Real Madrid remained unbeaten at home and on pace to win Group D following a 73-60 victory over EWE Baskets Oldenburg at Palacio Vistalegre in the Spanish capital. Madrid improved to 7-2 and will clinch first place in the group next week with either a win at Armani Jeans Milano or a loss for Panathinaikos. Oldenburg dropped its eighth straight since an opening night loss and will finish its debut Euroleague campaign at home next week against Panathinaikos. The German champs were in the game for two-and-a-half quarters before Louis Bullock’s scoring gave Madrid control. Oldenburg used a 1-15 opening-quarter run to take the lead and trailed just 34-30 at the break. Marko Scekic made it 45-44 with three minutes to go in the third quarter, but Bullock drained 3 three-pointers in a 17-3 Madrid charge that effectively ended the game. The keys for the hosts were inside as Madrid controlled the glass 38-29 and had 7 blocks to 2 for the visitors. Oldenburg was also doomed by its 20 turnovers. Darjus Lavrinovic paced Madrid with 16 points and 4 blocked shots, Bullock finished with 15 points Novica Velickovic and Rimas Kaukenas added 10 each and Marko Jaric marked his return to the Euroleague with 6 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Ricky Paulding led Oldenburg with 12 points, Scekic and Je’Kel Foster scored 11 apiece and Jason Gardner had 10.
Jaric opened the scoring with a layup and Bullock’s three-point play gave Madrid an early cushion. Paulding got Oldenburg on the scoreboard with a triple. Pablo Prigioni threaded the needle to Lavrinovic who was fouled and made a free throw. Lavrinovic added a jumper before Foster scored in the paint for the visitors. Jorge Garbajosa and Lavrinovic stretched the Madrid lead to 7 before Gardner buried a three for Oldenburg. Gardener added a layup and Ruben Boumtje Boumtje scored down low to knot the game at 12-12. Felipe Reyes came in, stole the ball from Boumtje Boumtje and was fouled from behind, resulting in an unsportsmanlike foul. However Madrid did not capitalize and at the other end Paulding scored in transition and added a free throw for a 13-15 Oldenburg edge. The visitors continued to roll as Milan Majstorovic drilled a three and Gardner fed Boumtje Boumtje inside to cap a 1-15 EWE Baskets surge that put the visitors up 13-20. Jaric attacked the basket and Kaukenas added a layup to get his team within 17-20 after 10 minutes.
Foster pulled up for a three and Daniel Hain drew a charge from Velickovic as Oldenburg continued to hold the lead. Majstorovic soared to block a Garbajosa shot, but Reyes kept Madrid close with free throws. Prigioni struck from downtown to put Madrid ahead 24-23 midway through the second quarter, but Josh Carter matched him at the other end. Jaric scored in transition to tie the game at 28-28. Oldenburg called timeout to recharge, but Lavrinovic looked sharpest at both ends of the floor afterward, grabbing a defensive rebound and scoring on consecutive possessions to put Madrid up 3. Velickovic scored in the paint, but Paulding matched him in transition. Each team failed to score on two possessions in the last 2 seconds of the half leaving the hosts a 34-30 lead at the break.
Foster and Velickovic traded baskets in the first minutes of the second half. Paulding netted a floater and Bullock fed a cutting Lavrinovic to keep the gap at 4. Paulding had his shot blocked twice down low, but scored on the next possession to get his team within a score. Jaric collided with Majstorovic and went down clutching his knee before leaving the floor. Lavrinovic blocked Scekic on consecutive possessions allowing Bullock to put the hosts a little further ahead with a three-pointer. Sergi Vidal added his first basket before Scekic attacked the basket for 2 points. Foster stole the ball from Lavrinovic and coasted for a layup and Foster found Scekic for a basket to make it 45-44. Jaric came back in time to see Bullock bury a three and Kaukenas bank a jumper in as Madrid regained a comfortable cushion. Paulding made a pretty pass to Scekic for a basket-plus-foul. Bullock stepped up with back-to-back triples that stretched the Madrid lead to 9. Then Kaukenas hit a jumper that gave the hosts their first double-digit lead of the night, 58-47, at the end of the third quarter.
Reyes scored on the offensive glass early in the fourth quarter and then rejected Boumtje Boumtje at the other end. Reyes drew a foul from Boumtje Boumtje, who was forced to leave the game with 5 fouls. Velickovic scored drew a fifth foul from Majstorovic, who was also forced the bench. Foster hit a fade away jumper, but the momentum was all Madrid as Kaukenas scored and was fouled in transition, taking the lead to 16. Despite a three from Carter, Oldenburg was falling apart and Vladimir Dasic and Velickovic toojk advantage to stretch the Madrid advantage to 71-52. Baskets by Scekic and Daniel Strauch only helped to minimize the difference with the outcome already clear.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010