Madrid rallies from 14 down to beat Unicaja on the road
Real Madrid rallied from a 14-point deficit to down Unicaja Malaga 64-72 and stay unbeaten in the Top 16. Madrid improved to 4-0 to keep a share of first place in Group E with CSKA Moscow, while Unicaja dropped to 1-3 and sits in fifth place. The hosts had the game in control when Krunoslav Simon scored 8 quick points at the start of the third quarter and grabbed a 46-32 advantage. But Real Madrid started a comeback with triples by Nikola Mirotic and Rudy Fernandez before Sergio Rodriguez scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of triples that put the visitors up for good. Fernandez finished with 15 points and Rodriguez with 14 in victory. Jaycee Carroll scored all 9 of his points in the final seven minutes and Sergio Llull chipped in with 8 points plus 5 assists. Simon led Unicaja with 16 points, shooting 4 for 6 from downtown. Fran Vazquez added 12, while Luka Zoric and Andy Panko each had 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Madrid heats up from downtown for early edge
Fernandez and Llull hit back-to-back triples for Real Madrid to open the game, before Simon hit one for the hosts, and Zoric used a lovely spin move inside to make it 5-6. Madrid answered with Llull and Fernandez hooking-up for an alley-oop dunk, but other than these flashy moves, both teams needed a few minutes to get into their offensive groove. Things picked up after Llull and Earl Calloway traded layins, and Carlos Suarez hit a triple for 9-15. It did not take long for Unicaja to catch up, as Vazquez and Sergi Vidal each made a pair of foul shots, and Simon hit another three-pointer, but Martynas Pocius made a layup and beat the buzzer on a long jumper to make it 16-19 after the first quarter.
Second quarter: Unicaja pulls away with 10-0 run
Augusto Cesar Lima, Vazquez and Marcus Williams all hit jumpers at the start of the second quarter to give Unicaja the lead, 22-19, but Felipe Reyes and Fernandez answered with layups for the visitors to regain a slim advantage. Madrid scored another alley-oop dunk, this time from Fernandez to Marcus Slaughter, but Unicaja went on a spurt starting with a fastbreak layup from Williams. Panko and Zoric followed up with jump shots before a three-pointer from Txemi Urtasun forced the visitors to call a timeout. Panko’s triple capped a run of 10 unanswered points, giving the hosts a 34-25 lead. Fernandez made a layup-plus-foul before the end of the quarter, but Unicaja kept a 36-30 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Simon’s run gives the hosts a double-digit lead
Simon hit a triple to open the third quarter and start another Unicaja run. After a Zoric dunk, Simon hit a jumper and a triple on back-to-back possessions for 46-32, a 10-2 run in little over two minutes. Mirotic answered with a three-pointer from the left corner for Madrid’s first field goal of the quarter, and after Zoric scored inside, Fernandez hit a triple and added a layup for 48-40. Slaughter’s alley-oop dunk cut it to 5 points, but Vazquez made a dunk to give Unicaja 50-43 lead after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Rodriguez and Carroll complete the Madrid comeback
Rodriguez nailed a shot from downtown to open scoring in the fourth quarter. Rodriguez then found Dontaye Draper for a wide-open three, and then hit a floater for 50-51. Carroll extended the lead with a jumper and a fade-away triple for 52-56. Unicaja’s scoring in the first six minutes of the quarter boiled down to 4 free throws from Vazquez, while Rodriguez hit another floater and an off-balance three-pointer for 54-61. Calloway ended the hosts’ field goal drought with a jumper, and Panko’s layup halved the deficit, but Llull hit a triple extending the lead to 58-64, and another floater from Rodriguez made it 61-68 inside the last two minutes. After a basket from Zoric, Carroll hit a runner keep the margin at 7 points, and the visitors sealed the deal with couple of offensive rebounds before a layup from Reyes rounded out the scoring.
Thursday, January 17, 2013