Madrid survives Darussafaka comeback
Real Madrid took care of business on the road by surviving Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 82-86 to gain ground on the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague’s top spot. Anthony Randolph and Trey Thompkins led the way with 15 points each as Madrid improved to 17-4 with its fifth win in the last six, despite giving up a 15-point lead. Madrid had dropped two of its last three road games but moved to within just one game of 18-3 Fenerbahce, thanks also to Jaycee Carroll’s 12 points and 10 points from Klemen Prepelic. Last-placed Darussafaka still have not won back-to-back games this season in falling to 3-18 despite Toney Douglas scoring 27 points to go with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Jeremy Evans added 18 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks in the loss.
With Darussafaka going through Douglas early on, Randolph was Madrid’s main weapon with 6 points before a Facundo Campazzo three-ball made it 6-11. Triples from Randolph and Fabien Causeur helped push the gap to 10-19 before 6 points at the other end from Zanis Peiners trimmed it to 16-20. Sergio Llull joined the outside shooting party for a 16-23 lead after 10 minutes. Thompkins extended the cushion to 18-30 and then Klemen Prepelic came off the Madrid bench for 8 points and it was 27-41. Douglas connected twice from long range in trying to keep Darussafaka close at 36-43, but Carroll and Thompkins added long balls and the champs were up 38-53 at the break. Carroll added two more baskets early in the second half to increase the margin to 41-57. Darussafaka started to hit some three-pointers with Douglas and Muhammed Baygul connecting once and Evans twice only to see the margin still at 53-65. Carroll answered with a three-point play and Randolph threw down a big dunk and Madrid led 59-72 after three quarters. Darussafaka made things interesting early in the fourth quarter thanks to an unsportsmanlike foul by Prepelic, which resulted in two Baygul free throws and a three-ball from Kartal Ozmizrak to make it 66-72. A Douglas three cut it to 69-74 but Gabriel Deck responded with 4 points for a 69-78 score. Darussfaka wasn’t dead yet with an Ozmirzak three-ball and steal and layup, making it 74-78. Douglas followed with two more three-pointers to even the game 82-82 with 38 seconds left. But Walter Tavares connected on two free throws with 17 seconds left, and Darussafaka was hit with an unsportsmanlike with 4.4 seconds to secure the victory.
Anthony Randolph was big all game with 15 points while also picking up 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block.
A step forward for a Darussafaka talent
The second quarter saw the first EuroLeague points from Mert Akay as the 18-year-old Darussafaka talent hit a floater in the lane. The young guard, who made his debut last week with 1:26 minutes against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, ended with 2 points and 1 turnover in 6:10 minutes.
Madrid made 23-of-40 (57.5%) from two-point range while holding Darussafaka to 15-of-38 (39.5%). Madrid also turned the ball over only 9 times.
Darussafaka heads back on the road in search of its first away victory taking on AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan. Madrid will head to Russia for a big showdown with CSKA Moscow.
Friday, February 1, 2019