Real Madrid bounced back from its first Group C loss by edging Montepaschi Siena 65-61 at home in Madrid, Spain on Thursday. Madrid improved to 5-1 and remains tied for first place Panathinaikos. Montepaschi dropped to 3-3 and is fifth in the group standings, but two victories ahead of sixth place. Igor Rakocevic led the winners with 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Louis Bullock had 12 points, Axel Hervelle added 10 while Felipe Reyes grabbed 11 rebounds for Real Madrid. Rimantas Kaukenas had 16 points for Montepaschi, Duane Woodward had 12 and Shaun Stonerook 11 for the guests, who led most of the way and kept a 58-59 lead with under 2 minutes to go. Hervelle nailed a go-ahead three-pointer, while Reyes grabbed a pair of key offensive rebounds that allowed Real Madrid to keep control of the game until the final buzzer.
Rakocevic buried a triple to get the hosts going, while Reyes scored twice around the paint to send Madrid ahead 8-2. Woodward woke up Montepaschi with a three-pointer, but Mous Sonko answered from the arc for Madrid and Venson Hamilton added a jumper. Madrid led 13-5 midway through the quarter when it's offense stalled and Montepaschi rode a wave of steals to a major run. Kaukenas got it started with a short shot off a loose ball. Stonerook and Woodward drove unmolested before Bullock interrupted with a jump shot. Woodward came back with a tip-in, then Stonerook buried a bomb from the top to give Montepaschi a 15-16 lead. The last play of the quarter saw Luigi Datome pass cross-court to Andrea Pecile, who drilled a triple to finish a 2-14 run with the visitors leading 15-19.
Kaukenas kept Siena in charge with a driving layup and a free throw which came with it, while Datome nailed a four-meter jumper which capped a 0-11 run and gave Montepaschi a 15-24 margin. Real Madrid went scoreless for almost 4 minutes until Hervelle nailed a short jumper which Stonerook matched with a reverse layup. It didn't last long, as Rakocevic and Hervelle combined for 3 quick triples to force a Montepaschi timeout at 26-28. Real Madrid now dominated in defense with a effective zone defense, while Rakocevic scored off a steal to tie the game, 28-28. Siena simply did not find options in offense, while Hervelle capped a 13-0 run with a layup which gave Madrid a 30-28 lead. Kaukenas broke 6 scoreless minutes for Siena with a three and Woodward nailed another one to make Siena regain the lead, 32-34, at halftime.
The scoring pace did not speed up early in the third quarter, as Felipe Reyes scored in the paint and Stonerook immediately answered with a dunk for the only points in the opening 3 minutes after the break. Boisa banked in a jumper and Bullock matched it with a driving layup for a 36-38 Real Madrid deficit with 24 minutes. Rakocevic followed a jumper with free throws to tie the game again, 40-40. Siena did not panic, as Chiacig made free throws whle Venson Hamilton missed an uncontested layup which allowed Kaukenas to score, while Pecile nailed a stop-and-pop jumper to force a Real Madrid timeout, 41-46. Montepaschi kept its excellent zone defense, while free throws by Kaukenas and Datome capped a 2-10 run for a 42-50 margin. Rakocevic beat the buzzer with a three which brought Real Madrid within 45-50 after 30 minutes.
Real Madrid started the fourth quarter with a red-hot Bullock, who nailed a three-pointer off a big block by Hamilton, to which Gelabale and Reyes added free throws for a 51-50 edge. The hosts forced a 24-second violation on Montepaschi, which allowed Bullock to nail anohter triple which capped a 9-0 run to a 54-50 Madrid lead. Vladimer Boisa made free throws for Siena but the guests were limited to those 2 points over more than 6 minutes. Even with that, Woodward followed a fastbreak basket with a reverse layup which gave Montepaschi a 55-56 edge with less than 3 minutes to go. Bullock made a free throw and Rakocevic fired in a short jumper, but Boisa nailed a critical three for a 58-59 Siena lead. Hervelle answered from downtown while Reyes became the game hero with back-to-back offensive rebounds. Reyes, Tomas and Bullock combined for 5 free throws to seal the outcome, 65-61, with 11.4 seconds to go, as Montepaschi ran out of time.
Thursday, December 8, 2005