The Spanish capital was the host of Thursday night's NBA Global Games presented by BBVA in which the Boston Celtics defeated Real Madrid 96-111 at Barclaycard Center. The game wrapped up Madrid’s preseason with the Turkish Airlines Euroleague due to start next week. It was Boston’s second game on its Europe trip after defeating EA7 Emporio Armani Milan earlier in the week. The Celtics used a 0-11 second-quarter run to take the lead for good. The difference was 43-54 at halftime and Boston led by double figures for most of the second half. Avery Bradley led Boston with 17 points. Isiah Thomas added 15 points, Terry Rozier scored 14 and David Lee posted 13 points and 11 rebounds. Madrid was plagued by the 26 turnovers it committed as well as poor three-point shooting from its top guards. The Madrid was also without All-Euroleague forward Rudy Fernandez and Jeff Taylor and lost Jonas Maciulis to injury in the first half. Trey Thompkins led Madrid with 24 points and 8 rebounds, Sergio Llull tallied 15 points and 6 assists, Felipe Reyes also scored 15, Sergio Rodriguez recorded 13 points and 6 assists and Andres Nocioni finished with 11.
Maciulis broke the ice with a pair of free throws for the hosts. Bradley got Boston’s first basket with a layup 90 seconds in and Lee scored twice as the visitors reeled off 8 straight points for a 4-8 cushion. Bradley extended the difference to 6 with a three-pointer, but Madrid was back within 1 when a Jaycee Carroll-to-Gustavo Ayon alley-oop brought the crowd to its feet. After a timeout, a Thompkins jumper put Madrid on top 14-13. Boston pushed ahead again before Rodriguez’s nifty reverse layup drew Madrid within 23-25 after one quarter.
Rodriguez assisted to Willy Hernangomez, who tied it on the first possession of the second quarter. The Madrid point guard and former Euroleague MVP remained Los Blancos’s go-to guy as his basket-plus-foul put the hosts up 33-31. Boston tied the score and went ahead again on a Bradley triple. Jae Crowder recorded 3 assists during a 0-11 Boston run to lead 35-44. Llull ended the Madrid drought with a three-pointer and a Maciulis free throw soon had the Euroleague champs back within 4, but Marcus Smart and Thomas led another Boston surge. A Reyes free throw made it 43-54 at halftime.
A Crowder layup gave Boston a 13-points lead to start the third quarter. Back-to-back threes by Nocioni and Llull provided a spark for Madrid. Lee dunked to restore a double-digit edge for the visitors. The teams traded baskets for a large chunk of the quarter. After another dunk by Lee, Tyler Zeller nailed a jumper to make it 63-78. A Luka Doncic free throw put 69-85 on the scoreboard after three quarters.
A triple by James Young pushed the Boston lead into the 20s. Reyes amassed points for Madrid, but Boston seemed to always have an answer. The Boston lead peaked at 81-106 on a Jordan Mickey slam with 4 minutes remaining. Madrid finished strong with a 10-2 run over one stretch, but Boston held on for the win.
Real Madrid head coach Pablo Laso:
”It was a very good basketball game. We competed, but the game was too long for us. But we could move the ball, find open shots. [We scored] 96 points [and that] talks very well about us tonight. It was a very good experience. I wish we had had Rudy and Taylor today.”
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens:
”It was been a good test for the team. Much energy, very physical. The guys did a pretty god job. We could see a good atmosphere. It was a good game. We were a team today. [Bradley] is a great player and today he played tough defense on Carroll. In these preseason games, we played 96 minutes of good basketball. Of course, we have some mistakes to fix.”
Real Madrid guard Sergio Llull:
”We played well. In the first quarter we were equal to them. It was a good experience. Physically it is a little bit different . We don’t usually play games like that, 48 minutes. We are Real Madrid and we always play for the victory and of course today we wanted to win.”
Real Madrid forward Trey Thompkins
”It was my first game here in Madrid, but I played before with the team. My first weeks were pretty good. We did not have much time to practice, but we practiced hard. I need to integrate myself into the team and we need more practices.”