2020-21QuarterfinalsGame 3
March 31, 2021 CET: 18:00
Local time: 18:00 STADE LOUIS II

Monaco outlasts Buducnost to win series

AS Monaco outlasted Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 90-87 in a thrilling Game 3 on Wednesday at Stade Louis II to reach the EuroCup Semifinals for the first time in club history. Mathias Lessort led the way with a career-best 24 points for Monaco in a game that wasn't decided until Buducnost's Danilo Nikolic missed from downtown in the closing seconds. J.J. O'Brien added 13 points, Marcos Knight tallied 12 points and a personal-best 12 rebounds and Dee Bost scored 11 for the winners, who will meet Herbalife Gran Canaria in the semifinals. Justin Cobbs paced the Buducnost attack with 17 points, Willie Reed scored 16 and Nikola Ivanovic, Amedeo Della Valle and Petar Popovic netted 11 points apiece.

Lessort scored the game's first two baskets and Reed's hook shot at the other end was ruled to be after the shot-clock buzzer. Bost free throws gave Monaco a 6-0 start, but Buducnost came back through Della Valle. Cobbs's free throws gave the visitors their first lead, 10-11, midway through the opening quarter. However, Della Valle was whistled for his third foul and took a seat on the bench. Reed helped keep Buducnost in front until Rob Gray's basket-plus-foul made it 18-17. Reed missed 5 free throws in just over 1 minute, while Wilfried Yeguete extended the Monaco lead. Ivanovic's three to end the quarter lifted Buducnost to a 22-23 advantage. Young Rudy Demahis knocked down a three to even things at 25-25 early in the second quarter. The score was still tied after Bost and Cobbs traded triples. Lessort's three-point play on the offensive glass pushed Monaco ahead, but Reed matched him to make it 35-33 midway through the quarter. Lessort continued to dominate with a jumper, a block, an offensive rebound and foul drawn, 2 free throws made and a steal. However, Buducnost refused to go away with a layup by Cobbs making it 44-42. Ivanovic free throws tied it, but Bost made 2 at the other end to give the hosts a 48-46 halftime cushion.

Melvin Ejim tied it with the first basket of the second half. Reed had a steal on one end and finished an alley-oop slam from Della Valle at the other as Buducnost moved in front 50-52. Lessort and Reed traded shots in the paint with a put-back by the former making it 58-56 midway through the third quarter. Della Valle, playing with 4 fouls, scored and made free throws following technical fouls on Lessort and Coach Zvezdan Mitrovic. Monaco led again after a put-back by Yeguete. Yeguete's next score extended the margin to 5 and after free throws by Ivanovic and Yeguete, the third quarter finished with 70-66 on the scoreboard. Buducnost held Monaco scoreless for the first 2 and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, during which Cobbs and Popovic drew Buducnost within 1. Zoran Nikolic powered his way to a go-ahead score inside and Cobbs collected a mid-court steal from Demahis for a 75-78 lead with 5 minutes to play. Knight, with free throws after another offensive rebound, tied the game at 80-80. A floater by Abdoulaye Ndoye and more foul shots by Knight, after Della Valle fouled out, made it 84-80 with 2:09 on the clock. After a bank shot by Cobbs, Lessort's layup-plus-foul sent Reed to the bench with 5 fouls. Monaco remained in control after O'Brien matched Ivanovic's free throws with another second-chance basket. Nikolic buried a three with 11.1 seconds left to bring Buducnost within 88-87. O'Brien extended the margin to 3 with free throws with 8.6 seconds on the clock and Nikolic missed a three to tie it in the final seconds.

Key numbers

The game can be summed up by the rebounding numbers. Monaco dominated the glass 46-25, including a club record 23 offensive rebounds. Buducnost had a mere 15 defensive boards. That led to 27 second-chance points for Monaco, compared to 10 for the visitors.

Pivotal player

Mathias Lessort set a career-high with 24 points to lead Monaco. After missing the potential game-winner in the last second of Game 1, Lessort took charge in Game 3. He made a club record 10 free throws and also had 7 rebounds and 3 steals in massing a performance index rating of 29. He scored 8 points in the first quarter and 9 in the second. Though he slowed down in the second half, Lessort's layup-plus-foul in the penultimate minute sent Buducnost star Willie Reed to the bench with 5 fouls.

Did you know?

Monaco's victory ensured that there has never been a EuroCup best-of-three series in which the road team won all three games. That would have been the case had Buducnost prevailed.

What's next?

Monaco will host Herbalife Gran Canaria in Game 1 of the EuroCup Semifinals on Tuesday, April 6. Buducnost's EuroCup campaign has come to an end and it will now focus its efforts on domestic competitions.

Jaleel OBrien - AS Monaco (photo Monaco) - EC20
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI; ALIAGA, JORDI; LAURINAVICIUS, JURGIS
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
AS Monaco22262220
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica23232021
End of Quarter1234
AS Monaco22487090
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica23466687
AS Monaco
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 BOST, DEE 31:32 11 2/4 1/6 4/4   4 4 2 1 1     2 3 11
2 CHOUPAS, YOHAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 DEMAHIS, RUDY 13:33 6   2/2             1     3   2
7 INGLIS, DAMIEN 15:13 4 1/3 0/1 2/2 1 1 2 2   1     3 2 3
9 KNIGHT, MARCOS 27:46 12 4/8 0/1 4/4 3 9 12 3   2   1 4 6 21
11 NDOYE, ABDOULAYE 21:47 6 3/5 0/2 0/2   3 3 2   2   1 5 4 1
15 YEGUETE, WILFRIED 8:31 9 4/5   1/2 3   3   1       4 2 9
22 O'BRIEN, JALEEL 28:34 13 5/10 0/1 3/4 5 1 6   1 1     1 3 14
26 LESSORT, MATHIAS 28:27 24 7/10   10/12 6 1 7 1 3 5 1 1 3 7 29
32 GRAY, ROB 21:46 5 1/4 1/3   1 2 3     3   2 2 4  
91 CISSOKO, BOUKHARY 2:51     0/1             1         -2
Team           4 2 6               6
Totals 200:00 90 27/49 4/17 24/30 23 23 46 10 6 17 1 5 27 31 94
        55.1% 23.5% 80%
Head coach: MITROVIC, ZVEZDAN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 COBBS, JUSTIN 35:04 17 5/15 1/2 4/4 1 3 4 4 1 2   1 1 6 17
2 IVANOVIC, NIKOLA 22:52 11 1/3 1/2 6/6   1 1 3 1 2     1 3 13
3 EJIM, MELVIN 27:19 6 2/3 0/3 2/2 1 1 2 1 2 2     5 1 1
4 SEHOVIC, SUAD 14:57 2 1/1 0/3   1   1   2       2    
7 NIKOLIC, DANILO 20:16 5 1/2 1/2   1 1 2 1   2 1   2 2 5
8 APIC, DRAGAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 MITROVIC, LUKA 9:04 4 0/1   4/4 2 2 4 1   1     3 4 8
11 DELLA VALLE, AMEDEO 17:13 11 3/5 0/2 5/5   2 2 1   1     5 2 6
19 NIKOLIC, ZORAN 10:22 4 1/1   2/2 1 3 4     1 1   3 1 6
30 POPOVIC, PETAR 23:27 11 2/2 2/5 1/2   1 1 2 2       4 2 10
33 REED, WILLIE 19:26 16 7/7   2/7 1 1 2   2 1 3   5 5 17
44 ZUGIC, FEDOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           2   2     1         1
Totals 200:00 87 23/40 5/19 26/32 10 15 25 13 10 13 5 1 31 26 84
        57.5% 26.3% 81.3%
Head coach: MILOJEVIC, DEJAN

Head Coaches

MITROVIC, ZVEZDAN
AS Monaco

"It's a pity that we played without our fans. They would have really enjoyed this great game. They would have enjoyed the basketball; this is the purpose of our job. Of course, I'm happy. We really made a great result. But we don't want to stop. Now we go."

"90-87 with great defense. This is the character of this game. A lot of points with great defense. Congratulations to both teams for an extra amazing effort, especially for my team. We fought; our veterans, our young guys. It was an amazing performance. We deserved to win and now we go the semifinals of the EuroCup. It's an amazing result for all of us, but I just said to my players, 'this is not the end of the road. We continue on our road to the EuroLeague. I'm very optimistic with a lot of emotion. We showed we can play different ways of basketball, defensively, offensively."

MILOJEVIC, DEJAN
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
"I expected a game like this because today. We had the same problem as the last game, which is why Monaco won; we allowed them 23 offensive rebounds. That was the key to today's game. We did some good things, we had our chances, but when you don't control the rebounds, usually you don't win the games. I wish good luck to Monaco and my good friend Zvezdan Mitrovic in the semifinals."

Players

LESSORT, MATHIAS
AS Monaco
"It's a great feeling. After the first game we lost on the last shot, we felt terrible and the whole team showed a lot of character. Tonight we had the same type of game as the first one and we showed that we learned from it. That’s a great win and now we’re on to the semifinals already."
COBBS, JUSTIN
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
"It came down to offensive rebounds. I think we got outboarded by about 15 or 20 or something like that. It just came down to effort; the effort on the offensive rebounds, second-chance points. So give credit to the other team. It was two good teams with a lot of good players that have played at a high level before. That’s what you expect in the top eight. The semifinals will be the same thing. High-level basketball. You've gotta execute, you've gotta make shots and you've gotta be smarter than the other team."