By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
After taking third place in the EuroLeague Final Four in Kaunas, Monaco turned their focus on the Betclic Elite playoffs in France and defeated SIG Strasbourg 88-84 in Game 1 of the quarterfinals, with Kevin Durant in the stands.
NBA superstar and Phonix Suns player is a good friend of Monaco’s Mike James and has already watched him in action last season, but since he’s out of the NBA playoffs, he decided to use some of his spare time to travel to Europe and show support to James again.
Durant and James played together for the Brooklyn Nets, and one of the best scorers in the history of the NBA attended Games 4 and 5 of the EuroLeague playoffs last season between Monaco and Olympiacos in Gaston Medecin in Monaco and Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus.
😎 𝐊𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐧 𝐃𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭 ʙᴀᴄᴋ ɪɴ ᴅᴀ ʜᴏᴜsᴇ 📌#PlayoffsBetclicELITE pic.twitter.com/bl4V7LNqMo
— AS Monaco Basket 🇲🇨 (@ASMonaco_Basket) May 24, 2023
James revealed before the Final Four that Durant won’t be attending in Kaunas since “he doesn’t want to be in Lithuania in the summer“, but eventually two-time NBA champion arrived in Monaco.
KD’s season ended in Western Conference Semifinals after a 4-2 series loss to Denver Nuggets. He started the season with the Nets but got traded on February 9 to Arizona.
In his 15th NBA season, Durant was averaging 29,1 points, 6,7 rebounds, and five assists, and 29 points, 8,7 rebounds, and five assists in 11 postseason games.
Monaco grabbed the win after a strong fourth-quarter push
Sasa Obradovic‘s team trailed through the first half but turned the score around in the third quarter. Still, Strasbourg regained the lead in the final moments and entered the decisive 10 minutes with a 64-63 lead.
Monaco took off at the start of the fourth period with a 16-3 run, the guests managed to trim the double-digit deficit to just three points but didn’t have the strength for one final turnaround, and the hosts ended victorious.
🎥 Les highlights du game 1 entre l’@ASMonaco_basket et la @sigstrasbourg
📺 Rendez-vous vendredi 18h00 sur @beinsports_FR pour le game 2#PlayoffsBetclicELITE pic.twitter.com/dVCAhKFVX1
— LNB (@LNBofficiel) May 24, 2023
Jordan Loyd let the winning side with 19 points, Elie Okobo followed with 17, while Donatas Motiejunas added 14 points. James finished with nine points, seven assists, and four rebounds with his buddy Durant in the stands.
For Strasbourg, Marcus Keene had 22 points and seven assists; Paul Lacombe added 19, and Leopold Cavaliere 10 points, with seven rebounds.
LNB Pro A, quarterfinals (best of three):
Monaco – Starsbourg 88-84 /1-0/
Dijon – Bourg 73-79, 90-92 /0-2/
Metropolitans 92 – Cholet 93-80, 80-83 /1-1/
ASVEL – Le Mans 103-73, 66-63 /2-0/