Real Madrid dumped Lottomatica Roma 72-50
Real Madrid took a giant step toward qualifying for the Top 16 on Thursday with an impressive 72-50 victory over Lottomatica Roma. Although Ettore Messina’s men are not mathematically in yet, a win next week over Brose Baskets Bamberg would assure their presence, while Roma still keep its chances intact and can advance next week with a win against Unicaja in the Italian capital. Madrid improved its record to 5-3 in Group B and now shares first place with Unicaja and Olympiacos thanks to an all-around team effort that held Roma to 50 points and 33% two-point field goal shooting. Sergio Llull led Real Madrid with 14 points and Jorge Garbajosa added 11, but four other players scored 7 or more. Roma posted just 5 assists in the game and committed 22 turnovers. Luigi Datome led the visitors with 12 points, followed by Ali Traore’s 10.
Real Madrid wanted to start fast and got off the bus running behind Sergio Rodriguez’s quick legs, as the point guard scored on two quick layups and got his team up 8-2. Behind his aggressive style in the open court and Carlos Suarez’s high motor in penetrations and attacking the offensive glass, the hosts were able to set a tone early. But Lottomatica hunkered down on defense in an effort to seal the paint, and Darius Washington excelled in setting a more convenient pace for the visitors. Clay Tucker entered the game for Madrid with hopes of getting some one-on-one baskets, but it was sweet shooting Datome who drilled a sweet fallaway jumper to make it 12-9 score, as both teams turned to their heavyweights in the trenches and the quarter finished with just two baskets in the final three minutes and a 14-11 score.
With Madrid hitting on just 28% of its two-point field goal attempts in the first quarter and neither team hitting a three, Tucker finally got going with a corner jumper to put Madrid ahead by 7. Luca Vitali and Pablo Prigioni battled it out at the point to gain control of the game and it was the latter who assisted D’Or Fischer on a trailer dunk for the culmination of a 6-2 run to start the second quarter, prompting Roma head coach Matteo Boniciolli into a timeout to regroup. Rodriguez followed suit on a feed to Nicola Mirotic for a slam, as the Madrid push extended to 25-15, the biggest lead of the game. Roma tried to quicken the pace and get some baskets off turnovers, but struggled to convert its chances as Madrid willed itself to the offensive glass. Vladimir Dasic finally was able to break through for the visitors with their first triple in 10 tries to make it 27-19, though Fischer was a force inside at both ends of the floor for the hosts and Llull also countered with Madrid’s first three in 9 attempts. Roma had reasons to feel better about itself at the break though, after not conceding a shot in Madrid’s final possession and coming out with a manageable deficit at 30-22.
While the main problem for Roma resided in the offensive rebounds given up to Madrid’s front line, a 14-6 differential in the first 20 minutes, another concern was the lone assist delivered in the half, and Washington went to work on pick-and-rolls and screens in trying to set his teammates up the half court offense. But Madrid defended the point extremely well, and only Datome found a remedy to the lockdown, as he hit a couple of triples to keep Boniciolli’s side close at 43-28. Still, Madrid was a well-oiled defensive machine at that point, producing up to 15 turnovers and 8 blocked shots, namely 2 by Novica Velickovic, the second, a beauty on Andrea Ianilli’s layup attempt. Roma was still in the hunt though, thanks to the long-range bombs of Datome and Vitali, but Garbajosa eventual answered with two of his own. The second one, off a nice Llull feed, beat the buzzer and left the score at 54-39 entering the final period.
With Nihad Djedovic in the game for Washington, Roma looked for a different pace to start the fourth, and Vitali hit a couple of jump shots. But the post was still Madrid’s real estate, as Ante Tomic scored on a hook shot to make it 64-44 and his team’s 34th point in the paint to Roma’s 14. As the visitors struggled from the field, unable to break 50 points until the game’s final seconds, even with Washington back on the floor, Madrid definitely put the nail in the coffin when Tucker hit a triple for a 69-47 score. It was just icing on the cake when Mirotic added another, and Lottomatica at least found some solace by reaching 50 when Dasic split two free throws to seal the game.
Thursday, December 9, 2010