Real Madrid rolls past Cantu
Five players scored in double figures as Real Madrid beat Mapooro Cantu for the first time in 37 years, 80-66 in Group A action in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Mirza Begic led the way with 17 points while Rudy Fernandez and Nikola Mirotic both scored 14 points and Jaycee Carroll and Sergio Llull each added 11 points for Madrid, which last knocked off Cantu in 1975 and improved to 3-1 in the group. It was Real’s only other victory over the Italian side, which won the last meeting in the final of the 1991 Korac Cup. Cantu dropped to 1-3 in the group despite 18 points from Pietro Aradori, while Jeff Brooks and Maarten Leunen both scored 13 points.
First quarter: Early 10-0 run puts Madrid in front
Begic completed a three-point-play to get Madrid going then Mirotic nailed a rocket from downtown, Fernandez added a pull-jumper and the Slovenian big man scored with a lefty jump hook to open the game with a 10-0 run. Alex Tyus made a huge block on a Carlos Suarez layup and Aradori ran the court to score the first basket for Mapooro after more than four scoreless minutes. A reverse dunk by Begic was followed by a long three-pointer by Leunen. Mirotic answered with a layup to give a 14-5 margin to the home team. A no-look assist from Rudy in the open court gave an easy opportunity to Mirotic to increase the difference to 11, Aradori again finished a fast break and Jeff Brooks scored 5 consecutive points – 3 from the foul line to get within 16-12. Llull made 2 free throws to fix the score at 18-12 after 10 minutes for Real Madrid.
Second quarter: Second 10-0 run, strong late D gives Madrid big cushion at break
Cantu continued its strong push in the second quarter with an inside basket from Tyus and a triple from Manuchar Markoisvili to pull within 18-17. Real responded with another 10-0 run, sparked by Ferndandez’s jumper and featuring two three-balls from Carroll for a 28-17 cushion. Markoisvili stopped the surge with a jumper and Leunen nailed a long ball in hopes of staying in the game – 28-22. Two Aradori foul shots made it 30-24 but Madrid scored six straight points – including using its size advantage on low post scores by Marcus Slaughter and Begic – to push the advantage up to 36-24. Fernandez nailed a triple late in the half and Marty Pocius’s runner just before the buzzer gave Real a 41-26 lead at halftime.
Third quarter: Too much Mirotic and Fernandez as Madrid pull away
Begic continued his strong game, tapping in a Mirotic miss and throwing down a dunk after another fine dish by Fernandez to give Madrid a 45-26. Cantu’s first points of the second half came nearly three minutes in on Leunen’s two foul shots and the guests continued to fight with a Brooks jumper and Aradori floater plus and-one to pull within 45-33. Madrid was just too much with four straight points for Mirotic and Fernandez nailing a long ball for a 52-35 cushion. Aradori and Brooks were Cantu’s main weapons, both scoring to make it 54-39. Madrid remained flashy with an alley-oop dunk for Slaughter to extend the lead to 58-40. Cusin finally had a bit of an impact with a tip-in and both Mazzarino and Jerry Smith nailed three balls to pull within 61-48. Llull once again ended the quarter, this time with a driving layup for a 63-48 lead.
Fourth quarter: Early push for Madrid ends all doubts
Llull started the fourth quarter right where he left off with a steal and thunderous dunk and Carroll followed with a steal and layup plus and-one to give Madrid a 20-point lead, 68-48. Cantu fought hard for five straight points, finished with Brooks’ jumper off the glass to trim the gap to 68-53. But Madrid raced back for the next five points with Carroll’s rebound and coast- to-coast layup re-establishing the 20-point cushion, 73-53, midway through the fourth quarter. Cantu came back with one more push was Leunen’s three-ball trimmed the deficit to 73-60 with four minutes to play. Begic finished off all hopes with an easy basket inside after the Madrid timeout and Felipe Reyes‘ free throw made it 76-60 inside of three minutes. Cantu missed a chance to make it a 10-point game on a travel by Tyus with 1:25 remaining.
Thursday, November 1, 2012