Madrid breaks Top 16 index record in rout of Zalgiris
In yet another scoring exhibition, Real Madrid improved to 6-1 in Top 16 Group F by simply overwhelming Zalgiris Kaunas 108-72 in the Spanish capital on Friday. Madrid tied CSKA Moscow for first place in Group F, while Zalgiris dropped to 1-6. Rudy Fernandez paced the winners with 20 points. Sergio Llull added 15, Ioannis Bourousis 13, Sergio Rodriguez and Felipe Reyes each scored 12 and Nikola Mirotic contributed 11. Rodriguez and Llull each dished 9 assists. Madrid recorded a team performance index rating of 151, which established a new Top 16 record. The previous one belonged to Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, which amassed an index of 143 against Besiktas last season. Justin Dentmon led Zalgiris with 21 points. Robertas Javtokas added 15 for the guests, who trailed 21-18 late in the first quarter. A 13-0 run that Mirotic capped with a reverse layup broke the game open at 34-18. Madrid boosted its margin to 60-37 at halftime and then again to 92-50 after 30 minutes on a wild three-pointer by Llull, which allowed the hosts to cruis to another well-deserved, no-doubt-about-it home win.
First quarter: Madrid shines and builds double-digit edge
Bourousis got Madrid going with a layup, but Dentmon scored in transition and Paulius Jankunas hit a mid-range jumper for a 2-4 Zalgiris lead. Rudy and Javtokas traded layups and a three-point play by Llull put Madrid back ahead, 7-6. Back-to-back layups by Bourousis and Fernandez caused Zalgiris to call timeout at 11-6. Javtokas kept pacing Zalgiris with a layup that Mirotic bettered with a triple. Dentmon and Tremmell Darden traded jumpers and a hook shot by Javtokas kept Zalgiris within 16-12. Fernandez struck from downtown and Bourousis scored again, but three-pointers by Vytenis Lipkevicius and Dentmon brought Zalgiris closer, 21-18. Free throws by Llull and another three-pointer by Mirotic gave Madrid fresh air at 26-18. A dunk by Mejri and back-to-back fast break layups by Dani Diez broke the game open, 32-18. A reverse layup by Mirotic capped a 13-0 run, but a three-pointer by Javtokas fixed the score at 34-21 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Rodriguez excels and Los Blancos roll
Rodriguez fed Mejri for a backdoor layup and scored off a steal that made it a 17-point game. Arturas Milaknis found his first points and Sarunas Jasikevicius followed that with a three-pointer to bring Zalgiris within 38-26. Mejri took over with a huge block on Jankunas, but Jasikevicius capped a 0-8 Zalgiris run with another bomb from downtown. Rodriguez made 4 free throws and a jumper by Darden kept Madrid out of trouble, 44-29. Diez ignited the crowd with a three-pointer before Marty Pocius shined with a reverse layup, but Rodriguez sent a wild behind-the-leg pass to Felipe Reyes for a triple, good for a 49-31 Madrid edge. Mindaugas Kupsas made free throws and Javtokas added a reverse layup, but Reyes and Mejri kept the hosts way ahead, 52-35. Dentmon took over with a coast-to-coast layup, Rodriguez scored around the basket and back-to-back baskets by Llull gave Madrid a 21-point lead, 58-37. Free throws by Bourousis made it 60-37 at halftime.
Third quarter: Hosts put it away early
Fernandez buried a three-pointer soon after the break, as Zalgiris struggled to find a way to the basket. Reyes shined with a layup-plus-foul and soon added a fast break basket which made it 68-37. Javtokas dunked and Dentmon struck from downtown. Fernandez nailed another one from beyond the arc and followed that with an acrobatic layup that saw Zalgiris call timeout at 73-42. Javtokas took over with an alley-oop layup but an unstoppable Fernandez and Bourousis struck from downtown to boost Los Blancos' margin to 79-44. After Reyes hit free throws, Jankunas hit his trademark fallaway jumper and a layup by Dentmon got Zalgiris within 81-48. Fernandez, Bourousis and Reyes made free throws, as Madrid tried a taller lineup with Mirotic at small forward. Llull sank a stop-and-pop triple and bettered Javtokas's layup with a wild one from downtown, good for a 92-50 margin after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Reserves highlight closing minutes
Mirotic hit a corner triple early in the fourth quarter. Kupsas and Rodriguez traded layups and a huge dunk by Marcus Slaughter gave Madrid a 99-52 margin. Vytenis Cizauskas and Milaknis shined with respective three-pointers. Milaknis insisted from downtown to cap a 0-9 run. Slaughter ignited the crowd with a wild alley-oop jam that brought Madrid to the 100-pointg mark, 101-61, midway through the quarter. The outcome was clear already and Madrid gave youngster Alberto Martin his first minutes in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Cizauskas scored again, Arturas Gudaitis added free throws and a jumper by Dentmon brought Zalgiris closer. By the time Rodriguez made free throws, everything was said and done already. Zalgiris did not give up and fought until the final buzzer, but Madrid had plenty of time to celebrate another win in fun-to-watch fashion!
Friday, February 21, 2014