Rudy, Rodriguez lead Real Madrid to rout of Maccabi
Real Madrid thoroughly dominated the final three quarters to beat visiting Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 79-53 in the opening game of their best-of-five Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs series on Wednesday night at the Community of Madrid Sports Palace in the Spanish capital. Rudy Fernandez scored 15 points and Sergio Rodriguez tallied 10 points and 10 assists to lead the winners, who also host Game 2 on Friday. Madrid outrebounded Maccabi, 44-28 – including 17 offensive rebounds, made 11 three-pointers at 50% - compared to 4 at 22.2% for the visitors, and its bench outscored Maccabi’s 33-16. Maccabi raced out to a surprising 12-point lead after a Sylven Landesberg tripled early in the second quarter, but it was all Madrid the rest of the way. The hosts finished the half on a 24-1 tear, led 38-27 at halftime and never let up, pushing the lead to 29 in the closing minutes of an impressive win. Nikola Mirotic added 14 points for Madrid. Ricky Hickman and Shawn James scored 9 points each for Maccabi, for whom the 53 points scored was the fewest ever in the competition.
First quarter: Caner-Medley stars as Maccabi shoots its way in front
It was an ideal start for the hosts. Fernandez stole the opening tip and went uncontested for a dunk, Mirza Begic rose for a block and Sergio Llull drained a triple to make it 5-0. Nik Caner-Medley ignited the visitors with a high-flying rejection. Hickman penetrated for Maccabi’s first points. Yogev Ohayon put Maccabi ahead with free throws and Caner-Medley added a jumper to cap a 0-8 run. Rudy fueled the home side with a three-pointer and then a tough basket-plus-foul to even things at 10-10. Hickman flashed his speed for a layup before Mirotic scored his first basket for Madrid on the offensive glass. Caner-Medley connected from behind the arc and Devin Smith penetrated for a layup that put Maccabi up 12-17. Mirotic scored inside again, but Caner-Medley nailed a second three – this one from a meter behind the arc. Marcus Slaughter, fouled attempting an alley-oop, missed twice from the charity stripe before Hickman’s tripled put the Israeli champs up 14-23 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Madrid dominates with 24-1 charge
The Maccabi momentum continued as a Landesberg three-pointer made it a 12-point game. Madrid responded through Felipe Reyes and Slaughter. Rudy dunked over Landesberg to put the pressure on Maccabi. Jaycee Carroll banked in a second-chance basket and Reyes sank free throws that resulted from a three-on-one fast break, followed by a Maccabi timeout. Rodriguez pulled up for a three-pointer to cap a 13-0 run that put the hosts back in front, 27-26. James split free throws to end a six-and-a-half minute scoring drought, but Madrid continued to roll. Carroll’s first triple made it 32-27. Even after Coach David Blatt called a timeout to settle things down, Maccabi lost the ball and Rodriguez buried a three and soon after Carroll made another. Maccabi missed on its final shot and went into the locker room down 38-27 with just 4 points scored in the entire second quarters.
Third quarter: Madrid frustrates Maccabi at both ends
Mirotic further extended the Madrid lead with the first basket of the second half before James answered with a dunk for Maccabi’s first basket in more than 10 minutes of game time. A Mirotic triple put the hosts up 14. James and Ohayon narrowed the gap to 10. Smith knocked down a mid-range jumper to make it 43-35. Fernandez trotted through the Maccabi defense for a basket-plus-foul and soon knocked down a three to make it 49-37. Mirotic, shortly after committing an offensive foul, was whistled for a technical and took a set with 4 fouls. Smith split the resulting free throws. Carlos Suarez and Llull brought the crowd to its feet with triples for Madrid’s biggest lead yet, 55-40. It would peak at 18 after a Suarez free throw. Darko Planinic’s first basket made it 59-43 through three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Hosts take lead to 29 and coast to victory
Begic became the ninth Madrid player to score when he tipped in a Reyes miss. Reyes scored twice and extended the lead to 22. A basket by Landesberg did little to change the momentum. Mirotic reached double figures in points and Llull made it a 25-point game as Rodriguez looked to please the fans with highlight reel plays. Rafael Hettsheimeir became the 10th Madrid player to score; Rodriguez’s 10th point made it 76-47. Moran Roth got on the scoreboard when he split free throws. A few fast break layups for Maccabi in the closing minutes had nary an impact on the outcome as Madrid marched to an impressive Game 1 victory.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013