By Eurohoops team / [email protected]
Despite missing big man Walter Tavares who tested positive for COVID-19 Friday, Real Madrid crushed Baskonia 89-74 at home for Round 21 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Real hasn’t played a game in the EuroLeague since December 23 (W over CSKA Moscow) due to COVID struggles, but most of its players have cleared the protocols. Tavares and Rudy Fernandez are currently the only active cases in the team.
Guerschon Yabusele picked up 15 of his total 17 points in the first half of the game, with Real in charge 50-35 after 20 minutes. Despite remaining off-action for three weeks, Pablo Laso’s squad managed to clear off their fourth victory in a row and improve to a 15-3 record.
“I have great players, it doesn’t matter the names – they play hard, try to play at 100 percent,” told Laso after the win. “People who have been out for almost a year like Anthony and Trey are ready to play and want to show they can play every night. I’m very proud of coaching players like this.”
The hosts increased their lead to 20 points four minutes into the third quarter (59-39) and it wasn’t until the beginning of the final period before Baskonia reacted with an attempt to a comeback. Alberto Abalde then emerged with 15 points for Real and kept the visitors at bay. Anthony Randolph dropped a double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds, while Trey Thompkins and Jeffery Taylor posted 10 points apiece.
Baskonia had also returned to action after their emphatic Round 18 victory over Barcelona on December 30 but struggled to adjust to Real’s high-scoring pace to fall to a 7-12 record in the standings. Wade Baldwin dropped 16 points and six assists for the visiting side, while Steven Enoch had 11 points and Rokas Giedraitis added 10.
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