Real Madrid dominates second half to beat Zvezda

2021-11-18T22:40:56+00:00 2021-12-07T21:29:00+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

18/Nov/21 22:40

Real Madrid imposed its rhythm after the break to get another EuroLeague victory.

By Eurohoops team/

Real Madrid came out of the locker room with all guns blazing in the second half to defeat Crvena Zvezda 79 – 67 and capture its fourth straight EuroLeague win.

After a balanced first half (32-32), Real raised the intensity and effectiveness of its game on both ends to get a double-digit advantage by the end of the third period. The previously quite competitive Red Star was overwhelmed by the strength of the Blancos and fell behind even by 19 points when the hosts scored 13 points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to go up 70 – 51.

There was no turning back from that margin. “I think we respected the game in the third quarter, we know every team in the EuroLeague is a great team. We did better in the third quarter and that’s what helped us win the game”, said Edy Tavares after the game.

The “twin towers” of Tavares and Vincent Poirier controlled all traffic inside the paint, registering 23 PIR apiece. Tavares finished with 15 points and four blocks while Poirier had 14 points, eight rebounds, and two rejections. Adam Hanga provided 11 points and six rebounds while Rudy Fernandez was all over the place with seven points, six assists, and five boards.

Austin Hollins scored 16 points and Maik Zirbes dropped 12 points for Zvezda that had to cope with the absences of Nikola Kalinic, Nate Wolters and Luka Mitrovic. The Serbian team struggled to make a shot from long range (6-23 3-pointers) and was unable to counter Real’s offense after the break. They went 0 – 2 on their Spanish trip during the double-game EuroLeague week, losing also to Baskonia.

As coach Dejan Radonjic said: “We played good the first 20 minutes, but in the second half, we didn’t have enough energy to continue the same defense like in the first 20 minutes. They took advantage and took control of the game. We had so many problems, but in the end, we played a solid game.”

Real plays at Baskonia next week while Zvezda will look to bounce back vs. Unics Kazan at home.

Two halves, two stories

Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso pointed out the different picture of his team after halftime and why it was reasonable that it took a bit for his players to perform the way he wants.

“Our first half was not good, but probably the best was the score, as we were tied,” Laso said. “We committed many mistakes in defense and had the feeling we didn’t control the game but we were tight. And when we connected three or four good defensive actions and three or four good offensive actions, we managed to get a wide advantage and managed to handle it quite well until the end. I have the feeling as head coach that I should be critical to my team because of the first half. Nevertheless, I believe that it would be quite absurd on my side not to understand that there is the fourth match in seven days and that it was difficult to get in the game, and that’s why I want to congratulate the guys because of the win, because I think it was a quite demanding match both from the physical and the mental point of view, and we got a win in a EuroLeague game and that’s all that matters.”