, and a 0-10 run capped by Lazeric Jones cut the deficit to 59-57. However, Miro Bilan and David Lighty kept ASVEL in front, and a triple from Theo Maledon made it 66-60 with 3 minutes to go, as ASVEL went on to prevail. Maledon paced the winners with 12 points, while Noua and DeMarcus Nelson scored 10 apiece. Buckner had 15 points and Gerland Robinson scored 11 in defeat.
Serbia: Baron beats buzzer for Zvezda’s title
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade has won its fifth consecutive Serbian League title on a Billy Baron’s buzzer-beating driving layup for a thrilling 75-76 win over arch-rival Partizan NIS Belgrade in Game 4 of their best-of-five finals. Baron scored 7 of his game-high 21 points in the final 60 seconds to become a hero and give Zvezda a 3-1 series victory. Partizan led for the majority of the first half, and Aleksej Nikolic hit a triple and Novica Velickovic scored 6 points for Partizan to open 36-22 lead midway through the second quarter. But Baron got hot in the third, knocking down three triples to get Zvezda all the way back, and teams were tied at 52-52 going into the fourth quarter. A three-point play by Michael Ojo put Zvezda up 60-62 with 5 minutes to go, and teams continued trading leads. A driving layup by Ognjen Jaramaz gave the hosts 71-69 in penultimate minute, but Baron tied the game with a minute left, then drove for a layup-plus-foul to make it 73-74 with 31 seconds to go. Alex Renfroe made a floater with 13 seconds on the clock to put Partizan back in front, but Baron took the ball on the last possession, dribbled his way to the rim and made an easy layup as time was expiring for Zvezda to win the crown. Davidovac netted 13 points, and Michael Ojo had 12 points and 7 rebounds in a victory, while Djordje Gagic and Renfroe had 11 apiece in defeat.