Real gets 8th straight win against Olympiacos
Real Madrid confirmed its good moment in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by downing Olympiacos Piraeus 93-77 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Real improved to 10-3 and registered its eighth consecutive win, while Olympiacos dropped to 5-8. Fabien Causeur led the winners with 18 points. Anthony Randolph and Facu Campazzo each added 15, Trey Thompkins scored 12 and Rudy Fernandez 10 for Real. Will Cherry and Sasha Vezenkov led Olympiacos with 12 points apiece and Taylor Rochestie added 11 for the visitors. Randolph and Campazzo combined for 16 first-quarter points to give Real a double-digit margin, 21-10. Real found new go-to guys as Fernandez and Thompkins helped the hosts boost their margin to 39-20 midway through the second quarter. Vezenkov and Nikola Milutinov brought Olympiacos a bit closer, 41-30. Causeur had 6 points in a 9-0 run that gave Real a 52-34 margin midway through the third quarter. Los Blancos boosted their margin to 72-48 after 30 minutes and did not find much trouble after that.
Gabriel Deck got Real going with a second-chance layup that Kostas Papanikolaou erased with a driving basket. Kevin Punter soon added a coast-to-coast layup to give Olympiacos its first lead, 2-4. Randolph stepped up for the hosts, scoring 4 points in a 10-0 run in which Jeffery Taylor and Campazzo each struck from downtown for a 12-4 Madrid lead. Georgios Printezis tried to change things with back-to-back jump hooks, but Randolph answered with a layup and a triple for a 17-8 score. Willie Reed hit a turnaround jump hook only to see Campazzo lift Real to a double-digit lead, 21-10, after 10 minutes. Cherry tried to change things for Olympiacos with 5 quick points early in the second quarter, but Fernandez and Thompkins kept the hosts way ahead, 27-15. Jordan Mickey took over with an alley-oop dunk that Augustine Rubit bettered with a bomb from beyond the arc. After Jaycee Carroll hit his trademark floater, Thompkins and Fernandez each added a triple to break the game open, 37-20. Vezenkov matched Carroll's floater with a jumper. Milutinov added a dunk-and-foul that gave Olympiacos hope at 39-25. Milutinov kept pacing Olympiacos and Printezis hit a jump hook to get the Reds even closer, 41-30, at halftime.
Edy Tavares hit a hook shot soon after the break, but Antonis Koniaris brought Olympiacos within single digits, 43-34. Randolph quickly answered from downtown, igniting a 9-0 run in which Causeur added consecutive layups-plus-fouls for a 52-34 margin. Randolph downed another three-pointer and Campazzo added an up-and-under floater that made it a 21-point game. Cherry and Campazzo traded triples before Causeur added a driving layup for a 62-39 score. Reed and Rochestie fueled a 0-7 Olympiacos run, but Campazzo and Causeur each buried a three-pointer and then Tavares established a 72-48 Real margin after 30 minutes. Causeur remained unstoppable early in the fourth quarter, but Vezenkov and Reed kept Olympiacos within 79-56. Brandon Paul found his first points, igniting a 0-9 run that Konairis capped with a layup that made it 79-65 with over 4 minutes left. Fernandez followed a triple with a driving basket and even though Olympiacos kept trying, Real had cruised to an important home win.
Fabien Causeur gave Real a boost off the bench and provided the energy his team needed to stay out of trouble until the final buzzer. He had 18 points on 5-of-6 two-point shooting, 2-of-3 three-pointers and 2-of-2 free throws. He added a rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 21 - in less than 17 minutes on the floor!
A coast-to-coast layup by Punter gave Olympiacos its only lead of the game, 2-4. It didn't last long, however, as Anthony Randolph, Jeffery Taylor and Facu Campazzo each struck from beyond the arc in a 10-0 run that put Real ahead for good, 12-4. Once it got its momentum going and started to find points in transition, Real dominated the game.
Once again, three-point shooting made the difference in the game. Madrid downed 15 of 33 shots from downtown (45.5%) and even though Olympiacos had a better percentage (52.9%), it only attempted 17 and made 9. Olympiacos committed 18 turnovers, its most this season.
Did you notice?
With this win, Real is 14-1 at home in EuroLeague home games in 2019. Only Zalgiris Kaunas was able to beat Real in Madrid in the current year, 86-93, on April 4. That Round 30 win allowed Zalgiris to complete a great comeback and qualify for the EuroLeague Playoffs in epic fashion.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action early next week. Madrid hosts AX Armani Exchange Milan on Tuesday, December 17. Sergio Rodriguez, who won the 2013-14 EuroLeague MVP award and the 2014-15 EuroLeague title with Los Blancos, plays against his former team. On Wednesday, Olympiacos hosts Khimki Moscow Region.
Thursday, December 12, 2019