Madrid, Rodriguez rally past tough Bamberg
In a major battle that went down to the wire, Real Madrid recorded its first win in Top 16 Group F by edging Brose Baskets Bamberg 80-77 in the Spanish capital on Wednesday. Sergio Rodriguez scored all of his 22 points in the second half and added 8 assists to lead the winners. Jaycee Carroll added 13 points, Felipe Reyes had 11 while Gustavo Ayon got 10 and 8 rebounds for Madrid. Janis Strelnieks led Bamberg with 16 points. Bradley Wanamaker added 14, Nikos Zisis had 13 while Leon Radosevic got 12 for the guests. An 0-8 run that Zisis capped with free throws gave Bamberg an early 4-13 lead, enough for the guests to keep a 13-19 edge after 10 minutes. A mid-range jumper by Strelnieks soon made it a double-digit game, 15-25, and Radosevic boosted Bamberg's lead to 24-38. Carroll and Ayon kept Madrid within 30-40 at halftime. Rodriguez took over after the break, singlehandedly bringing Madrid back to life. Even so, a dunk by Darius Miller gave Bamberg a 57-60 edge after 30 minutes. Rodriguez gave Madrid a 69-62 lead but Daniel Theis and Strelnieks helped Bamberg tie the game, 77-77, already in the final minute. Rodriguez buried the go-ahead triple with 20.7 seconds left before Andres Nocioni added free throws to seal the win.
First quarter: Wanamaker puts Bamberg ahead
Leon Radosevic got Bamberg going with free throws, which Trey Thompkins matched with a turnaround jumper. Bradley Wanamaker struck from downtown and an alley-oop dunk by Gustavo Ayon kept Madrid within 4-5. Madrid did not find its offensive rhythm and missed a lot of open shots, while a layup by Radosevic gave Bamberg a 3-point edge. Madrid faced early trouble, as Sergio Rodriguez headed to the bench with 2 fouls. Meanwhile, back-to-back layups by Elias Harris and Zisis forced Los Blancos to call a much-needed timeout at 4-11. Zisis kept pushing Bamberg with free throws to cap an 0-8 run. Carroll tried to change things with a bomb from downtown and Felipe Reyes added free throws to bring Madrid within 9-13. After Radosevic buried a baseline jumper, Reyes hit more foul shots. A dunk by Wanamaker set an 11-17 Bamberg margin. Reyes nailed a jumper from the elbow, but a driving layup by Wanamaker gave Bamberg a 13-19 lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Bamberg keeps full control
Carroll nailed a jumper early in the quarter, which Janis Strelnieks erased with an off-balance basket. Wanamaker buried a one-handed jumper in the lane and Strelnieks hit a mid-range shot to make it a double-digit game, 15-25. K.C. Rivers sank his trademark step-back jumper, but Patrick Heckmann did even better with a bomb from downtown and added a fast break layup that boosted Bamberg's lead to 17-30. Reyes drew a couple of fouls and hit 3 of 4 free throws, but Yassin Idbihi answered with an uncontested layup and Zisis gave the guests a 20-34 margin. Carroll nailed a one-handed jumper and Rivers added a second-chance baskets, but Nicolo Melli found Radosevic for a layup and Strelnieks made foul shots for a 24-38 advantage. Carroll kept pacing Madrid with a jumper and free throws. Melli nailed a jumper and free throws by Ayon brought Madrid a bit closer, 30-40, as both teams headed back to the locker rooms.
Third quarter: Rodriguez steps up
Madrid tried twin point guards right after the break - with Luka Doncic and Rodriguez together on court. Zisis needed just 10 seconds to hit a close jumper, but Rodriguez answered from downtown for a 33-42 score. Darius Miller buried a stop-and-pop jumper, but a red-hot Rodriguez scored in penetration and added a three-pointer to get the crowd involved at 38-44. Zisis took over with a three-point play. Jeffery Taylor dunked off an inbound pass and free throws by Rodriguez got Madrid within 42-47. Heckmann rescued Bamberg with a corner triple and Taylor and Strelnieks also struck from downtown. A close basket by Ayon kept Madrid as close as 47-53. Daniel Theis dunked and a layup by Doncic prompted Bamberg to call timeout at 49-55. Rodriguez scored off a midcourt steal and an up-and-under layup by Ayon made it a 2-point game. Wanamaker nailed a three-pointer, but Rodriguez made free throws and fed Ayon for a layup for a 57-58 score. A dunk by Miller fixed the score at 57-60 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: And it goes down to the last shot
Reyes shined with a put-back basket early in the quarter, as Madrid held Bamberg scoreless for more than two minutes. Meanwhile, a fast break layup by Andres Nocioni gave Madrid its first lead of the game, 61-60. Zisis hit a five-meter jumper, but Nocioni banked in a close shot and a layup by Jonas Maciulis made it a 3-point game. Carroll hit a running jumper and a driving layup by Rodriguez sent the crowd to its feet at 69-62. Bamberg could not find the way to the basket until Theis stepped up with a huge dunk in traffic. Free throws by Radosevic kept Bamberg within 69-66 with three minutes left. Rodriguez split foul shots, but Theis hit a mid-range jumper and Strelnieks tied it at 70-70 with 2:36 to go. Maciulis hit foul shots and a three-pointer by Nocioni caused Bamberg to call timeout at 75-70. Strelnieks answered from downtown and added a layup that tied it at 75-75. Rodriguez took over with a driving layup and bettered Radosevic's free throws with a bomb from downtown for an 80-77 Madrid lead with 20.7 seconds left. Wanamaker and Nocioni traded free throws for an 82-79 score. Wanamaker had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but his off-balance shot was way off the mark.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015