Madrid returns to the Top 16 with high-scoring road win
In an outstanding run-and-gun showdown that went down to the wire, Real Madrid advanced to the Top 16 by edging Nizhny Novgorod 98-101 on the road in Group A on Thursday. Madrid improved to 6-2 and mathematically clinched a spot in the next stage, while Nizhny dropped to 3-5. Sergio Rodriguez led six Madrid scorers in double digits with 19 points. Andres Nocioni added 15 and 9 rebounds, Ioannis Bourousis had 13 points, Felipe Reyes scored 12, Rudy Fernandez 11 while Sergio Llull contributed 10 and tied his career-high with 9 assists. Taylor Rochestie had 22 points to lead Nizhny, but could not finish the game due to an injury. Tarence Kinsey added 20, Semen Antonov 16, Art Parakhouski 12 while Evgeny Baburin contributed 11 for the hosts, who led 83-80 with three minutes left. Madrid used a 0-8 run to get the lead for good, but Kinsey and an outstanding Antonov kept the hosts within 1 inside the final minute. Llull hit 6 free throws in the final 36 seconds and Reyes grabbed a key defensive rebound that sealed the outcome in the final seconds.
First quarter: Nizhny jumps out to early lead
Rochestie got Nizhny going with a running jumper and a layup by Art Parakhouski gave the hosts a 4-0 lead. Madrid missed three shots from downtown in the opening 70 seconds, but Andres Nocioni stepped up with a layup. Semen Antonov shined with a put-back basket, which Parakhouski followed with a layup for an 8-2 Nizhny edge. Parakhouski kept pacing the hosts with free throws that Rudy Fernandez bettered with a three-pointer. Tarence Kinsey and K.C. Rivers traded jumpers and a quick triple by Rochestie ignited the crowd at 15-7. Nocioni took over with back-to-back baskets. Rivers and Trey Thompkins exchanged shots from downtown before a layup by Salah Mejri got Madrid within 18-16. Thompkins nailed a wild catch-and-shoot three-pointer and a layup by Vladimir Ivlev created a 23-16 Nizhny advantage. Mejri made free throws and a steal and dunk by Sergio Llull kept Madrid within 23-20 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Run-and-gun basketball!
Jaycee Carroll sank a second-chance layup early in the quarter. Rochestie answered from downtown, but Nizhny started to miss open shots. Meanwhile, a three-pointer by Rodriguez kept Madrid within 26-25. Rochestie fed Levan Patsatsia for an easy basket, but Madrid kept powering the offensive glass through an outstanding Felipe Reyes. Rodriguez downed another triple and free throws by Carroll completed the visitors’ comeback at 28-30. Rodriguez found Mejri for a one-handed dunk and a layup by Reyes caused Nizhny to call timeout at 28-34. Evgeny Baburin stepped up with a three-point play and a big triple by Kinsey tied it at 34-34. Antonov capped a 9-0 run with a shot from downtown. Rodriguez scored in penetration, but a jump hook by Parakohuski kept Nizhny ahead, 39-36. Rochestie banked in a running shot before Rodriguez scored around the basket and Jonas Maciulis got Madrid within 41-39. After Baburin nailed a triple, a buzzer-beating basket by Rodriguez fixed the halftime score at 44-41.
Third quarter: Bourousis keeps Madrid close
Bourousis scored twice around the basket immediately after the break to give Madrid the lead, 44-45. Antonov downed a long baseline jumper and a free throw by Kinsey gave Nizhny a 47-45 edge. Kinsey found space for an uncontested three-pointer. Bourousis kept pacing Madrid with a second-chance layup, but another triple by Antonov boosted the hosts' lead to 53-47. Nocioni quickly answered from downtown and Fernandez wildly fed Bourousis for a three-point play to bring Madrid within 55-53. Nocioni accidentally scored in his own basket and a triple by Thompkins gave Nizhny fresh air at 60-53. After Bourousis free throws, Nocioni added a tip-in and a jumper by Fernandez made it a 1-point game. Kinsey buried a three-pointer and matched Bourousis's basket with foul shots. Mejri and Parakhouski hit foul shots. A jumper by Rochestie restored a 69-64 Nizhny lead. Nocioni and Llull kept Madrid within 69-68.
Fourth quarter: Down to the final seconds!
Free throws by Fernandez completed Madrid's comeback, 69-70, early in the quarter. A three-pointer by Rodriguez soon boosted the lead to 4. Baburin answered from downtown, but Carroll sank a one-handed floater in the lane and a free throw by Reyes gave Madrid a 72-76 edge. Rochestie struck from downtown, added a jumper and made free throws to put Nizhny back ahead 80-78. Kinsey split foul shots and Fernandez hit 2 free throws. Rochestie left the game due to injury. Kinsey downed more foul shots, but Rodriguez and Reyes restored an 83-84 Madrid edge with over three minutes left. Nocioni made free throws and had a critical block on Parakhouski and a fast break dunk by Fernandez made it 83-88. Khvostov hit an off-balance shot and a wild four-point play by Antonov kept Nizhny within 89-90. Rodriguez swished a five-meter jumper. Parakhouski dunked, but Reyes gave Madrid a 91-94 edge with 1:04 left. Rochestie returned to action to hit free throws and so did Llull for a 93-96 score. After Kinsey dunked, Llull made free throws and Madrid fouled Baburin with 11 seconds left. He made both attempts and Llull returned to the line with 3.6 seconds remaining. Llull sank both free throws. Kinsey drew a foul and intentioanlly missed his second attempt, but Reyes grabbed the rebound and sealed Madrid's win.
Thursday, December 4, 2014