Tavares and Campazzo lead Real to comeback in Kaunas
Real Madrid came back from an 11-point deficit to claim a hard-earned and exciting 90-93 road win at Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday night. Real were red-hot in the first quarter to take a 24-32 lead, but a 13-0 run put Zalgiris in charge. The home team’s lead grew to 66-55 in the third quarter, but Real battled back in the fourth and Walter Tavares took over in the final stages to seal the outcome. It was the first road win of the season for Real, which improves to 3-4, while Zalgiris drops to 5-2. The unstoppable Tavares, who missed only 1 foul shot all night, led Real with a huge double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Facundo Campazzo also had a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists. Jaycee Carroll netted 13 points, Sergio Llull added 11 and Alberto Abalde scored 10 in victory. Thomas Walkup paced Zalgiris with 18 points, and October’s league MVP Marius Grigonis added 17. Augustine Rubit scored 14 points, Arturas Milaknis added 12 and Nigel Hayes contributed 10.
Campazzo twice fed Tavares to score from Real’s opening two possessions, while Grigonis, Campazzo and Walkup were on target from deep for an 8-8 tie. Walkup netted another triple but Carroll bettered that with two inside buckets and a triple for an 11-18 lead. The red-hot Carroll and Lukas Lekavicius traded floaters and a pair of threeballs from Campazzo made it 19-30. Milaknis responded from deep before Carroll again and Rubit fixed the first quarter score at 24-32. Rubit opened the second quarter with a pair of baskets, Milaknis struck from beyond the arc and Walkup’s floater and three-pointer sent Zalgiris ahead, 39-34, as Real scored just 2 points in the opening 6:30 of the period. Llull ended that drought from deep and soon added another pair of baskets, but 5 points from Grigonis followed by threeballs from Hayes and Walkup kept Zalgiris ahead at the break, 54-48. Joffrey Lauvergne scored twice to start the second half, and a tip-in from Walkup made it a double-digit game, 60-50. Tavares and Abalde brought Real closer, but Milankis from deep and Rubit from mid-range protected the home team’s lead. Tavares continued to punish Zalgiris inside and his three-point play helped make it 73-67 with ten minutes remaining. Trey Thompkins twice struck from long-range early in the fourth, and another triple from Campazzo gave Real the lead, 75-78. Lauvergne and Grigonis struck back for Zalgiris, and a three-point play by Milaknis made it 82-78. Campazzo and Hayes struck from deep, before Tavares with two alley-oops and a layup made it 86-87 inside the last 90 seconds. Tavares grabbed another offensive rebound and made his free throws to extend the lead, and Zalgiris couldn’t answer as Real held firm.
Real on fire in the first
Real circulated the ball superbly in the first quarter, racking up 9 assists and making 8-of-8 two-point attempts in the process of scoring 32 points in the opening 10 minutes. Facundo Campazzo shone with 11 points and 4 assists and Jaycee Carroll also netted 11 in that sparkling first quarter.
Tireless Campazzo makes a difference
Although Walter Tavares was the key man with a huge double-double, Campazzo also played a key role in the victory. Real’s point guard scored a career-high 5 three-pointers, and spent every second of the second half on the floor as he finished with 19 points, 10 assists and 3 steals.
Career performance for Walkup
Thomas Walkup produced the best performance of his 69-game EuroLeague career by posting 18 points, 9 assists and a personal best 7 rebounds for a PIR of 29. But all 18 of those points came in the opening 22 minutes and Real was able to contain him much better the rest of the way.
Milaknis climbs into all-time top ten
Zalgiris sniper Arturas Milaknis made 3-of-4 three-point attempts to climb into the competition’s all-time top 10 for triples converted. He now has 379 career triples, overtaking JR Holden (377).
Round 8 will send Zalgiris to Israel to face Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv next Thursday, while Real is back on the road to face Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade the following night.
Friday, November 6, 2020