Real Madrid improved to 4-2 in difficult Group C and got closer to seal a Top 16 spot by downing Belgacom Spirou Basket 93-89 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Madrid stayed undefeated at home while Spirou dropped to 1-5 and has slim chances to get to the next round. Marty Pocius led the winners with 20 points, including the game-sealing free throws with 5 secodns left. Jaycee Carroll added 16 while Nikola Mirotic and Serge Ibaka each had 12 for Madrid. Ibaka added 5 blocks and helped Madrid to outrebound Spirou by 35-24. Chris Hill led Spirou with 18 points. Caleb Green added 17, Demond Mallet had 15, Justin Hamilton got 13 while Toko Shengeila contributed 11 for the guests. Madrid opened the game with a 6-0 run but an outstanding Hamilton had 10 first-quarter points and got some help from Mallet and Green to give Spirou a 21-27 edge after 10 minutes. Hill helped Spirou to keep a 31-37 edge but Carroll, Pocius and Ibaka - a dominant force at both ends - made Madrid get a 48-46 edge at the break. An 0-8 run that Hill capped with a driving layup made Spirou regain the lead, 59-61, midway through the third quarter. Mirotic and Pocius helped Madrid to restore a 70-69 edge after 30 minutes. A layup by Christophe Beghin gave Spirou its last lead, 75-76. Carroll and Pocius shined in crunch time but Spirou got within 91-89 with 10.2 seconds to go. Pocius drew a foul and calmly made free throws to lead Madrid to an important win.
Sergio Rodriguez got Madrid going with a fast break layup off a steal and Mirotic added free throws for a 4-0 lead. Spirou struggled to score in the beginning and a jump hook by Mirotic capped a 6-0 opening run. Hamilton shined with a layup in transition that Ante Tomic matched with a jump hook. Shengelia struck from downtown but an easy basket by Mirotic kept Madrid way ahead, 10-5. Beghin split foul shots and Mallet beat Carlos Suarez's backdoor layup with a wild four-point play to get Spirou within 12-10. Tomic stepped up with a three-point play but a driving basket by Mallet kept the guests as close as 15-12. Marty Pocius downed a five-meter jumper but back-to-back triples by a red hot Hamilton gave Spirou its first lead, 17-18. Andre Riddick took over with an off-balance layup and a corner three-pointer by Green made all Madrd fans start to wonder at 17-23. Serge Ibaka hit a jump hook that Green erased with a long jumper. Free throws by Carroll and a layup by Mallet fixed the score at 21-27 after 10 minutes.
Carroll hit a jumper in the lane early in the second quarter but Hill answered from downtown to make it a seven-point game, 23-30. Ibaka tried to change things with a put-back layup and a big block on Riddick but Spirou didn't panic. Mallet hit a jumper but Sergio Llull erased it with a driving layup and free throws by a dominant Ibaka - 5 blocks in the first half - got his team within 29-32. Pocius scored around the basket but Hill buried another triple and fed Green for a fast break layup that gave Spirou some fresh air at 31-37. Pocius fed Felipe Reyes for an easy layup and added his own basket in transition to get Madrid closer at 35-37. Pocius stayed on fire with a fast break dunk but a layup by Mallet put Spirou back ahead, 37-39. Ibaka downed a baseline jumper that Hill improved with another three-pointer. Carroll and Beghin traded baskets but free throws by Llull and a put-back layup completed Madrid's comeback, 45-44. An unstoppable Hill buried a jumper but Carroll answered from downtown to make Madrid regain the lead, 48-46, at halftime.
Suarez buried a step-back jumper right after the break and Llull added a driving layup to boost Madrid's lead to 52-46. Shengelia scored around the basket and improved Mirotic's jump hook with a three-pointer that kept Spirou within 54-51. Ibaka nailed a mid-range jumper but a red hot Shengelia stepped up with a put-back layup. Rudy Fernandez struck from downtown but Spirou kept running its offense through Shengelia. He split free throws and collected a steal that allowed Hill to down a triple, good for a 59-57 score. Mallet sank a long jumper and a driving basket by Hill gave Spirou a 59-61 edge, after an 0-8 run. Carroll stepped up with a three-point play but the hosts improved on defense late in the third quarter. Mirotic sank free throws that Mallet matched with a layup. Mirotic took over with a fast break dunk and Mirza Begic hit foul shots, good for a 68-63 edge. Jiri Welsch shined with back-to-back layups and Beghin matched Pocius' free throws with a reverse layup for a 70-69 Spirou deficit after 30 minutes.
Rodriguez fired in a bomb from downtown early in the fourth quarter but Mallet quickly fed Green for a layup and free throws by Beghin and Mallet put Spirou back ahead, 73-74. Pocius and Beghin traded layups but free throws by Reyes restored a 77-76 Madrid lead. Rodriguez fed Pocius for an wild alleyoop slam that set the crowd on fire and free throws by Carroll boosted the hosts' lead to 81-76 with over 6 minutes left. Hill downed a triple but Spirou was already into the foul bonus and Madrid made the most out of it. Reyes hit free throws and a jumper by Carroll forced the guests to stop the game at 85-78. Green buried a step-back jumper but Pocius matched it with a fast break layup and free throws by Reyes seemed to seal the outcome, 89-80, with 3 minutes to go. Green followed free throws with a jumper, however, and a layup by Hamilton made Madrid call timeout, 90-86, with 1:22 left. Pocius split free throws and a jumper by Green got Spirou within striking distance, 91-88. Pocius and Reyes missed respective shots and Hamilton split free throws for a 91-89 score with 10.2 seconds to go. Pocius drew a foul and made free throws to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Thursday, November 24, 2011