Monaco stays alive in French finals
AS Monaco extended the best-of-five French League finals with an emphatic 97-62 Game 3 blowout of LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Thursday night. After losing the first two games on the road, Monaco got back in the series with the win. Dee Bost dominated with 23 points, Elmedin Kikanovic chipped in 13 points, Gerald Robinson and Paul Lacombe scored 12 points apiece and Yakuba Ouattara added 11. Eric Buckner scored twice in an early 11-1 Monaco run to take a 14-5 lead. Mantas Kalnietis and Amine Noua helped ASVEL close the gap to 22-17 after 10 minutes. The hosts scored the first 5 points of the second quarter to take a double-digit lead through Buckner. ASVEL scored the next 6 points to get back in the game at 27-23, however, Bost drained a pair of triples and 2 free throws as Monaco reeled off 12 unanswered points to take control. Robinson heated up as the lead reached 20. Kikanovic boosted the margin to 52-30 at the break. ASVEL never got closer than 20 the rest of the way. Miro Bilan led ASVEL with 14 points and Noua added 12.
Italy: Sassari forces Game 7 for the crown
Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari forced a winner-take-all Game 7 in the Italian League finals after beating Umana Reyer Venice 87-77 to even the series at 3-3. Jack Cooley powered the winners with 26 points and 11 rebounds, Rashawn Thomas tallied 18 points and 4 assists, Marco Spissu added 11 points and 4 assists and Tyrus McGee scored 10. Sassari outrebounded Venice 44-35, including 16 offensive boards. Mitchell Watt paced Venice with 17 points, Mike Bramos netted 15, Andrea De Nicolao 11 and MarQuez Haynes and Austin Daye 10 each. Watt and Bruno Cerella teamed up to score all the points in a 0-9 Venice run to finish the first quarter with a 19-25 lead. The visitors held on to a slim lead throughout the second quarter, which ended at 34-40. The third quarter alone featured seven lead changes at the end of which an 8-0 Sassari run lifted the hosts to a 63-57 advantage after three quarters. Spissu stretched the margin to double figures early in the fourth quarter and it peaked at 86-70 as Sassari rolled to victory.