The Euroleague Final Four is still awaiting its last club as the series between Barcelona and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar is the only tie that will be going to a deciding game. Fenerbahce, CSKA Moscow, and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria are already in the Berlin showpiece after sweeping their respective series.
Barcelona had the chance to take the series and make the Euroleague Final Four on Thursday with home advantage in Game 4. However, Russian guests Lokomotiv used a big final quarter to tie the game through regulation, and then carried the momentum through overtime to victory.
The best of five series now heads to a nail biting finale, a decider that will take place next Tuesday in Krasnodar, giving Lokomotiv home court advantage.
FC Barcelona vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, 80-92
The pressure was on both clubs, with Barca chasing a Final Four berth in front of its home fans and Lokomotiv had to fight to stay in the series. Both teams produced a Playoffs classic that was exciting and filled with action at both buckets.
Lokomotiv was the aggressor in the first quarter, draining 21 points to take a narrow 19-21 lead through ten minutes of play. In the second frame the guests continued to control the scoreboard, using a 16-19 winning frame to lead 35-40 through the long break. Barcelona improved considerably coming out of the locker room for the second half. The hosts scored 19 points in the third act and stopped Lokomotiv at 11 points. It turned the game and handed Barca a 54-51 lead through thirty minutes and the Spanish club was suddenly on course for the Euroleague Final Four.
The teams traded for much of the fourth quarter, but slowly the visitors managed to claw back into contention and made the closing minutes exciting as both teams traded the lead from the charity strip. As the regulation buzzer sounded, the game was locked 76-76, but the momentum had swung back to Lokomotiv. The Russians wasted no time in the added period, finally putting Barcelona away with a 4-16 run that sent the series to a decider.
Anthony Randolph was red hot for Lokomotiv, finishing with 28 points and 7 rebounds in the win. Victor Claver was a good for a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Malcolm Delaney offered a complete performance of 15 points, 7 assists, and 7 boards.
Juan Carlos Navarro continued to shine for Barcelona, leading the Catalan former Euroleague champions with 19 points. Ante Tomic offered 18 points and 6 rebounds.