Perperoglou's late heroics push Barcelona past Madrid!
In a Game of the Week edition of El Clasico, their world-renowned rivalry, FC Barcelona Lassa raced ahead early and held on to beat Real Madrid 72-65 at home in Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Both teams now have 6-5 records in Group F, but Barcelona has the edge between them after beating the reigning Euroleague champions twice in this Top 16. Stratos Perperoglou came up with big plays late to lead Barcelona with 20 points. Tomas Satoransky helped his team dominate early and finished with 17 points, while Justin Doellman scored 11 and Joey Dorsey pulled 10 rebounds. Madrid got 16 points from Gustavo Ayon and 11 from Felipe Reyes, but they were the only visitors to break double digits. Satoransky and Doellman shined early as Barcelona shocked Madrid with a 16-0 run to a 19-2 start. The 25-4 score after 10 minutes marked Madrid's lowest output in a quarter this century, and back-to-back triples by Pau Ribas soon boosted Barcelona's lead to a high of 31-6. Sergio LLull and Jeffery Taylor fueled a 0-12 comeback run to bring Madrid within 40-28 at halftime. A three-pointer by Perperoglou boosted Barcelona's lead to 49-32 in the third quarter, but Sergio Rodriguez, Ayon and Jaycee Carroll fueled a 3-19 closing run to make it 52-51 after 30 minutes. A triple by Carroll completed Madrid's 25-point comeback, 52-54, early in the fourth quarter and the visitors still led 63-64 in the next-to-last minute on back-to-back dunks by Ayon. But there the historic comeback try ended as Perperoglou followed a three-point play with free throws as Barcelona took a 68-64 lead with 54.4 seconds left and never looked back.
First quarter: 16-0 run puts Barcelona way ahead
Satoransky got Barcelona going with a three-pointer from the top of the key and erased Felipe Reyes's tip-in with a driving layup for a 5-2 lead. Doellman buried a step-back jumper and followed that with free throws to boost Barcelona's lead to 9-2. Satoransky insisted from downtown to make it a double-digit game, 12-2, forcing Madrid to call timeout. Brad Oleson joined the three-point shootout, as Madrid kept missing close shots. The visitors had been scoreless for 5 minutes when a wild, put-back slam by Joey Dorsey ignited the crowd at 17-2. A fastbreak layup by Stratos Perperoglou capped a mammoth 16-0 run during which Madrid missed 9 consecutive shots until Augusto Lima stepped up with a layup. Ante Tomic found Satoransky for an easy basket and soon added a layup that made it a 19-point game, 23-4. Doellman scored again to extend his team's lead to 25-4 after 10 minutes. That not only left Madrid with its lowest-scoring Euroleague quarter this century, but the 21-point difference matched the highest after one quarter in Top 16 history.
Second quarter: Madrid bounces back with late run
Lima shined with a two-handed dunk early in the second quarter, as Madrid tried to improve its ball circulation with Sergio Rodriguez and a recovered Rudy Fernandez together on court. Barcelona found a new go-to guy in Pau Ribas, who nailed back-to-back three-pointers to break the game open at 31-6. Rodriguez took over with a driving layup that Andres Nocioni followed with a three-pointer in transition to bring Madrid a bit closer, 32-11. Marcus Eriksson hit a put-back layup for Barcelona, but Sergio Llull and Nocioni kept the guests within 33-14. Gustavo Ayon stepped up with a reverse put-back that Perperoglou bettered with a three-pointer. Doellman hit a free throw and Tomic added a put-back layup as the Barcelona lead stayed strong at 39-16. Llull tried to change things for Madrid with consecutive triples, making the hosts call timeout at 39-22. Jeffery Taylor joined the three-point shootout and Ayon dunked to cap a 0-12 Madrid run before Samardo Samuels scored for Barcelona to fix the halftime score at 40-28.
Third quarter: Los Blancos get back in the game
Satoransky ignited the crowd with a one-handed dunk immediately after the break. Ayon and Perperoglou exchanged close baskets, as the game turned into a physical battle. Perperoglou insisted with a jump-hook that gave Barcelona a 46-30 lead. K.C. Rivers made free throws but a red-hot Perperoglou did betted with a three-pointer that sent the crowd to their feet at 49-32. Jaycee Carroll answered from downtown and a fastbreak slam by Ayon kept Madrid as close as 49-37. Rodriguez buried a triple in transition to get Madrid within single digits, 49-40, making Barcelona call timeout. Doellman stepped up with a turnaround jumper but Reyes followed free throws with a close basket that made it a seven-point game, 51-44. Perperoglou split free throws but a reverse layup by Ayon and a three-pointer by Carroll brought Madrid within 51-49. A layup off a steal by Rodriguez made it a one-point game, 52-51, at the end of the third quarter.
Fourth quarter: Down to the wire - again!
Another three-pointer by Carroll completed one of the most unbelievable comebacks in Euroleague history, 52-54, but it was still early in the fourth quarter. Reyes nailed a mid-range jumper and Ayon stayed on fire with a tip-in to boost Madrid's lead to 52-58. Barcelona needed answers and found a go-to guy in Satoransky, who followed a three-pointer with an outstanding slam that made Madrid call timeout at 57-58. Both teams struggled to score for 2 intense minutes until Reyes stepped up with a four-meter jumper. Oleson answered with a coast-to-coast layup, as Madrid tried a small lineup with Jonas Maciulis at power forward. A put-back layup by Dorsey put Barcelona back ahead, 61-60, with 3 minutes left. Ayon briefly silenced the crowd with a big slam and erased Oleson's free throws with another alley-oop dunk for a 63-64 Madrid lead in the next-to-last minute. That's when Perperoglou took over with a critical three-point play and soon added free throws to make Madrid call timeout, 68-64, with 54.4 seconds to go. Reyes split free throws, Dorsey missed twice from the line but Oleson got a key offensive rebound that allowed Perperoglou to seal the outcome with free throws as Madrid ran out of time.
Thursday, March 17, 2016