Doncic’s last-second triple lifts Madrid over Zvezda
In a thriller that went down to the wire, Luka Doncic hit a three-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining to lift Real Madrid to a dramatic 79-82 road win at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. The win improved Madrid to 18-11 in fourth place in the standings, while already eliminated Zvezda dropped to 11-18. Madrid led for the first 33 minutes of the game, but a 15-0 run that bridged third and fourth quarters put Zvezda in front. The teams traded leads, and it seemed the game might be heading to overtime after Alen Omic’s dunk tied it at 79-79 with 6 seconds to go. But Doncic hit a game-winning triple in the final second to give visitors an important win in the race for the home-court advantage in the playoffs. Doncic finished the game with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Felipe Reyes collected 14 points and 9 rebounds, and Trey Thompkins scored 11 in victory. Omic had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Zvezda, James Feldeine netted 18 points with 9 assists, and Ognjen Dobric scored 12 in the losing effort.
Madrid stormed out of the gate scoring the first 10 points behind Doncic, who had a short jumper, a triple, and a bounce-pass assist for a Fabien Causeur’s layup. Zvezda needed more than 3 minutes to open its account, and Dejan Davidovac had a layup-plus-foul that cut it to 7-12, but Doncic scored 5 and Reyes had 6 close-range points as Madrid opened a 13-23 margin. Feldeine and Thompkins traded triples in the final 6 seconds of the first quarter to make it 20-27 after 10 minutes, and triples from Chasson Randle and Thompkins extended it to 24-35 early in the second quarter. But Omic had a put-back and a runner, and with contributions on both ends of the floor from Dobric, Zvezda cut the deficit. Omic scored 10 second-quarter points, and the visitors went into the break with a 39-43 lead.
Doncic opened the third quarter with a triple, before a put-back from Reyes and a runner from Causeur made it 43-53. Mathias Lessort answered with a pair of baskets, and a three-pointer from Feldeine halved the deficit, 50-55. A brief scoreless period followed, after which Anthony Randolph hit a three-pointer, but Dylan Ennis scored 5 points to make it 57-64 after 30 minutes, and Zvezda scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter to take its first lead of the night. Omic had two baskets inside, Dobric nailed a transition triple, before Feldeine had a runner and a fastbreak layup that opened a 70-64 lead. However, Randle hit a triple and Tavares converted a three-point play as Madrid restored a 70-72 edge. Feldeine knocked down a three, but Tavares scored a pair of layups on consecutive possessions, and a dunk by Thomkins with 40 seconds to go made it 75-79. But Feldeine hit a runner with 26 seconds left, followed by Zvezda forcing a turnover then tying the game on Omic’s dunk. 79-79. Madrid had the final 6 seconds, Doncic took the inbound pass, shook off Dobric with a drible, and nailed a step-back triple in the final second for Madrid’s win.
Friday, March 30, 2018