Dominant Real blasts Fenerbahce to secure playoff ticket
Real Madrid marched into the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs with an outstanding performance to beat Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 67-93 on Thursday. The visitors dominated the early stages, leading by as much as 7-23 towards the end of the first quarter. The gap grew to 20 points in the second quarter and although Fener initially fought back after the break – getting as close as 50-58 – Real pulled away again to cruise home. Nico Laprovittola led Real with a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists, while Fabien Causeur poured in 20 points and Gabriel Deck scored 19. Nando De Colo offered the chief resistance for the home team, scoring 23 points. Lorenzo Brown, with 16 points, was the only other Fenerbahce player to score in double figures. Both teams finished with 20-14 records, with Real taking the tiebreaker after winning both games against Fenerbahce.
Laprovittola's triple started the scoring and inside baskets from Alex Tyus and Walter Tavares gave Real a 4-9 lead as Fener struggled to find an offensive rhythm with only 1 field goal – a driving layup from Dyshawn Pierre – in the first 5 minutes. An alley-oop from Tyus and triples from Causeur and Laprovittola stretched the lead to 7-18. Deck scored inside and Trey Thompkins added a three-pointer to complete a 0-11 run before Brown and Kyle O’Quinn rescued Fener to make it 11-23 after 10 minutes. Causeur’s layup, Deck’s tip-in and triples from Thompkins and Causeur gave Real a 13-33 cushion. Marko Guduric and De Colo tried to get Fener moving and Jarell Eddie added a pair of triples to reduce the deficit to 23-38, despite another Causeur three. De Colo’s layup-and-one kept the momentum moving towards the host, but Sergio Llull netted a pair of deep threes to settle Real. Brown scored 6 points in a hurry but Alberto Abalde responded with another triple to make it 36-49 at the break.
Ahmet Duverioglu opened the second half with a layup, but Tavares responded with 4 consecutive points and Laprovittola added a deep strike for a 40-56 lead. De Colo’s layup followed by triples from Guduric and De Colo gave Fener fresh hope, 50-58, with an 8-0 run. But Laprovittola snapped that sequence from deep and Deck’s fastbreak slam extended the margin to 50-63. The relentless De Colo added 5 more points to make it 57-67 with 10 minutes left. Deck’s three-pointer and Causeur’s layup opened the final frame and Laprovittola’s breakaway score gave Real a margin of comfort, 57-74. Deck and Causeur hit further triples to compete a 0-15 run, which was inevitably ended by De Colo. Rudy Fernandez kept on delivering from deep for Real, sending the visitors ahead 61-85 with less than 5 minutes remaining, and there was no way back for Fener.
Playoffs opponents…to be confirmed
The teams will now wait to see where they finish in the final standings. Depending on other results Real will end up fifth or sixth, while Fenerbahce’s position will be sixth or seventh leading to a date with either CSKA Moscow or Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the playoffs.
Real sets three-point record
Real’s three-point shooting was superb all night and saw the visiting team set a new club record by making 19 triples on 38 attempts. Fabien Causeur (5 of 9) and Nico Laprovittola (4 of 6) were the chief deep threats, while Gabriel Deck, Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Llull and Trey Thompkins also made multiple threes.
Offensive control boosts Real
Real looked after the ball really well at the start of the game, not committing any turnovers in the first half. Fenerbahce, meanwhile, made 5 turnovers in the opening quarter alone, helping to explain why Real was able to jump out to a big and ultimately decisive lead.
Llull back with a bang
Real got a big boost ahead of the playoffs with the return of Sergio Llull, who played for the first time since Round 25 after recovering from injury. The veteran backcourt ace entered in the second quarter, immediately scored a jumper and soon added a pair of trademark deep threes to show he is ready to play a full role over the coming weeks.
Thursday, April 8, 2021