Real Madrid came back from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit for a thrilling 87-84 road victory at Alba Berlin to take over first place exclusively in Top 16 Group F on Thursday before 11,000 fans at o2 Arena. Madrid trailed by 17 points in the third quarter but came all the way back to win thanks to a 0-10 fourth-quarter run capped by Axel Hervelle's game-tying three-pointer in the next-to-last minute. Louis Bullock broke the last tie with a long two-pointer and Madrid outshone Alba at the foul line the rest of the way. Madrid improved to 2-0 in the group while the heart-breaking loss dropped Alba to 0-2. Neither team led by more than four points in the first quarter but Berlin used a 10-0 run within a 22-7 surge in the second quarter to take control of the game at the break. Alba pushed the lead to 17 points midway through the third quarter before Madrid chipped away at the advantage thanks to a 2-12 run. Berlin re-established a 12-point lead in the final quarter only to watch Madrid answer with a 6-18 surge to grab the lead and win the game. Bullock led Madrid with 19 points while Felipe Reyes had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists. Alex Mumbru added 12 points and Sergio Llull chipped in 11 points and 4 assists. Berlin was paced by Julius Jenkins with 21 points, 17 of those in the first half. Aleksandar Nadjfeji had 16 points, Adam Chubb scored 12 and Immanuel McElroy added 11. Wright finished with 10 points but made just 6 of 12 foul shots. As good as Berlin was in the first half - with just one turnover in building a 19-point lead - it could not hold off an inspired Madrid comeback.
Chubb opened the scoring with a basket in the lane and then Mumbru fought in a tough hoop in the paint. Ansu Sesay started the Berlin outside game with a triple to make it 5-2 early. Bullock's jumper from the corner was followed by a three-point shot by Casey Jacobsen for a 8-4 Berlin lead. Axel Hervelle made it a one-point game again with a three-point play. Chubb and Bullock would swap baskets and Madrid would not let Berlin get further than four points ahead. McElroy's two foul shots gave Berlin a 13-9 lead. But JeremiahMassey hit a nice lefty bank off the glass. He then made a foul shot and another inside basket to give Madrid the lead 13-14. But Nadjfeji answered with a lay-in off the glass and then Jenkins came in and hit a soft lefty lay-in and completed the three-point play for an 18-14 Alba advantage. Mumbru scored four points for Madrid and Berlin used some fine passing to get two inside baskets for Nadjfeji - the second of which left Alba ahead 24-20 after one quarter.
Chubb opened the second quarter with two foul shots and then Massey made two of his own to bring Madrid to within 26-22. But the Berlin defense went to work and Alba pushed the ball in transition offensively. Jenkins hit a long two-point jumper before McElroy drove the floor for a layup. Two Jenkins foul shots made it a 10-point game - 32-22 - and then Jenkins converted on a three-on-one break before Wright's two foul shots completed the 10-0 Alba run for a 36-24 advantage. Tomas van den Spiegel stopped a five possession drought for Madrid with a tip-in and Madrid went to a zone defense. But Jenkins nailed a three-pointer and Steffen Hamann hit a long ball from the right corner as the lead grew to 45-27. Llull managed a layup for Madrid but Alba remained hot with Jacobsen knocking down a three-point shot for a 19 point lead - 48-29. Madrid tried to work the ball inside and Reyes made two foul shots and then a basket in the paint to make it 48-33. But Chubb beat Reyes back down the court for a dunk and a 17 point advantage. Madrid brought the game to within 13 points with two Mumbru foul shots and a Marko Tomas layup for 50-37. But Alba continued its fine passing game with a nice pick-and-roll between Jenkins and Nadjfeji, who got an easy basket for a 52-37 Alba lead at the break.
Sesay opened the second half with a foul shot and Bullock gave Madrid the start it wanted with a three-point shot to make it 53-40. Wright hit a layup and Nadjfeji got down the court quickly on the break for a 57-40 lead. Reyes and Nadjfeji swapped layups before Llull hit a triple to make it 59-45. But McElroy answered right back for Berlin with a triple and a 62-45 Alba lead. Foul trouble started mounting up for the hosts, whose interior players all had three fouls allowing for Bullock to score an easy layup. A Bullock triple cut the deficit to 12 but two Wright free throws made it 64-50. Dragan Dojcin picked up his fourth foul and Reyes had easy pickings inside. Llull hit a tough layup and was fouled. Llull was short on the foul shot but Berlin allowed van den Spiegel to grab the offensive rebound and Bullock ended up nailing the three and the lead was just 64-57. McElroy and Llull swapped layups and Wright's layup made it 68-59. Berlin turned the ball over twice trying to get the ball past half-court and Quinton Hosley was sent to the line and made two free throws to make it 68-63. And it was 70-65 after a van den Spiegel tip in. But Wright's foul shot gave Berlin a 71-65 lead after three quarters.
Two McElroy foul shots opened the fourth quarter and a nice pass from Jenkins to Nadjfeji for an inside layup was followed by a Jenkins basket inside for a 77-65 lead. A Reyes free throw got Madrid on the scoreboard for the fourth quarter and Hosley nailed a three-point shot to make it 77-69. It was 79-71 after a Reyes dunk but Chubb hit inside after a nice pass from Nadjfeji only to miss the free throw. Mumbru hit back-to-back baskets and then Reyes used his big body inside for a basket and three-point play, fouling out Chubb in the process as the lead was down to 81-78. Berlin could not hit on its side but Hervelle nailed a triple to knot the game 81-81. Nadjfeji and Reyes each hit inside hoops and then Bullock drained a long two-point jumper from the left wing with 19 seconds left to give Madrid the lead 83-85. With 12 seconds left, Madrid sent Wright to the line and he missed both free throws. Hervelle then made his two foul shots with 10 seconds left to make it an 83-87 ball game. With it being a two-possession game, Wright made the first foul shot with 8 seconds left but missed the second on purpose. Madrid however grabbed the rebound and avoided Berlin's attempts to foul and snatched the road victory.
Thursday, February 5, 2009