Llull’s late jumper lifts Real Madrid over Unics
Sergio Llull hit a game-winning jumper with 1.2 seconds to go as Real Madrid pulled out a thrilling 75-76 road win over Unics Kazan on Friday. Madrid improved to 2-0 in Group A, while Unics dropped to 0-2. Madrid built a 20-31 lead in the second quarter, but Zisis fueled an 11-2 run that got Unics to 31-35 at halftime. After the break, Keith Langford got going, scoring 11 points in the third quarter for Unics to retake the lead, and with help from Viktor Sanikidze the hosts grabbed a 68-63 advantage. Gustavo Ayon and Andres Nocioni helped Madrid to regain control, but James White hit a corner triple with 7.7 seconds to go, giving Unics a 75-74 edge. After a timeout, there was just enough time on the clock for Madrid to turn once gain to Llull, who shook off his defender and hit a tough high-arching jumper that added to his collection of game-winners. Ayon and Rudy Fernandez each scored 10 points in victory, while Nocioni and Ioannis Bourousis scored 9 apiece. Llull finished with 7 and 6 assists. For Unics, Langford scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half, White netted 13, while Kostas Kaimakoglou had 9 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists.
First quarter: Mejri’s and Reyes keep Madrid in front
Bourousis and Dmitry Sokolov traded basket to start the game, before triples from Fernandez and Andres Nocioni opened a 2-8 lead for Madrid. The early three-point party did not stop there as five of the first eight baskets were from downtown. Kostas Kaimakoglou nailed the first one for Unics, and Langford followed with a coast-to-coast layup to tie the game at 8-8. Jonas Maciulis replied with Madrid's third triple, but defenses slowly settled in. Nocioni on one end, and D'Or Fischer on the other had monster blocks, before Curtis Jerrells knocked down a pull-up three to give the hosts their first lead, 13-11. Madrid answered with a put-back from Salah Mejri, and Felipe Reyes scored inside to make it 13-15. Unics scored 3 of 4 free throws through Fischer and Nikos Zisis, but a dunk and a buzzer-beating tip in from Mejri made it 16-19 at the end of the first quarter.
Second quarter: Madrid takes double-digit lead, Zisis rallies the hosts
White opened the quarter with a tough baseline jumper, but Madrid pulled away behind a put-back from Reyes and a pair of free throws from Fernandez and Mejri, 18-25. Fischer finished an alley-oop dunk to thrill the home crowd, but Sergio Rodriguez drove for a layup, and Reyes dominated the offensive boards before his hook-shot extended it to 20-31. White scored a fastbreak layup and Zisis nailed a short jumper and a triple to get back within 27-33. Kaimakoglou continued Unics's run with free throws and an assist on Sokolov's reverse layup. In the final minute of the quarter, K.C. Rivers snapped an 11-2 run with a layup as the shot-clock was about to expire, giving Madrid a 31-35 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Langford scores 11 to put Unics ahead
Langford drove to the hoop at the start of the half and Bourousis made a reverse layup. Langford and Jerrells each nailed a jumper, but in between Maciulis sank a triple. Langford drove down the lane for a layup, but Nocioni knocked down one from downtown at the other end, 40-45. However, Unics closed within 1 after Kaimakoglou and Langford nailed three-pointers to make it 46-47. Madrid distanced itself with free throws from Llull and Bourousis, but Fischer scored a layup-plus-foul. Nocioni fed Bourousis for an easy layup and a 49-52 edge, but White nailed a jumper for Unics, before the hosts grabbed the lead in the final minute of the quarter. Langford first fed Viktor Sanikidze for an easy layup, then nailed a short jumper just before the buzzer for a 56-55 advantage.
Fourth quarter: Llull’s heroics lift Madrid to victory
Rodriguez made a long jumper for Madrid to regain the lead, and after a put-back from Sanikidze, Rodriguez scored an easy layup. Fernandez scored a fastbreak layup to make it 58-61, but Langford tied the game with a shot from long range. Sanikidze followed to put back a missed layup from Kaimakoglou. Unics went up 65-61 with another jumper by Langford. After a timeout, Gustavo Ayon muscled one in, but Langford nailed a triple after another offensive rebound from Sanikidze made it 68-63. Ayon answered with a pair of layups in the crowd, but Jerrells and Lagford each drove to the basket to keep the margin at 72-67. After a timeout, Ayon scored again inside, and Nocioni nailed a corner triple for a 72-72 edge with 61 seconds to go. Maciulis and Llull split foul shots for Madrid in the final minute, while Langford and Jerrells missed their attempts. Madrid led 72-74 with 13.9 left, but White nailed a corner triple for a 75-74 advantage with 7.7 left. That was enough time for Llull, however, to shake Fischer off and knock down a tough long jumper for a Madrid victory.
Friday, October 24, 2014