By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]
Real Madrid conceded 40 points in the first period but ended up scoring more than 100 and got the 105-97 win over Partizan, making up for the bad defense in the first ten minutes in a spectacular way.
Sergio Llull with 20 points was the leading scorer, Walter Tavares had 17, Gabriel Deck, and Mario Hezonja scored 15 points each, while Dzanan Musa added 14.
“The fans love these games more than us but I love winning and you have to control the game to do so”, said Llull.
The turning point of the game was defense with Madrid keeping Partizan to 11 points in the second quarter after a stellar first period in which the gusts had 8/12 threes, 4/6 two-pointers, and 8/8 free throws leading 40-32.
Real Madrid reacted with a 20-4 run to make the score 52-44, and the hosts closed the first half with a three-point advantage (54-51) after a buzzer-beating three by Danilo Andjusic who finished the night with 13 points.
There was no coming back for the guests after that. Madrid closed the third period leading by 12 (86-74) and made it a 15-point game (89-74) at the start of the fourth after a three by Hezonja.
Zach LeDay scored 20 points, Dante Exum had 17, Kevin Punter contributed 16, and James Nunally 15. It was a high-scoring affair but Real Madrid had things in check for 30 out of the 40 minutes of the game.
“It was more run and gun than we coaches want, coach Obradovic probably wanted to play better defense and we wanted to but when they scored 40 points in the first quarter, the game ended up being this way and we just had to continue”, added Real Madrid coach Chus Mateo.
“We lost the game on defense, it’s obvious, some turnovers, and also because of the quality Real Madrid has, they know how to play”, said Partizan coach Zeljko Obradovic.
The “Whites” have now a 7-3 record thanks to their fifth straight win, good enough for a tie in the second place of the standings, while Partizan dropped to 4-6.
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