Real Madrid cruises to 13th straight home win
Real Madrid remained unbeaten at home, overcoming a slow start to comfortably defeat Partizan NIS Belgrade 80-57 in the Spanish capital on Friday night. Madrid improved to 7-1 and a share of first place in Group F, while Partizan is in the last place with 1-7 record. The victory was the club’s 13 straight home win dating back to last season. The visitors opened the game with a 0-11 advantage, but Madrid hit 5 triples in the first quarter to take the lead for good. Behind Sergio Llull, the hosts strung together a 14-0 run bridging the first and second quarters to pull away to 30-17 and never looked back. The difference reached 20 points early in the third quarter, and Madrid cruised to victory. Llull and Sergio Rodriguez netted 19 apiece in victory. Felipe Reyes added 9 points, while Rudy Fernandez had 6 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals for Real Madrid. Sasha Pavlovic and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 10 apiece for Partizan, and Joffrey Lauvergne had 9 points plus 6 rebounds in defeat.
First quarter: Partizan starts strong, Madrid answers from downtown
Nikola Milutinov started things with a dunk, and Lauvergne followed it with a basket from close range. Partizan started mixing man defense with its 1-3-1 zone defense, and the hosts struggled offensively early on. Tarence Kinsey drove for a reverse layup, and Dejan Musli nailed a jumper to continue its run, before Bogdanovic capped it with a triple for a 0-11 lead after four minutes. However, Madrid's response was quick, as Fernandez sank a three-pointer, and Llull added two more from downtown on back-to-back-to-back possessions to get within 2. Musli scored a put-back for the visitors, but baskets from Ioannis Bourousis and Felipe Reyes tied it 13-13. After Pavlovic hit a jumper for Partizan, Tremmell Darden hit a triple for Madrid's first lead, 16-15. Gagic put Partizan briefly back in front with a layup, but forcing a turnover and an unsportsmanlike foul from Milneko Tepic helped Madrid regain the lead in the final 10 seconds of the quarter, and Rodriguez buried a buzzer beater – and the hosts' fifth triple – for a 22-17 cushion .
Second quarter: Llull carries Madrid into comfort zone
Llull continued the run in the second quarter with a tough layup-plus-foul, then followed it up with a three-pointer as the hosts extended the margin to 30-17. Mihajilo Andric snapped Partizan’s drought with free throws, before Bourousis and Milutinov traded baskets inside. Reyes scored a pair of shots for the hosts, while Tepic and Kinsey each hit one on the other end. A layup from Bourousis made it 41-25, and after Musli had a big dunk, Rodriguez hit a jumper and Mirotic made a pair of free throws, helping Real Madrid to a 46-27 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Los Blancos erase any doubts
Milutinov started the third quarter with a put-back. Mirotic dunked and Marcus Slaughter scored a basket to make it 50-29. Bogdanovic answered with a layup, and Kinsey hit a jumper for the visitors, but Llull hit a wide-open three-pointer for a 53-33 lead midway through the third. After a timeout, Pavlovic hit a triple, but an alley-oop dunk from Slaughter and a put-back from Fernandez extended it to 59-36. Bogdanovic scored for the visitors, and after Llull scored a fastbreak layup, Milutinov beat the buzzer with a fastbreak layup of his own to make it 61-40 after the third quarter.
Fourth quarter: Laso lets youngsters taste the Euroleague
Daniel Diez scored first in the final quarter, but Pavlovic answered with a triple and later drove for a dunk, and 63-45. Rodriguez nailed an off-the-dribble three-pointer, but Lauvergne made a dunk, making it 66-47. With Madrid clearly in control, the pace on both ends slowed down. Lauvergne and Bogdanovic cut it to 16 points, but Rodriguez hit another one from behind the arc, 70-51. Lauvergne scored a put-back-plus-foul, but Diez answered with a put-back and Rodriguez hit a triple. In the final minute of the game, Musli scored from close range, but Reyes hit a corner triple. Pablo Laso played his two teenagers, Alberto Martin and Jonathan Barreiro, the latter of whom split free throws for his first ever Euroleague points to round out the scoring.
Friday, February 28, 2014