Spain: Barcelona rallies to stay alive
FC Barcelona Lassa survived to live another day in the Spanish League finals, pulling out a thrilling 78-77 Game 3 win over Real Madrid on Wednesday night. Real, which hit 15 triples in this game, still holds a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five series. Two rivals traded blows in the first quarter, and Ante Tomic and Thomas Heurtel helped the hosts open 27-21 advantage, but Trey Thompkins scored 13 points the rest of the half, fueling a 2-18 run in the process, and put Real in front 34-40 at halftime. Three-pointers from Jeffrey Taylor and Anthony Randolph extended it to 38-49, but Barcelona replied with 12 straight points, with Kyle Kuric and Chris Singleton knocking down triples to briefly put Barcelona into the lead. Real quickly restored advantage, and used 6 points from Facundo Campazzo to hold a 63-68 advantage. After Adam Hanga and Thompkins traded triples, Rudy Fernandez and Campazzo each hit from downtown to make it 71-77 with 2:30 to go. However, Kuric answered with a triple, Heurtel hit a floater, before Singleton scored a second-chance runner to put Barcelona up with, and the hosts survived attempts from Sergio Llull and Thompkins in the final 13 seconds to pull out the victory. Heurtel led Barcelona with 21 points, Singleton collected 12 points and 6 rebounds, and Tomic scored 11 in victory. Campazzo and Thompkins each scored 18 points for the visitors.
Bayern closes on German title
FC Bayern Munich is a win away from defending its German League title after holding off ALBA Berlin for 77-82 road win, and taking a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five finals series on Wednesday night. ALBA had a hot start, scoring first 7 points of the game, then with triples from Derrick Walton and Tim Schneider opened 23-12 late in the first quarter. However, Derrick Williams and Petteri Koponen nailed consecutive triples at the start of the second quarter. A second three from Koponen cut it within 31-28, and Devin Booker fueled the visitors’ to a 36-37 lead. After Rokas Giedraitis and Maodo Lo traded two triples apiece, it was ALBA with 46-45 halftime lead, but Bayern took control in the third quarter, and with 6 points from Leon Radosevic opened 52-59 lead. The visitors remained in front and used a three-pointer apiece from Nihad Djedovic and Williams to extend the margin to 61-73. However, ALBA answered with an 11-0 run, which included a three-point play from Luke Sikma and a triple from Niels Giffey, cutting within 72-73. But Booker had a put-back dunk, and Vladimir Lucic hit a corner triple to keep Bayern in front with a minute and a half to go. A three from Franz Wagner got ALBA within 77-78 with 13 seconds on the clock, but Bayern held on. Booker paced Bayern with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Williams scored 12, and Koponen had 11 points in the victory. Wagner and Giedraitis scored 14 apiece for ALBA.
Fenerbahce tops Efes, forces Game 7
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul used a 16-1 run to open the fourth quarter and run away to 85-69 win over the visiting Anadolu Efes Istanbul and tie their Turkish League finals series at 3-3 on Wednesday night. Marko Guduric scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, leading Fenerbahce to force a deciding Game 7, scheduled for Friday night at Sinan Erdem Dome, which will determine a champion. Fenerbahce jumped in front with Nikola Kalinic sinking two three-pointers and Kostas Sloukas one in the early going. Bryant Dunston had a basket-plus-foul for Efes, but a downtown shot from Nicolo Melli helped the hosts take 22-14 lead early in the second quarter. However, Bugrahan Tuncer hit three triples, before a downtown shot from Adrien Moerman gave Efes 31-34 lead. Fenerbahce did go into halftime up 38-36 and kept the slim margin in the third helped by back-to-back threes from Guduric and Melih Mahmutoglu to open 53-46. Kruno Simon hit twice from downtown to cut it to 53-52 at the end of the third quarter, but Guduric caught fire in the fourth scoring 11 points, including three triples, in a 13-0 run to open the fourth quarter and make it 66-52 with just over 5 minutes to go. Melli’s triple opened the largest margin of the night, 69-53, and Fenerbahce never looked back. Fenerbahce hit 14 triples, and Guduric shot 5-of-7 from downtown. Melli finished with 14 points, and Sloukas had 11 points and 8 assists in the victory, while Shane Larkin netted 16 points in defeat.
Venice nears another Italian crown
Umana Reyer Venice is one win away from its second Italian League championship in the last three seasons after defeating Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari 78-65 on Tuesday. Austin Daye led the winners with 20 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes, Stefano Tonut scored 15 points, Mike Bramos added 11 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting and MarQuez Haynes tallied 10 points and 4 assists. Venice scored the game's first 5 points and never trailed. It was 21-14 after 10 minutes and the hosts took their first lead at 26-16 on a Bruno Cerella triple early in the second. Sassari rallied to within 2 late in the quarter before Tonut made it 38-34 at the break. Bramos hit a pair of threes in a 10-0 start to the second half, but Sassari answered and closed to within 60-57 early in the fourth quarter. This time back-to-back threes by Daye and Tonut helped keep Venice in control to close out the game. Rashawn Thomas paced Sassari with 20 points and Marco Spissu added 17 in defeat.