Real pulls out hard-fought win in Munich
Real Madrid scored the last 8 points of the game to pull out a hard-fought 76-80 road victory at FC Bayern Munich on Friday night. The victory improved Real to 6-2, while Bayern had its three-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 3-5 on the season. Real controlled things in the first half and held an 11-point halftime lead, but Bayern rallied after the break and eventually went in front. The hosts were up 76-72 with 2:13 to go, but Real - playing without Walter Tavares and Vincent Poirier who both fouled out - found a way to finish the game on a 0-8 run and snatch a win. Guerschon Yabusele led Real with 21 points, and Sergio Llull was the only other Real player in double figures with 10. Augustine Rubit had 20 points and 5 assists for Bayern. Darrun Hilliard netted 16 points, DeShaun Thomas scored 11, while Corey Walden and Othello Hunter scored 10 apiece in the loss.
Tavares and Yabusele combined for all the visitors' points as Real opened a 4-11 lead. However, Rubit got hot, scoring the next 7 points for the hosts, including a three-pointer, and the teams were tied at 13-13 after 10 minutes. Rubit scored twice more to start the second quarter to put Bayern in front, but Real's offense started clicking. Llull and Tristan Vukcevic hit back-to-back triples. After Llull and Rubit traded threes, Poirier scored 5 points, including a three-point play, and Thomas Heurtel nailed a triple to open a 25-32 lead. Hilliard scored a runner, but Jeff Taylor hit from the outside before Yabusele extended the margin to 27-39. Hunter stopped the bleeding, but Real led 32-43 at halftime.
Bayern opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run which Hilliard capped with a three-pointer. However, Alberto Abalde responded, stringing together 7 points including a three-pointer, to keep Real with the lead. Walden answered with a triple to Abalde's triple, sparking the hosts' on a run during which Hunter scored a basket and drew a foul as Bayern tied it at 53-53. Real hit back with 7 consecutive points, a run that included a three-pointer from Yabusele, but Hilliard and Rubit scored the last five points of the third quarter, and the first 4 of the fourth to put Bayern up 62-60. Rudy Fernandez and Fabien Causeur each nailed three-pointers, but Thomas had a tough runner and a tougher corner triple to make it 68-66 with 5 minutes left. Yabusele knocked down another three-pointer, but Rubit dished and scored to keep Bayern up 73-69. Yabusele and Walden traded triples to maintain that margin with 2:13 to go, but that was the final basket of the game for Bayern. The visitors turned to a small lineup that did not allow a point in the final 2 minutes, as Causeur scored a pivotal fastbreak layup, while Heurtel, Yabusele and eventually Llull made 6 of 7 free throws to pull out a victory.
Key performance from Yabusele
Guerschon Yabusele was close to unstoppable on Friday night against Bayern. He finished the game with 21 points, scoring 8 of those in the last 4 minutes of the game. Yabusele made 5-of-6 two-point shots on the night, and 3-of-4 triples. He also added 3 rebounds and a steal to his tally.
Another player who had a big contribution, but in limited minutes, was young forward Tristan Vukcevic. He had a triple and a blocked shot in the first half, but the way he played not only allowed Real to keep foul-troubled Walter Tavares and Vincent Poirier on the bench, but also made coach Pablo Laso confident enough to send Vukcevic back on the floor late in the fourth quarter before deciding to finish the game with a small lineup.
Real's 80s in Munich
This was the tenth EuroLeague game between Real and Bayern since they first met in January 2014, and also the tenth time Real that scored 80 or more points. In this game, they did it by firing 5 more triples (32) than two-point attempts.
Real hit 11 of those threes, and dished 19 assists, but this win came behind the team's defense down the stretch. Bayern committed just 3 turnovers through the first three quarter, and just four going into the final 2 minutes of the game. But then Real forced 4 more turnovers, one of which led to a basket to tie the game at 76-76, and another one to seal the win with Sergio Llull foul shots which got Real to 80 points against Bayern once again.
Hunter's offensive rebounding milestone
Bayern center Othello Hunter entered the game ranked fifth on the all-time charts with 498 offensive rebounds. Coming off the bench, the Bayern big man needed less than 5 minutes on the floor in the first quarter to come down with a pair of offensive boards, and become only the fifth player ever to reach 500 offensive boards in his career.
Hunter finished the game with 5 offensive rebounds before leaving the game with an injury. He reached this milestone against one of his former clubs where he spent a season, Real Madrid. He started his EuroLeague career with Montepaschi Siena in the 2013-14 season, and in each of the last six seasons had at least 58 offensive rebounds. Since Hunter entered the league, only Kyle Hines has more offensive rebounds.
Friday, November 5, 2021