2017-18Final FourSEMIFINAL A
May 18, 2018 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 STARK ARENA

Balanced Madrid holds off CSKA in semifinal

Real Madrid will be playing in the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game after defeating CSKA Moscow 83-92 in the second semifinal at the Final Four at Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia on Friday. Real Madrid will face reigning champion Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul in Sunday's grand finale to the season. CSKA scored 30 points in the first quarter to open a double-digit lead, but Madrid hit 5 three-pointers in less than three minutes to open the second quarter and take the lead. It was 46-47 at halftime before Los Blancos went on 0-13 run and held CSKA to only 1 points for more than six minutes in the third quarter to open a double-digit lead of its own. The margin grew to 61-73 early in the fourth quarter. CSKA rallied to within 3 points, however Sergio Llull’s triple sparked a 2-9 run that helped seal the outcome. Luka Doncic and Llull scored 16 points apiece to pace the winners, Gustavo Ayon posted 12 points and 11 rebounds and Trey Thompkins also scored 12. Eleven of Madrid's 12 players scored in the game. Nando De Colo led CSKA with 20 points, Will Clyburn and Kyle Hines added 16 points each and Cory Higgins had 15.

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Higgins made a triple and a three-point play to start things for CSKA. Ayon scored from close range, but a triple from Sergio Rodriguez and a monster dunk from Higgins made it 11-4 after just over three minutes. Doncic answered with a three-pointer, and Rudy Fernandez drove for a runner, but Higgins and Rodriguez kept CSKA ahead by slicing through Madrid's defense for layups. With both teams in the penalty early, the players went to the free throw line a lot with Nando De Colo making 6 of 6. De Colo also had a baseline jumper and Hines added a put-back as CSKA extended the lead. Fernandez made an acrobatic second-chance runner for Madrid, but Clyburn beat the first-quarter buzzer with a corner triple that made it 30-20 after 10 minutes. Madrid quickly erased the deficit in the second quarter. In the opening 1:21 of the second, Fabien Causeur and Jaycee Carroll knocked down triples and Llull raced to a fast break basket in between for a 0-8 run. After a CSKA timeout, Madrid continued its course with Thompkins hitting from long range and Llull following with a transition three that put his team ahead 32-34 lead. Hines scored inside, making only CSKA’s field goal in first six minutes of the second quarter, but Carroll nailed another from downtown on the other end. That also marked the end of the scoring run. CSKA regained the lead with a short jumper from Nikita Kurbanov and after Carroll’s third triple in the quarter, a Rodriguez-to-Hunter alley-oop tied that game at 40-40. Threes from Clyburn and De Colo put CSKA back ahead, but Llull’s runner and a last-second put-back from Thompkins made it 46-47 at halftime.

A dunk by Hunter, and a third corner triple from Clyburn gave CSKA a 51-47 lead, but close-range baskets from Jeffrey Taylor and Felipe Reyes put Madrid back in front 51-54, before back-to-back triples from Causeur and Doncic capped a 0-13 run and opened a 51-60 margin, prompting a CSKA timeout. CSKA was without a field goal for more than six minutes before Hines muscled in a put-back. Hines also went coast-to-coast for a layup, but Ayon’s layup gave Madrid 56-63 going into the fourth quarter. De Colo hit a three from the right corner and Kurbanov made a steal and raced for a dunk to get CSKA within 3, but Llull knocked down a transition triple. And after Walter Tavares scored in the low post, Thompkins's corner triple opened 61-73 lead with 7:28 to go. However, Kurbanov hit a triple, then Clyburn and Hines combined to scored CSKA's next 9 points and cut the deficit to 73-76 midway through the fourth quarter. But Llull hit a tough triple, Ayon used an open lane for a dunk and Thompkins grabbed an offensive rebound that led to a layup by Ayon and 75-85 margin with 1:51 to go. After a timeout, De Colo hit a three, but a pair of offensive rebounds and a series of successful free throws kept CSKA at bay as Madrid crossed the finish line for an important victory.

Real Madrid celebrates - Belgrade 2018 - EB17
Friday, May 18, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI; LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT; BOLTAUZER, MATEJ
Attendance: 15232 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow30161027
Real Madrid20271629
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow30465683
Real Madrid20476392
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 DE COLO, NANDO 26:23 20 1/5 4/10 6/6   1 1 1   3   1 4 7 11
3 RUDD, VICTOR 1:52                   1         -1
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 3:20                         2   -2
11 ANTONOV, SEMEN 15:53   0/1 0/1           1   1   2 1 -1
13 RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO 26:57 5 1/3 1/4     2 2 6 1 2     2 2 7
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 4:06           1 1 1   1         1
21 CLYBURN, WILL 31:34 16 2/12 3/5 3/4 2 5 7 2   1 1 2 4 2 8
22 HIGGINS, CORY 28:41 15 4/8 1/3 4/5   2 2 3   1   1 4 4 11
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 2:06           1 1           1    
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 19:08 7 2/2 1/1   1   1   1 1     5 2 5
42 HINES, KYLE 24:12 16 6/10   4/4 6 3 9 1     1 1 2 3 23
44 HUNTER, OTHELLO 15:48 4 2/3     2 5 7   1 2     3 1 7
Team           2 5 7     1         6
Totals 200:00 83 18/44 10/24 17/19 13 25 38 14 4 13 3 5 29 22 75
        40.9% 41.7% 89.5%
Head coach: ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 CAUSEUR, FABIEN 19:33 6 0/1 2/2   1 1 2 3 1     1 2 2 10
3 RANDOLPH, ANTHONY 9:08 2 1/2     1 1 2 2         1   4
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 14:54 6 2/2 0/1 2/4 1 1 2 2         3 2 6
7 DONCIC, LUKA 30:13 16 2/6 2/6 6/8   7 7 2 1 3     2 7 18
9 REYES, FELIPE 13:29 5 2/3   1/2   2 2     1   1 2 2 3
11 CAMPAZZO, FACUNDO 5:32     0/2     1 1 1 1       1 1 1
14 AYON, GUSTAVO 25:58 12 4/7   4/8 4 7 11 1 1 5 1 1 2 7 18
20 CARROLL, JAYCEE 13:14 9 0/3 3/5     2 2 3   1     1 1 8
22 TAVARES, WALTER 8:09 5 2/2   1/4             3   5 2 2
23 LLULL, SERGIO 22:08 16 2/4 3/7 3/4       5 1 1     1 2 15
33 THOMPKINS, TREY 21:43 12 1/3 2/3 4/4 2 4 6 1 1 2 1     2 18
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 15:59 3 1/1 0/1 1/2 1   1           2 1 1
Team           4 3 7               7
Totals 200:00 92 17/34 12/27 22/36 14 29 43 20 6 13 5 3 22 29 111
        50% 44.4% 61.1%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO

Head Coaches

ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
CSKA Moscow

"Congratulations to Real, they were the better team today, they deserved to win. We opened the game very decisive, very determined. We were in control in the first quarter. I will talk about the second quarter. That cost us a lot, especially not being there at the defensive end. We gave up in four minutes something like 17 points or so. We knew they would come out and play like this. If you combine this with the third quarter, where we did not give up that many points, but we looked bad because of creation and because of their defense, that certainly hurt us a lot. We tried to spread the floor. The final moments of the fourth quarter we came close to about 6 or so. But it was not enough. Real was stronger and they deserved to win.
"We knew exactly what to expect from Llull. He played the two playoff games. We know him, we played him last year. We know Llull. It's not about that. We had different looks and zones on him but he made tough shots as well. Their big players made in clutch moments some big shots, including him.

"I would like to not use those kinds of excuses because if you talked about Nando and Kyle today, yes, they were out of their rhythm. They only played one game in the VTB after being out a long period of time. Maybe they weren’t at the top of their performance, but it's not only them. They gave a good game overall. We did not have the right creation and reaction or action defensively to make stops on their key players."

LASO, PABLO
Real Madrid

"Congratulations to my players, it was a really great victory. When you are playing CSKA, you know you have to do a lot of great things to win and I think everyone did the job perfectly. I think our first quarter was not very good because we missed shots. So they got the rhythm of the game and hit difficult shots. They had that advantage. In the second half, I think we were able to use the rotation and get back into the game. Jaycee [Carroll] really helped up with his shots and his defense. Everybody stayed on plan. I think our second half was very, very good. We dominated more or less all the situations that we talked about previously. And it's a shame that we missed 16 free throws. We were able to create a lot of opportunities, move the ball well on offense, get open jumpers. I'm very happy for this victory because I think my players did a great job to win this game.

"Stopping Chacho [Rodriguez] is not about just one player. He’s a player with top quality and nobody can really just stop him. But I think we had good defense against him and we had ways to slow him down. We know him very well, but we were able to read the game and had great team defense.

"What really makes the team strong is that everyone knows his job and everybody is ready to give that. We have great players and great people and they know in the end it's not going to be just one guy winning it. It's going to be a team win and I think we did a great job of this - really the whole year. And I’m happy that back in December not many people thought Real Madrid would be playing this game on Sunday.

"Today what was really important was that we stayed focused all the time. Our first quarter was not good, but we were not doing things wrong. I was not concerned because I thought that we were doing things right and they were hitting tough shots."

Players

DE COLO, NANDO
CSKA Moscow
"I think we lost our rhythm after we were up by 10. We let them take the rhythm of the game. Madrid is a great team; they have really good players who can make a difference if you don’t play seriously. In the second half we were [catching up], we had good momentum, but after that made mistakes on some important details."
RODRIGUEZ, SERGIO
CSKA Moscow
"We had a great start, offensively and defensively, then in the second quarter they hit three-pointers which shook us. Then in the beginning of the third quarter we could not move the ball the way we are used to. That was the key of the game, mistakes we had in the second and in the beginning of the third quarter."
HIGGINS, CORY
CSKA Moscow
"Coach just wanted us to play hard, but we did not play hard enough to win it. We thought we did, but we did not. They scored more than 90 points. We were not disciplined on offense or defense; we did not play our game after the first quarter. After the first quarter we got stagnant, we did not move the ball. We let them get us out of our rhythm. Llull did not surprise us. He came back over a month ago; it does not take players that long to get in shape."
THOMPKINS, TREY
Real Madrid
"We knew that in the first quarter we let them take some easy shots. We let each other know that to win the game, we would have to make some stops. This game on Sunday is the reason we play. I am confident with my team, it will be a war. We knew that if we took it upon ourselves to guard our men individually, then as a team, we could get the job done. With guys like Gus and Edy protecting the rim, it's not hard to pressure up top."
AYON, GUSTAVO
Real Madrid
"We managed to win the game and make it to the final game. This team had to do big things and here we are. We started to play fluent in offense and that gave us the lead. Then we also played good defense with intensity. At times, it didn't feel like it was flowing, but we managed to win the game and we only have to think about the final and Fenerbahce now."
DONCIC, LUKA
Real Madrid
"I think we all did a great job, especially in defense. One of the keys was stopping Chacho, so he could not score nor pass. We did a good job I think. Last year's semifinal was good and bad. Bad because we lost but good because we learned many things. We will now have to go out there with our heart on every possession."
REYES, FELIPE
Real Madrid
"I think we played a good game. We were strong, knew how to react and we never backed down. We played as a team, we were united. We managed to build some cushion that they could not overcome. We are ready to play the final, we know it will be hard. Our goal, however is lifting the trophy. We lost to them last season, but that is in the past. We are one step closer to the end. Belgrade means white city, let's hope we can make that true."
FERNANDEZ, RUDY
Real Madrid
"We knew the game would be hard. I think in the third quarter we improved our defense and I think they were a bit overwhelmed. After that, we made good choices on offense with few turnovers. With those keys we took the win. We played as a team, everybody contributed and that is important. We defeated a great team. Fenerbahce has a great team and they have many fans with them. But this is a golden opportunity and we have to take it."