euroleague working day 27
A triple at the last second decided a great game. Costello hit from the perimeter against the opposition of Rudy, who committed a foul, and Baskonia conquered Madrid’s field in the Euroleague. The whites’ first defeat after five straight European victories was portrayed by that final sigh and a superb performance by Darius Thompson (18 points and 14 assists) that nullified Musa’s deployment (21 points and 8 rebounds). It was a mad end to a high-flying, hectic, power-to-power date between two colossi that did not give a second of respite. A poster match.
From the outset, two stars on the bench. Tavares, recovered from a sprained ankle, and Markus Howard as spectators. And the versatile Deck of four with Poirier as the starting tower. The Frenchman and another ex-Baskonian, Hanga, tightened the first nuts biting into both rings (9-2). At Baskonia it became clear very quickly who was in charge: Darius Thompson rose above everyone to connect with Kotsar and between them they signed the first 14 points for the visitors (16-14). Joan Peñarroya’s group had a hard time tying the rebound, Poirier’s ground, in a high-speed duel. The appearances of Tavares and Howard rounded off that first confrontation (22-17).
Madrid sought to handcuff Thompson, multiplied with the ball in his hands. He supplied Kotsar the same as Enoch, and Costello took Tavares out of the cave to tickle from a distance (28-29). The giant responded inside, of course. The meeting was filled with great actions, with a lot of spark. Chus Mateo claimed to close the bleeding of losses and a break from Tavares coincided with a 2-9 (32-38) run. Rudy and Sergio Rodríguez took a step forward and Poirier once again put on muscle to reach the break a span ahead (43-40). From 2-9 to 11-2.
All parts carburized at full revs. It was the night of an enlightened Thompson. Either he delivered the food to his inner companions or he cooked the dish himself (47-52). Tavares had to return to quell that outburst of the Peñarroya boys. But Baskonia has faith, which continued to strike with the distant bingos of Thompson and Costello.
The encounter was a relentless combat. It went from 50-59 in a flash to 60-59 thanks to those outbursts of fury from Madrid, the work of the eternal Rudy and the effervescent Musa on this occasion. The Bosnian forward took command of the operations and Tavares dared with a little bomb to close the third quarter (65-62).
Who else, Thompson tied the game and Musa replied. Howard joined the three-point contest and Tavares rose under the hoops to give Madrid a good income (78-71). Baskonia rose once again with long shots. From a partial of 7-0 to a 1-8 for the tie at 81 with 35 seconds to go. In the final balance, Tavares failed under the ring and Costello was right at the last second to define a major match that leaves Madrid a victory behind Olympiacos but with one less match, the one postponed due to the earthquake in Turkey and that they will play next Tuesday at the Anadolu Efes track. Before, this Thursday, another Spanish duel: Real Madrid-Valencia.
R. MADRID, 81; BASKONIA, 85
Real Madrid: William-Goss (6), Hanga (6), Musa (21), Deck (4) and Poirier (10) —initial quintet—; Causeur (1), Rudy Fernández (9), Hezonja (2), Sergio Rodriguez (3), Tavares (13) and Yabusele (6).
Baskonia: Thompson (18), Marinkovic (3), Giedraitis (6), Hommes (2) and Kotsar (13) —starting five—; Howard (11), Heidegger (5), Sedekerskis (0), Díez (3), Enoch (4), Costello (20) and Kurucs (0).
Partial: 22-17, 21-23, 22-22 and 16-23.
Referees: Damir Javor (Slovenia), Emin Mogulkoc (Turkey) and Gytis Vilius (Lithuania).
WiZink Center. 7,286 spectators.
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