Shorthanded Real grabs famous win over CSKA
Real Madrid overcame a long list of absentees to claim an impressive 71-65 victory over CSKA Moscow at WiZink Center. The hosts started fast to lead by as many as 14 in the first quarter, but CSKA gradually narrowed the gap with improved defense and led 37-40 at the break. Real rallied to take a double-digit lead midway through the final quarter, which CSKA could never recover as its offense continued to misfire. Edy Tavares led the way with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Nigel Williams-Goss top scored with 17 points. Debutant Urban Klavzar – one of four teenagers in the Real lineup – poured in 10 points, and Sergio Llull also scored 10. Will Clyburn (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Nikola Milutinov (13 points, 10 rebounds) both grabbed double-doubles for CSKA and Iffe Lundberg scored 10. Real remained perfect at home and retained second place with a 14-3 record, while CSKA dropped to 10-7.
Real raced into a big early lead with a big dunk from Tristan Vukcevic and three consecutive scores from Tavares including an alley-oop slam. Williams-Goss scored in transition to make it 11-0 before Milutinov scored CSKA’s first points with a three-point play. Klavzar and Rudy Fernandez both struck triples for a 17-3 lead. Milutinov continued to offer CSKA’s only resistance with two more baskets. Clyburn got involved with a couple of triples, pulling it back to 24-14 after 10 minutes.
Daniel Hackett’s corner three opened the second-quarter scoring and CSKA continued to narrow the margin as Alexey Shved’s first basket made it 26-21. Williams-Goss boosted Real with a three and Tavares’s dunk restored a double-digit margin. But an inside score and a triple from Nikita Kurbanov helped narrow the gap to 35-33 before Milutinov tied it up and Lundberg hit a three-pointer for CSKA’s first lead, helping make it 37-40 at the break.
Lundberg’s mid-range jumper and Kurbanov’s triple protected the lead early in the third, but Sediq Garuba’s first EuroLeague basket and a tip-in from Jeffery Taylor tied it up, 45-45. Williams-Goss sent Real back in front and corner threes from Johannes Voigtmann and Shved were met with a stepback three from Fernandez for a 56-55 lead after three quarters.
Sergio Llull made a three-pointer for his first basket to start the final period and Klavzar added another for a 62-55 lead. Llull was again on target from deep for a double-digit lead before Shved finally scored CSKA’s first points of the final quarter with a three-pointer. Both teams struggled to score before Williams-Goss hit a jumper for a 67-58 lead with less than 3 minutes remaining. Lundberg gave CSKA hope with a triple, but Williams-Goss netted two more inside baskets to seal the deal.
Shorthanded Real gives three debuts
Real came into the game with just nine players on the roster due to a long list of absentees with COVID-19 cases. Fabien Causeur, Vincent Poirier, Thomas Heurtel, Yabusele Guerschon, Anthony Randolph, Juan Nunez and Adam Hanga were all absent, along with Coach Pablo Laso. To cover for those missing players, teenagers Sediq Garuba, Urban Klavzar and Baba Miller were all named in the roster and made their EuroLeague debuts. The 17-year-old Slovenian guard Klavzar made a great first impression, scoring 6 points in the first quarter and he also came back to score a big triple in the final period for a 62-55 lead, which helped secure the win.
Real takes care of the ball
One of the keys to Real’s unexpected victory – which came with just five senior players in the roster – was the home team’s excellent ball handling. Real committed just 4 turnovers throughout the game with no player committing more than 1. The home team’s offense was mostly led by Nigel Williams-Goss, who led the scoring with 17 points and also dished a game-high 5 assists with just 1 turnover. He spent more than 34 minutes on the floor and scored 6 points in the final 3:25 to ensure the victory stayed in the Spanish capital.
CSKA suffers bad night offensively
Other than a run of 19 points in less than 5 minutes at the end of the first half, it was a horrible offensive night for CSKA Moscow. The Russian team made just 12 of 36 two-point attempts (33.3%) and 9 of 33 (27.3%) from beyond the arc, and could only score 65 points despite grabbing 19 offensive rebounds. Some of CSKA’s biggest stars failed to make an impact, as Alexey Shved made just 3 of his 11 field goal attempts and Tornike Shengelia did not score a single point. And although Will Clyburn led the team with 16 points, 7 of those came from the foul line as he shot 4 of 16 from the field.
Thursday, December 23, 2021