What seemed an easy win for Real Madrid in Kazan, turned into a thriller won by hosting Unics, when Sergey Chikalkin, in his only basket of the night, hit a three that forced overtime in the last second and from then, Unics relied on Ksystof Lavrinovic's three triples without miss in the extra session for the final 100-94 score. Real dominated by 6 points entering the last minute, 74-80, but first a triple by Mateen Cleaves and then Chilaklin's gave Unics the option of an extra session and the morale to roll in the additional five minutes. The win allows Unics to improve to 3-1 in Group D, while Real Madrid drops to 1-3. Saulius Stombergas was the best scorer for the winners with 29 points missinng only one shot, and including four straight points in two playes with steal and basket for 74-79. Jarod Stevenson added 20 points, Cleaves had 14, Lavrinovic 13 including 4 of 4 triples, and Yehor Meshcheryakov added 11. For Real Madrid, Louis Bullock, Charles Smith and Raul Lopez had 18 points apiece, the latter hitting 5 of 7 triples. Marko Tomas posted 10 for Real Madrid.
Stombergas found a quick basket underneath but was answered in a fast play by Axel Hervelle. Ksystof Lavrinovic raised for the first three ut Real Madrid played fast as Alex Mumbru drove in the baseline for a layup and a 5-6. Jarod Stevenson blocked Hervelle's shot in one side while Stombergas found thebottom of the net in the other for his sixth point and a 9-6. The tough defense of Unics made Madrid struggle in offense while the hosts played fast every time they could as Stombergas hit the layup for 14-10. Lavrinovic blocked Raul Lopez's attempt to drive, as Ratko Varda stepped on court for Real o try to give more consistency underneath. Mumbru scored for the guests again, and then Varda found space inside for a 18-19 Unics edge that forced a timeout of the hosts. Dmitry Sokolov only scored a free throw and the reply was a triple by Lopez, however, Stombergas copied him for a 22-19 Unics advantage and his 11th point after 10 minutes. Varda opened the second half with a layup but left the court with a slight ankle injury. Petr Samoylenko replied with Unics' fourth triple, as Bullock took it personal with a three-point play that made it 25-24. Charles Smith, who had also stepped on court for Real, gave the guests their first lead, 25-26. Unics had serious problems in offense now, while the defense allowed spaces to Real's offense as Marko Tomas' break left things on a 26-32 Real Madrid lead. Smith punished Unics' rim with a new three, but Yehor Meshcheryakov awakened Unics, 31-35. Another exchange of triples and a Cleaves layup allowed Unics to get closer at 38-40, but Smith blasted a new bomb from downtown. Cleaves and Savanovic made it 41-46, but in thelast play with six seconds to go, Kerem Tunceri beat the buzzer with a triple for 41-49 at the break.
The second half started with slow scoring as Meshcheryakov broke the ice with a basket in minute 24. Bullock and Cleaves exchanged points again as Real Madrid mainatined its lead of 47-53. Defenses took over and both teams had a ahard time to score in the third quarter, but finally Savanovic hit a triple to make it 50-55 in minute 27. Free throws by Jarod Stevenson made Unics stay even closer, but Varda, back to the court, did the same. Stombergas had 4 points in a row again after being shut for the second quarter, however Felipe Reyes put back an offensive rebound for 58-61, after Savanovic's layup to reach the end of the third quarter. Unics' defense forced Madrid's shot clock to expire but two plays later, Lopez broke the spell in the last period with a three for 58-64. Unics was now not accurate in offense, missing easy shots, except when Stombergas appeared again to follow with his good shooting series. Tomas hit the second triple for Madrid in the quarter, and Lopez did the same in the following play as the guests pulled away with a 2-9 run for 60-70. Stombergas nailed two new threes for his 25 personal points, getting Kazan closer again at 66-70 in minute 35. Lopez came to the rescue with an 8-meter three over the shot clock buzzer, but Stombergas scored again. Five straight points arrived for Madrid including a three by Smith to make it 70-79. When Bullock tried to play long for Real Madrid, two steals with baskets for Stombergas put Unics close again in no time, 74-79 with 51 seconds left. Bullock went to the charity line with 19 seconds left, but hit only one, 74-80. Cleaves appeared for a quick three, but he fouled Raul, but he missed both free throws. Cleaves looked for the three, but Smith fouled him. The ball went to the side, and Sergey Chikalkin, in his second shot of the night, hit a crucial three that sent the game into overtime, 80-80.
Lavrinovic was left alone on the right wing for his second triple since the second Unics basket of the game. Lopez found a new three for Real Madrid but Cleaves fell down for a basket plus free throw, even though he missed the extra shot, 87-85. Lavrinovic found his third triple without miss to get Unics going, but scoring ace Smith replied fast, to which Lavrinovic blasted his fourth triple of the night to send the stands into a frenzy and the scoreboard to a 93-88. Smith only scored one free throw as both teams felt the tension, especially Madrid from the charity stripe. Tomas scored one again with one minute to go to make it 93-90. However, a last triple by Stevenson with less than 40 seconds to go for 98-92, broke the game open for Unics who then cruised to thefinal 100-94 win.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006