Simonovic's 20 points lead Zvezda to big home win over Madrid
Crvena Zvezda Telekom mts Belgrade grabbed its second consecutive home win by downing Real Madrid 82-70 in front of a sellout crowd at Aleksandar Nikolic Arena in the Serbian capital on Thursday. Zvezda improved to 6-8 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings, while Madrid dropped to 9-5. Marko Simonovic led the winners with 20 points, Marko Guduric added 12 and Ognjen Kuzmic and Stefan Jovic each had 11 for Zvezda. Jeffery Taylor led Madrid with a career-high 25 points; He buried 7-of-10 three-point shots to tie Milos Teodosic of CSKA and Bobby Dixon of Fenerbahce Istanbul for the most in a game this season. Sergio Llull added 12 points for Madrid, which lost Luka Doncic early in the second half due to an ankle injury. Zvezda limited Madrid to 4-of-16 three-point shooting before halftime (25%) and forced its opponent to commit 5 of its 7 first-half turnovers in a 14-0 run that helped the hosts to a 43-35 lead at halftime. Other than Taylor, Madrid hit 1 of 17 three-point shots, pulled down 5 offensive rebounds and made 14 turnovers. Zvezda shot much better from downtown (10-of-25, 40%) and its diehard fans carried their team all the way.
Charles Jenkins and Nemanja Dangubic each struck from downtown in an 8-0 Zvezda run highlighted by Jovic's fast break slam. After Taylor followed a layup with a three-pointer for an 8-8 tie. Taylor buried another triple, Llull sank a mid-range jumper and back-to-back layups by Felipe Reyes put Madrid back in charge, 15-17. Nate Wolters followed a three-pointer with a driving layup to help Zvezda regain the lead, 20-19, after 10 minutes. A 0-6 run that Llull capped with a coast-to-coast layup gave Madrid a 22-25 edge early in the second quarter. Zvezda did not panic, however, as Simonovic and Guduric combined for 11 points in a 14-0 Zvezda run that Milko Bjelica capped with a free throw for a 36-25 lead. Taylor and Llull tried to change things for Madrid, but Guduric and Kuzmic kept Zvezda in charge, 43-35, at halftime. Kuzmic remained on fire after the break with a jump hook, a three-point play and a layup that gave the hosts a 50-42 advantage. Taylor hit his fifth three-pointer, but Jovic and Branko Lazic joined the shootout from downtown, prompting Madrid to call timeout at 58-49. Guduric and Charles Jenkins gave Zvezda a double-digit margin, 62-51, after 30 minutes. Simonovic buried one from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter and a big basket by Guduric broke the game open, 67-51. Draper and Taylor stepped up for Madrid and a layup by Jaycee Carroll gave Madrid hope at 72-60. It didn't last long, as Simonovic took over in crunch time, making sure all the Zvezda fans would celebrate a big win.
Thursday, December 22, 2016