Madrid runs past Baskonia, moves to 3-0
In an all-Spanish clash to close Round 3, reigning champ Real Madrid topped KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 97-79 on Friday night in the Spanish capital. Madrid remained undefeated and one of three teams with a perfect 3-0 record, while Baskonia dropped to 1-2. In another stellar offensive performance from Madrid, Sergio Llull led the way with 23 points, while Rudy Fernandez netted 14 on 4-for-5 three-point shooting. Marcelinho Huertas was Baskonia’s top scorer with 14 points.
In a fast-paced game from the get-go, Sergio Llull and Anthony Randolph fueled an early 10-0 run, setting the tone for Madrid with two triples each. Baskonia’s balanced offense pulled back to 15-10 but Llull had 13 points in 10 minutes, including a three-point play that made it 25-19. Two triples from Facundo Campazzo helped open a 34-24 gap in the second, and even though Fernandez also hit twice from long range, Baskonia found way to answer with Toko Shengelia inside, and Huertas and Patricio Garino from long range. The visitors came within 44-41, but the hosts finished the half better and took a 52-44 lead into the break. Baskonia remained determined in the third quarter, and with a three from Luca Vildoza, and two from Matt Janning, they got within 61-59. Patricio Garino’s put-back tied it at 65-65 with 2:49 to go in the third, but Llull answered with two triples, and Fabien Causeur had a three-point play in between for a quick 9-0 burst that put the hosts up for good. Baskonia attempted one last rally and used Vildoza’s triple to cut it to 78-72, but Fernandez hit consecutive triples while Felipe Reyes and Walter Tavares each had a three-point play during a 17-3 spurt that opened a 95-75 lead with just over 3 minutes to go, and Madrid was well on its way to victory.
Baskonia managed to tie the game at 65-65 with 2:49 left in the third quarter, but Madrid answered with a 9-0 run in only 1 minute and 18 seconds, with Llull knocking down two three-pointers and Causeur driving for a basket-plus-foul. Baskonia never managed to recover again.
Movers and Shakers
Llull and Fernandez were just two of Madrid’s five double-digit scorers. Causeur and Anthony Randolph scored 11 apiece, and Felipe Reyes scored 10. Tavares was a big factor inside, with 7 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. For Baskonia, apart from Huertas and his 14 points, Garino had 12 points, Vildoza netted 11, and Janning added 10 in defeat.
Did You Notice?
Madrid has started the season on fire offensively. In each of the first three games Madrid scored more than 90 points, and is averaging unprecedented numbers: 99 points, 13 three-pointers on 45.9% accuracy, while dishing 21.3 assists and posting a PIR of 123.3.
Next week in Round 4, the reigning champ will try to continue its perfect start to the season when it hosts winless Buducnost Voli Podgorica (0-3). Baskonia, meanwhile, goes back on the road to play FC Bayern Munich (1-2).
Friday, October 19, 2018