Real takes hard-fought overtime win in Munich
Real Madrid needed an overtime to pull off a valuable 76-81 win against FC Bayern Munich at the Audi Dome on Friday night, improving to 13-6 to stay in third place. The visitors led for almost the entire game, but three-point shooting allowed Bayern to come back late in the fourth quarter and get ahead 72-70 in crunch time. Gabriel Deck sent the game to overtime, where the host was unable to score for 4 minutes and Real took advantage to escape with the victory. Walter Tavares led the winners with a career-high 26 points and 9 boards, followed by Deck and Rudy Fernandez, who provided 12 and 10 points respectively. Bayern, which drops to 12-8, was led by Jalen Reynolds with 18 points, while Wade Baldwin IV tallied 14 and 7 boards, and Vladimir Lucic had 10 points.
Tavares was unstoppable in the early going, scoring the half of Real’s points without missing a shot on an opening 6-12 run. The hosts tried to contain him with Reynolds, but Tavares added a basket plus foul and Alberto Abalde capped an steal and fastbreak to extend the lead to 10-19. Bayern tried to change the trend with a timeout, but it proved useless as Tavares and Thompkins kept scoring with ease. Baldwin IV scored a short jumper to close the first period with Real leading 15-23. The Whites switched to Alex Tyus at center and Reynolds took advantage to score eight points in a row, bringing the hosts within 23-27. Baldwin IV made it a one-possession game soon after, but Tavares came back into the action with a three-point play and Fernandez showed up to rebuild a 30-37 advantage. James Gist hit a three and Deck contributed from the line to send the game to the locker room with the visitors in front, 34-39.
Lucic and Baldwin IV took charge right after the break to reduce the margin to just one possession, 41-43, but Real didn’t panic. Tavares and Nicolas Laprovittola provided back-to-back layups to abort the comeback and then combined for an alley-oop dunk that made it 41-49 after 26 minutes. Bayern reacted through defense, holding Real to just 2 points in the following 4 minutes, as DJ Seeley fueled a 7-0 run to enter the last period with the game on the line, 50-51. Leon Radosevic and Tavares started a nice battle under the boards, but it was Paul Zipser and Nick Weiler-Babb who helped Bayern tie the game from beyond the arc, 61-61, with 5 minutes remaining. Fernandez came up big from deep and Jaycee Carroll added back-to-back triples, but the hosts reacted in style with a couple of treys to stay into the game, 69-70, with less than 2 minutes left. Lucic struck again from downtown to cap the comeback but missed a jumper soon after, allowing Deck to send the game to overtime.
In the extra period, an inside layup by Thompkins and free throws by Tavares, Laprovittola and Deck gave Real the edge, 72-78, as Bayern seemed to have run out of energy. Even after getting some extra possessions on the offensive board, the hosts were unable to score a single point until Reynolds went to the line with 33 seconds to go. That proved good enough for Real, who used another free throw and a layup by Laprovittola to seal the win.
Walter Tavares proved unstoppable for Bayern, as he topped the scoring with 26 points on 11-of-14 field goal shooting. He showed his dominance from the very beginning, scoring 11 points in the first quarter and regularly contributing all game long. As a result, Head Coach Pablo Laso had him on the bench for less than 8 minutes.
Shooters showed up when it mattered
Real Madrid was shooting 37% from beyond the arc before this game but experienced terrible long-range shooting nearly all the game, ending with just 4 triples on 21 attempts (19%). However, in the last period, right after Bayern tied it 61-61, Rudy Fernandez and Jaycee Carroll showed up from downtown to help force overtime.
No reward for a big rally
Despite living through a thriller 48 hours before and trailing for the most part of the game, Bayern never gave up and answered every Real attempt to escape. Despite being down 63-70 with 2 minutes left, consecutive three-pointers by Vladimir Lucic and Nick Weiler-Babb got the hosts ahead entering the last minute, but Lucic missed a short jumper that could have closed the game and Wade Baldwin IV turned the ball over in the last possession after Deck tied it 72-72.
No fuel in overtime
Real held Bayern scoreless for the first four minutes of overtime, taking advantage of Bayern’s lack of energy. Even though the hosts got some second-chance shots, they could not score a single field goal until the last play of the game, too long to threaten Real’s win.
In Round 21 next week Bayern moves to Italy to face AX Armani Exchange Milan on Thursday. Real also plays on the road, taking on Maccabi Playtika in Tel Aviv the same day.
Friday, January 15, 2021