Yabusele leads Real past Maccabi
Real Madrid grabbed its sixth consecutive win by edging Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv 72-70 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Real improved to 11-2 in the standings while Maccabi dropped to 7-6. Thomas Heurtel led the winners with 15 points, Guerschon Yabusele added 13, including the game-winning basket, and Vincent Poirier had 11 for Real. Scottie Wilbekin led Maccabi with 14 points and Ante Zizic and Keenan Evans each scored 10 for the guests.
Yabusele got Real going with a fast break slam and Jeffery Taylor added a put-back layup for a 4-0 lead. Wilbekin banked in an off-balance floater and Kameron Taylor downed a jumper but an outstanding Yabusele kept the hosts in charge, 9-4. Hanga followed a triple with a layup which Thomas Heurtel followed with a floater to make it a double-digit game, 16-6. Zizic rescued the guests with a tip-in with a driving layup and Reynolds dunked to bring Maccabi within 18-12. Nigel Williams-Goss sank a floater that Reynolds erased with a layup. John DiBartolomeo took over with a four-point play that fixed the score at 20-18 after 10 minutes.
Williams-Goss scored in the low post early in the second quarter. Reynolds dunked and James Nunnally and Wilbekin bettered Yabusele's layup with a three-pointer to give Maccabi its first lead, 24-25. Poirier hit a jumper that Yabusele followed with a put-back layup. Williams and Evans helped Maccabi regain a 28-30 edge. Tavares hit a jump hook and Sergio Llull banked in a close shot, but Wilbekin quickly tied it at 32-32. Zizic followed an alley-oop layup with a fast break basket and got help from Wilbekin to give Maccabi a 34-38 lead. Rudy Fernandez trimmed the deficit to 37-38 at the break.
Hanga hit a floater after the break and Tavares added a tip-in but Williams and Zizic answered with consecutive reverse layups for a 41-42 Maccabi edge. Roman Sorkin scored around the basket. Yabusele banked in a close shot, but Blayzer hit a corner three-pointer to boost the visitors' lead to 43-47. Poirier matched Reynolds's jumper with a backdoor layup and Heurtel took over with a three-point play that tied it at 49-49. Evans followed a jumper with a floater and Blayzer struck again from beyond the arc to give Maccabi fresh air at 50-56. Wilbekin gave the visitors a 50-59 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Poirier dunked early in the fourth quarter and Fabien Causeur gave Real hope, 54-59, with over 8 minutes left. Poirier capped a 6-0 run from the foul line before Wilbekin took over with a one-handed floater in the lane. Reynolds added a tip-in that made it 56-63 with 6 minutes left. Poirier and Evans exchanged baskets and Causeur buried a floater for a 60-65 score. Heurtel buried a three-pointer off the dribble, but Evans answered with a driving layup. Tavares dunked for a 65-67 Real deficit in the next-to-last minute. Heurtel struck again from downtown to complete Real's comeback, 68-67. Heurtel hit a one-handed turnaround jumper but Williams struck from downtown to tie it, 70-70, with 13.3 seconds remaining. Real drew a play for Yabusele, who scored around the basket to win the game, as Maccabi did not get a shot up in time in the game's final possession.
Big men in ceremony in Madrid
A truly special moment took place seconds before the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Round 13 game between Real Madrid and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Center Walter Tavares received his MVP of November award from Real legend Clifford Luyk, one of the most dominant big men in European basketball history, who received a warm ovation from the fans in Madrid when he stepped on the court. Luyk, 80, played for Real Madrid from 1962 to 1978, and led Los Blancos to six EuroLeague titles (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1978). He won 16 Spanish League titles, including two as a coach, and was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors in 2008.
Real's hustle pays off
Real Madrid had trouble circulating the ball well in its Round 13 game against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Real finished the game with a season-low 12 assists but its hustle and determination fueled its fourth-quarter comeback. Los Blancos finished the game with 11 offensive rebounds and allowed Maccabi to get just 7. It also caused the Israeli champion to turn the ball over 18 times, which was 4 more than Real. Maccabi had a higher team PIR, 69-71, but Real took care of the small details - those 4 extra turnovers by Maccabi and the 4 extra offensive boards gave the hosts a chance to win it down the stretch.
Heurtel rescues Real in crunch time
Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv seemed to be well on its way to beating Real Madrid in Round 13, leading 60-65 midway through the fourth quarter. Los Blancos needed a go-to guy and Thomas Heurtel made sure his team never trailed again. He buried a big three-pointer and followed Walter Tavares's dunk with another shot from downtown to put Real in charge, 68-67. Heurtel soon added a one-handed turnaround floater. Even though - after Derrick Williams tied the game from beyond the arc - Guerschon Yabusele made the game-winning layup, Real would not have had a chance to win without Heurtel's fourth-quarter heroics.
Thursday, December 2, 2021