Euroleague

Euroleague: Madrid puts Efes to the sword

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Euroleague

Real Madrid put on a Euroleague masterclass on Wednesday night as the Spanish giants destroyed Anadolu Efes in the opening game of the 5th round. The Efes players would have been on a high after seeing off Zalgiris last week to go second in Group B, but Madrid was in unforgiving mood and swept the Turkish team aside with a score of 103-57.

The game in the Spanish capital was as one sided as the score suggests as Real Madrid’s huge win takes the team 5-0 at the top of Group B. Efes still remains in second place for the time being, but that could change after results from Thursday and Friday are in.

Ioannis Bourousis set the tone for the winners by hitting 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Sergio Rodriguez (main image) was also in fine touch, recording 14 points and 11 assists. Los Blancos brought showtime to the court and Rodriguez was the supplier of many extravagant alley-oop dunks for the home team. Nikola Mirotic and Jaycee Carroll both hit 14 points for Madrid with 10 rebounds coming from Felipe Reyes. Inevitably with Madrid on fire there was not much joy for Efes, although Scotty Hopson logged 13 points from the bench, while Stanko Barac netted 10 and Kostas Vasileiadis posted 11.

First quarter
Bourousis paced Madrid in the opening 10 minutes and was the first scorer of the night with a tip in. That was followed by a three point effort from Mirotic that found home and gave Madrid an early five point lead. The visitors certainly had their chances in the opening exchanges but Turkish team Efes wilted and missed several open shots. These missed opportunities helped the more clinical Madrid open up a lead of 19-13 at the end of the first.

Second quarter
In the second period Los Blancos continued to demonstrate clear superiority over Efes, despite a brief glimpse of good play from Birkan Batuk as he hit a big two for the visitors. However, a series of three pointers from Madrid opened the deficit to double digits while Rodriguez supplied an alley-oop for Marcus Slaughter. Indeed, Rodriguez was proving a metronome for the home team as he continued to supply baskets, including another alley-oop for Slaughter later in the period. Madrid continued to command the quarter and went in at the half time buzzer with a massive 47-23 lead.

Third quarter
The 24 point lead carved out by Madrid in the first half showed no signs of being whittled down in the second as the home team continued to be easily the better team. However, Efes did manage to stem the free scoring of Madrid for a brief spell in the third, but could not muster many points in return. Instead it was Los Blancos that played into rhythm again with baskets from Dontaye Draper and Mirotic putting the Spanish giants back on the front foot. Bourousis hit his third 3 pointer (100% for the night) and also netted free throws to put the lead above 30 points. Despite being under pressure for the whole game, Efes enjoyed its best spell at the end of the third with baskets from Vasileiadis and Dragicevic cutting the lead, although Madrid still lead 70-46 going into the final 10.

Fourth quarter
Madrid was in cruise control now and even managed to find another gear to move into during the fourth quarter. Even though the game was now a foregone conclusion the home team continued to press home the already huge advantage. Rodriguez continued to assist and find baskets of his own as Los Blancos strode confidently to victory, winning the last period by 33 to 11 to win the game 103-57.

It truly was a blockbuster performance by Madrid as the team collected a total performance index rating of 155, the seventh highest in Euroleague history and the biggest total in six years.

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