By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Real Madrid got a much-needed win after losing to Valencia and Baskonia, despite missing half their backcourt. However, even without Sergio Llull, Rudy Fernandez, and Jeffery Taylor, the “Whites” led from wire to wire on the way to the 70-58 win over Zalgiris Kaunas.
Gabriel Deck scored 14 points, while Trey Thompkins and Jaycee Carroll led a balanced offensive effort with 12 points each as the “Whites” shot 50% in threes (14/28) and that was enough.
“[Reaching 2,500 points] is pretty cool”, said Carroll after the game. “I didn’t know I was coming up to that milestone. It means that I had the opportunity to play at this level for a while and I am excited about that. I think it is pretty cool.”
Coach Pablo Laso admitted that it was a sloppy game for his team which made 22 turnovers, however, he had an issue with the fact that his player didn’t go to the line once: ” “My players are asking me if I ever, in my career, saw a game where we didn’t go to the line one time. I don’t know if that happened again in the EuroLeague. I can’t explain it and I don’t know what to say to my players about that in the locker rooms”.
Zalgiris was also missing Arturas Milaknis, whose streak of 200 consecutive EuroLeague games was broken. Paulius Jankunas with 13 points tried his best but it was not enough.
Madrid jumped to a 23-11 lead in the first quarter, but Zalgiris trimmed it to five at halftime (36-31) and even to one (39-38) at the start of the third quarter. However, the guests couldn’t get over the hump, Real Madrid finished the third period leading by nine (51-42) and got even a 16-point advantage (64-48) on the way to an easy win.
As Zalgiris coach Martin Schiller admitted: “The challenge for us was obviously scoring the basketball and we did that in the beginning. We knew it was going to be tough because Real was extremely long, extremely good defensively, and we couldn’t figure out, how to put the ball in the hoop. Again, therefore I think Real deserved the win and congratulations.”
The “Whites” with a 16-10 record are tied with Bayern Munich on the 4th spot of the standings, while Zalgiris is tied with Valencia on the 9th spot at 14-12.