Real blasts Khimki with record first half
Real Madrid remained unbeaten at home after beating visiting Khimki Moscow Region by 104-76 at WiZink Center on Tuesday night. The hosts collected their fourth straight win to improve their record to 6-3, while Khimki had its two-game winning streak snapped and is now tied with Real with the same number of wins. Real warned that something big was going to happen when it started with a strong 17-8 run early in the first quarter and when Khimki rallied to make it 24-25 a few minutes later, all hell broke loose in Madrid. Los Blancos outscored the visitors 20-4 between the quarters and added a 14-0 run later to set a first-half club-high at 65 and never looked back. Real was paced by Anthony Randolph, who led all scorers with 19 points. Facundo Campazzo posted 15 points and 5 assists, while Walter Tavares, Jordan Mickey and Jaycee Carroll had 15, 13 and 13 points, respectively, for the winners. Chris Kramer collected 14 points, followed by Alexey Shved and Anthony Gill with 12 each for Khimki.
The hosts had a strong start led by the duo of Campazzo and Randolph, who combined for 13 points with back-to-back triples from the big man for a 17-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Kurtinaitis stopped the game with a timeout that fired his team up as Shved finished a three-point play, Jonas Jerebko capped a fastbreak and Jeremy Evans nailed the first three for Khimki to make it a 1-point game in less than 90 seconds. Los Blancos didn’t tremble, even when Stefan Jovic put the visitors in front 24-25 later as they found the answer they needed from Randolph and Campazzo again. The Argentinean playmaker came up big entering the last minute with a huge three, stealing the ball later and assisting Gabriel Deck for a monster dunk and a couple of free throws to finish the first quarter with Real ahead 31-25. Mickey took over after the break with a basket and a tip-in to give Real a double-digit lead, 38-25, which Carroll extended later to 44-29 with consecutive threes. Even though Devin Booker and Kramer tried to get Khimki to react, their effort was useless against the white storm that was about to come. Rudy Fernández, Deck, Mickey and Sergio Llull contributed with 3 points each on four consecutive possessions to spark a 14-0 run that set Wizink Center on fire and made it 58-34. With Khimki already on the ropes, Real added 7 more points to cap an incredible first-half scoring performance and head the locker room with a 23-point advantage, 65-42.
Things got even worse for the visitors after the break. Tavares joined the party and punished Khimki’s defense with 10 points, including a couple of three-point plays, on a 16-2 run that extended the margin to 81-44 after 25 minutes. Gill tried to find a way to improve his team’s mood with 5 points in a row and Kramer joined him later with 7 more of his own, but they found no help from any of their other teammates to counter the home team's offensive festival. Trey Thompkins hit a corner three in his EuroLeague season debut to close the third quarter with Real enjoying a comfortable 92-56 lead. With the outcome in no doubt, both teams traded baskets in the last period, as the only questions to be answered were how big the margin would become and how many points Real would score in the end. Thompkins made Real reach the 100-point mark with 5:43 remaining, but the offense slowed down for the hosts after that. A 2-10 run for Khimki in the last minutes allowed the visitors to make it less painful.
Best first-half ever for Real
Real Madrid set a new club record when it finished the first half with 65 points. That was just 1 point far from tying Virtus Bologna, which still holds the EuroLeague mark with 66 first-half points against Cibona in 2000.
Fourth in a row
Real had been struggling since it had to play three road games early this season, having lost in Kaunas, Istanbul and Munich. But once it came back home to defeat ALBA, Los Blancos look powerful again. They have collected four wins in as many games after that, including an away victory in Belgrade.
Did you notice?
Real Madrid came from a painful domestic loss in Bilbao last weekend, showing a terrible shooting night. The team was for 6 of 38 from behind the arc, with Campazzo and Fernandez combining to shoot 0 of 15. On this night, Real shot much better, finishing the third quarter on a remarkable 13 of 18 from deep.
No Shved, no party
The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague's top scorer so far was held to just 12 points by Real’s defense. It was his season-low as well as his worst in performance index rating (4).
Both teams return to EuroLeague action in a few days. Khimki Moscow Region remains in Spain to face Valencia Basket on Thursday. One day later, Real Madrid hosts CSKA Moscow.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019