Real Madrid downed Partizan mt:s Belgrade 78-58
Real Madrid started the Top 16 in style on Wednesday by dominating Partizan mt:s Belgrade 78-58 at Caja Magica in the Spanish capital. Sergio Llull shined with a Euroleague career-high 21 points plus 4 assists and Clay Tucker added 18 to lead Madrid, which pulled away for good with a 19-3 second-quarter run. Both teams played excellent defense for long stretches, but the difference was Partizan committing 28 fouls, which Madrid converted into 31 free throws from 37 tries. Partizan got to the line 16 times and made just 9. Novica Velickovic also had a big game for the winners against his former team, hauling in 12 rebounds to tie the team record for most ever in a Top 16 game. Jan Vesely paced Partizan with 13 points, but made just 1 of 6 free throws. Nathan Jawai and Curtis Jerrells added 12 points apiece in defeat.
Pablo Prigioni dumped off for Ante Tomic and a basket-plus-foul as the hosts tried to establish their size early. Stingy defenses kept both sides from scoring. Petar Bozic broke through for Partizan’s first basket from downtown, but Llull matched him. The visitors looked a bit more comfortable when able to pick up the pace and a Jerrells steal led to a wicked reverse slam by James Gist that silenced the crowd. Llull used a mismatch to shoot over Jawai and then he was left wide-open off a pick-and-pop and punished Partizan with a three. Vesely tried to match him, but threw an airball instead. Still Jerrells and Dragan Milosavljevic got to the basket to tie the game and Jawai fought for a pass from Kecman and spun to put the visitors up 13-15. Tucker evened the score from the line, but Partizan had the last word when Jawai ended the quarter with a vicious one-handed slam to make it 17-18.
Vladimir Lucic scored inside to start the second quarter, but Prigioni knotted the score from the line and Tucker put the hosts back on top with a pull-up three. D’Or Fischer added a jumper as Madrid finished an 8-0 push to make it 25-20 as the visitors called for timeout. Jawai sent a perfect lob to Vesely for a layup that ended Partizan’s drought. Carlos Suarez nailed a second-chance triple and Jorge Garbajosa added a jumper. Prigioni needed to take a seat after running into Jawai, but the hosts continued to pad their lead. Vesely missed a put-back slam at one end and fouled Suarez at the other, who made 2 free throws for his team’s first double-digit lead, 34-23. Llull tacked on 2 more free throws to cap a 19-3 charge before Jerrells penetrated for a Partizan layup. Tucker continued Madrid’s hot shooting with a three from the corner to make it 41-25. Gist tipped in a Rasko Katic miss, but Garbajosa ended the half with 2 free throws to make it 43-27 at the break.
Madrid continued to take advantage of Partizan’s aggressive style by drawing fouls and getting to the line. Fischer made an impact on defense with a block of Jawai and a few rebounds. Lull lifted the Madrid lead to 20 before Gist scored for Partizan. The visitors created a few highlights with slams for Jawai and Vesely – the latter a fast-break alley-oop from Gist. The Partizan defense stifled the hosts, but the visitors were unable to mount any offensive momentum. Jerrells scored on the break to make it 50-37 only to see Prigioni snap back with a triple. Then Suarez scored on the offensive glass. After a timeout, Dusan Kecman connected from downtown, but Vesely ended that momentum with 2 missed free throws and Tucker ended the quarter at 58-40.
After Jaka Klobucar scored twice from the line, Madrid started to climb again. Velickovic sent a crosscourt pass to Llull for a two-handed slam and then Llull returned the favor finding a cutting Velickovic for a layup. The game was all Madrid now as Llull added 2 more from the line to get to 64-42. Partizan continued to give 100% as Jawai scored from the line and Jerrells from behind the arc. Vesely’s put back made it 67-49. But Madrid did not let Partizan get closer and finished out the game with a comfortable victory.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011