By Lefteris Moutis/ email@example.com
After two missed throws by French guard Fabien Causeur, Thompkins got the offensive rebound and made the score 83-78 with 18 seconds left. That shot ultimately sealed the deal.
Fenerbahce‘s forward Nicolo Melli answered with a two-pointer (83-80) and scored in total 28 points, but with the clock ticking Causeur made two free throws in his next trip to the line and the game was over. In total Causeur scored 17 points and made a crucial block in the closing second, while Luka Doncic added also 15 points plus three rebounds, four assists, one steal, one key block and two turnovers.
He was the floor general of Real Madrid, making decisions in the biggest European stage and even when he fouled out in the last minute of the game, he made the right decision to not give a layup to Bradley Wanamaker. The win of Real Madrid, however, was also the definition of a team effort with eleven players scoring and everyone having something to contribute.
The Spaniards had more options especially on the front line and Fenerbahce had issues in the paint with Jan Vesely finishing the game with just three points. Madrid got a 25-17 lead at the start of the second period, still, Fenerbahce reacted and after a three by Kostas Sloukas got a 40-38 halftime lead.
It was a close game during the first 20 minutes with Melli scoring 11 points for the Turks, Ahmet Duverioglu adding eight and Sloukas seven, while Doncic with just six points led a balanced effort as ten Madrid players had already scored.
The second half started with a 7-0 run for “Los Blancos” who got a 45-40 lead after a three by Causer and a shot by Gustavo Ayon. Madrid kept its distance and built an eight-point lead (63-55) by the end of the third period with Causer having already 15 points. The defense of coach Pablo Laso’s team was clicking, protecting the paint and forcing turnovers.
With Melli getting his 21st point of the game Fenerbahce cut the lead to five (66-61) at the start of the fourth, however, Madrid got five points in one play. Vesely was called for an unsportsmanlike foul to Doncic who made two free throws and with Madrid having also the next possession Jaycee Carroll made the three to push the lead to 10 (71-61).
Fenerbahce didn’t give up. Thanks to Melli, the Turkish champs trailed by five points with two minutes left (74-69) and ultimately managed to make it a three points game (81-78) after a big three by Bobby Dixon with 22 seconds left. They couldn’t get closer, as Thompkins saved the day for Real Madrid.