CSKA beats Khimki for seventh straight VTB crown
CSKA Moscow defeated Khimki Moscow Region 95-84 on Sunday at the VTB Final Four in the Russian capital to win the competition for the seventh season in a row. Cory Higgins shined with 20 points and 4 steals to lead the winners, Nando De Colo tallied 18 points and 7 assists, Will Clyburn scored 16 points, Sergio Rodriguez added 15 points and 8 assists and Kyle Hines posted 10 points and 8 rebounds for the victors. Alexey Shved led Khimki with 21 points and 9 assists, Malcolm Thomas had 17 points and 7 rebounds and Tyler Honeycutt and Anthony Gill netted 11 points apiece. Higgins nailed 3 three-pointers in a 17-3 first quarter run to give CSKA a commanding 27-13 lead. Honeycutt scored the last 5 points of the quarter to make it 27-18 after 10 minutes. Khimki trimmed the gap to 6 in the second quarter, however CSKA used a pair of 7-0 pushes to eventually lead by 16. Free throws by Shved made it 54-41 at halftime. Khimki used a 0-9 run to get within 57-50 early in the second half, but De Colo and Higgins heated up as CSKA remained in control and took a 79-69 advantage into the fourth quarter. Rodriguez and Semen Antonov helped CSKA boost the margin back to 15 and the lead peaked at 17 as CSKA rolled to the title.
Earlier, Zenit St. Petersburg defeated UNICS Kazan 79-93 to finish in third place. Kyle Kuric starred with 29 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting plus 4 steals, Demonte Harper scored 20, Shayne Whittington had 12 points and 7 rebounds, Sergey Karasev added 11 points and Evgeny Valiev 10. Jamar Smith paced UNICS with 16 points, Melvin Ejim had 14, Quino Colom 13, Anton Ponkrashov posted 11 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, and Maurice Ndour scored 10. UNICS committed 20 turnovers, which was 13 more than Zenit and one of the keys to the game. Zenit started the game on a 2-12 tear and never looked back. The score was 41-52 at halftime and Zenit cruised the rest of the way.
Greece: Panathinaikos takes control of finals
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens outscored Olympiacos Piraeus in every quarter en route to a 73-58 victory and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Greek League finals. K.C. Rivers scored 15 points, Mike James added 14, Nick Calathes 13 with 6 assists and Chris Singleton posted 9 points and 10 rebounds for the winners. Vassilis Spanoulis led the Reds with 14 points and 6 assists, Georgios Printezis scored 12 and Nikola Milutinov posted 8 points and 10 rebounds in defeat. Singleton and Calathes highlighted a 10-0 run that gave the Greens an 18-9 lead, but threes by Kyle Wiltjer and Spanoulis helped Olympiacos close the gap to 19-15 after 10 minutes. Jamel McLean started the second quarter strong to knot the game at 20-20. Threes by Lukas Lekavicius, Rivers and Calathes helped the hosts regain control at 38-28 at the break. The teams traded shots for much of the third quarter with Olympiacos cutting the gap to 7 before Thanasis Antetokounmpo put the hosts up 54-42 through three quarters. A 9-0 run early in the fourth in which James and Calathes hit threes made it a 19-point game and Panathinaikos cruised the rest of the way.
Baskonia edges Barcelona to reach finals in Spain
KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz returned to the Spanish League finals for the first time since 2010 when it edged FC Barcelona Lassa 82-88 after overtime to win their best-of-five semifinals series 3-1. Toko Shengelia posted 22 points and 7 rebounds to lead Baskonia, Matt Janning delivered 14 points and Luca Vildoza and Jannis Timma added 11 points apiece. Thomas Heurtel paced Barcelona with 16 points, Victor Claver posted 14 points and 7 rebounds, Adam Hanga scored 12, Ante Tomic added 11 points and 9 rebounds and Petteri Koponen had 11 points. Shengelia and Janning each hit threes to give Baskonia a 2-8 start to the game, which the visitors converted to a 16-21 advantage after 10 minutes. Threes by Vildoza, Timma and Rodrigue Beaubois helped double the difference to 34-44 at halftime. Back-to-back threes by Claver and Adrien Moerman drew Barcelona within 49-50 midway through the third quarter. Baskonia did not relent and a Johannes Voightmann slam left Baskonia ahead 53-59 through three quarters. Shengelia restored a double-digit Baskonia lead early in the fourth quarter. Barcelona fought back to within 70-73 on a Huertel triple with a minute to go and tied it at 76-76 through 4 straight points from Claver. Shengelia missed from downtown in the closing seconds and the game went to overtime. Tomic free throws to open the scoring in the extra session gave Barcelona its first lead of the game. After Claver made it 82-79 from the line, Barcelona was held scoreless for more than two minutes, while Vogtmann scored the go-ahead basket and Vildoza added foul shots. Hanga missed twice from the line in the final minute and Voigtmann and Timma iced the game and series from the line.
Bayern takes lead in German finals
FC Bayern Munich grabbed a 2-1 lead in the German League finals after beating ALBA Berlin 72-66 on Sunday. Reggie Redding scored 18 points, Nihad Djedovic added 11 and Vladimir Lucic 10 for Bayern, which dominated the boards 35-23 and made 10 of 24 three-pointers (41.7%). Spencer Butterfield paced ALBA with 16 points, Peyton Siva scored 15 and Marius Grigonus had 10 in defeat. Jared Cunningham and Lucic took charge early as Bayern took a 12-4 lead and never looked back. It was 25-16 at halftime and Redding buried a pair of threes in an 11-0 Bayern run to finish the second quarter with a 46-29 advantage. The lead reached 20 early in the third quarter, but ALBA did not give in. The visitors rallied late to get within 4 on a three by Butterfield, but Lucic free throws sealed the win for Bayern.
Maccabi rolls into Israeli title game
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv overpowered crosstown rival Hapoel Tel Aviv 98-74 in their single-game Israeli League semifinal. Alex Tyus starred with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks to lead Maccabi, Jeremy Pargo also scored 18 points, Deshaun Thomas added 17, Norris Cole 13 and John Dibartolomeo 12. Maccabi outrebounded Hapoel 46-26 and made 12 of 25 three-pointers (48%). Adrian Banks led Hapoel with 16 points and Tony Gaffney, Raviv Limonad and Tomer Ginat added 10 points each. Maccabi will face the winner of Monday's semifinal between Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem and UNET Holon in the title game. Hapoel led 22-24 after 10 minutes and trailed 40-43 at halftime, but Maccabi scored the first 7 points of the second half to take a double-digit lead and then dominated the fourth quarter with 31 points scored compared to just 14 for Hapoel to wrap up the win.