Montepaschi Siena stunned Real Madrid 77-95
The Top 16 came to an end in Madrid with Montpaschi Siena taking revenge over Real Madrid in the most painful way after the first game between both teams in
Siena. The Italian squad thrashed the guests by 77-95 thanks to tough defense and outstanding offense from all players. Despite suffering foul trouble by
Milan Rakovic in minute 6 and later by best scorer Malik Hairston, Siena just held onto the lead for good. With this result, which doesn't affect the Group G
standings as both teams were already qualified for the Playoffs, Montepaschi Siena finishes second with a 4-2 while Real Madrid is group champ with a 5-1. Hairston led the winners with 17 points, Pietro Aradori added 16 including 3 of 3 triples, Ksistof Lavrinovic posted 15, Milovan Rakovic 14 and Jeleel Akindele posted 10. For the hosts, Nikola Mirotic had 13 points, Mirza Begic 12 and Felipe Reyes 10.
Defenses started as protagonists in the first minutes as the first points of the game didn't arrive until 123 seconds after the tip-off when Malik Hairston
his a three for Montepaschi Siena. Ante Tomic got Real Madrid going soon, but then Siena blasted a 0-6 run with baskets close to the rim to make it 2-9.
Tomic tipped in an offensive rebound to show some signs of life on Real Madrid's part while on the other side, big man Milovan Rakovic committed his third
foul before reaching minute 6. Tomic was still the only player scoring for the hosts while David Moss found an open spot on the arc to punish the Real Madrid
rim, 6-12. Nikola Mirotic finally added some variety on the Real Madrid scorers, but Marko Jaric had four points of his own to keep Siena ahead, 10-18. The
guests were managing to run and the lead went up the double-digits, 11-22, as Hairston had already 13 points. Four straight points by Sergio Llull allowed
the hosts to trim the deficit to 19-26 after 10 minutes.
Hairstom, who else, started the scoring in the second quarter with a slam for Montepaschi, while on the other side Clay Tucker connected with Mirza Begic to
launch Real Madrid. But Montepaschi's defense was pushing hard while Real Madrid's was not working that well, so one three by Pietro Aradori from the corner
and then seven straight points by Ksistof Lavrinovic, including another three, made it a 17-point game, 25-42, as teh hosts called for a much needed timeout.
Felipe Reyes broke the spell from the stripe but Siena's scoring run went up to 2-15 including threes by Nikos Zisis and Aradori to make it 27-50. Llull
finally showed some pride for the hosts with his own basket but Aradori had five more points of his own as Siena managed to move the ball well from the
outside to the inside and back to find the basket almost every time. Finally, Carlos Suarez blasted a three to put an end to the first half with a 32-55
Jaric hit first again for Montepaschi when the second half started but Tomic had a quick reply for Real Madrid to make it 34-57 in the first minute. The
hosts seemed to be more aggressive in defense and trying to run in offense and when Hairston left the court with his fourth foul and Carlos Suarez blasted a
three for 39-59 it seemed that the game was turning tides. However, that simply sparked a 0-9 run for Siena if there was any doubt with especial presence of
Rakovic for 39-68. Reyes and Suarez tried to keep Real Madrid in the loop as the former scored free throws for 47-70. With Siena dishing more assists and a
21 of 26 in 2-point shots at this point, the score was no surprise. The hosts were more solid from the free thros line, but it was not enough by a long
stretch. Two final free throws by Lavrinovic made it 51-78 after 30 minutes.
In the last period Siena lowered gears and Real Madrid used it to start with a 9-4 run including a three by Mirotic, as he soon added a new one for 63-84. The same trend continued in the following minutes as Real Madrid managed to find its big men inside for good baskets to put the deficit below 20, 72-88. Begic was the man in the last minutes of the game for the hosts but Aradori found its way to the basket through the lane to make it 74-90 entering the last minute of the game, with both teams ready for the Playoffs starting next March 22.
Thursday, March 3, 2011