Real Madrid took a 2-1 series lead in the EuroLeague Playoffs as they defeated Darussafaka Dogus 88-81 in Istanbul on Wednesday night.
The Liga Endesa champions took control with 16-2 first quarter run and enjoyed a balanced attack for most of the night with five scorers in double figures. Jaycee Carroll opened the game 5/5 from three point range, and finished with 21 points to lead the winners.
“It was a very tough game, We had a good advantage on scoreboard, playing very solid offensively and defensively,” said Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso. “But we knew Darussafaka is a team that always fights back. The have good shooters, they made very difficult shots, and they came back in the game.
“But the good thing about my team is we kept our composure and managed to decide the game in our favour. Happy for victory, but we know it is only one win; we have another game on Friday.”
Roughly 20 km away Anadolu Efes also put one step into next month’s EuroLeague Final Four as they shut down Olympiacos 64-60 at the Abdi Ipecki Arena.
The hosts led by as many as 17 in the third quarter, but EuroLeague legend Vassilis Spanoulis erupted late with three triples to bring the Reds within 61-60. Free throws by Thomas Heurtel and Tyler Honeycutt helped Efes hold on and get in position to reach its first Final Four in a decade and a half.
Bryant Dunston led the winners with 16 points.
“I think we did a good job on the rebounds and defensively,” Dunston said. “They only scored 60 points. I think that’s the best we’ve done defensively in the EuroLeague. But we knew that they were going to come back. You know, they have a history of fighting back. They’re a great team and we’ve got to improve on that next game.”