98-96: Randolph decides the game in the final second

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  • Liga Endesa
  • Matchday 16
  • 13/01/2019
WiZink Center
Real Madrid beat Tecnyconta Zaragoza with a great Ayón performance (20 points and 12 rebounds) and make it three wins this week.
The game was no disappointment and beforehand everyone said it would be a be high scorer. It was decided at the buzzer with a tap in from Randolph, as he killed off an even tie, which was both offensive and thrilling. The Whites had to launch a couple of comebacks in a game where Ayón was stellar with his double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds and PIR of 31). Llull (16), Causeur (14) and Randolph (14) all proved vital in a win that means Real Madrid are top seed in the Cup draw.

Real Madrid moved the ball around well in the opening play, found some open shots and that always helps. But that did not stop Tecnyconta Zaragoza, who dealt with it well and exchanged blows. The first three minutes were perfect for the Whites, and Ayón was active both in attack (11 points) and on the rebound (4). The offensive pace was good and the visitors looked comfortable, with Okoye and Seibutis scoring. Towards the end of the quarter the former Real Madrid player Barreiro came on. The Aragon side went 8 ahead but Causeur stole the ball with three seconds to play to get 11 points for the quarter and level the game (31-31).

Disadvantage and comeback
The visitors again took the advantage, which went to +9 (39-48) after a 2-12 half, and Berhanemeskel clinched eight points. Zaragoza dominated on the offensive rebound, with Radovic leading the way, while Thompkins and Rudy were the only ones who netted. Randolph stepped up and was vital in the two closing minutes with seven points. Llull netted a three in the dying seconds of the half to provide some real intensity (53-52).

Real Madrid will be top seeds in the Copa.

The attack did not stop for either side. Zaragoza had different options to score, in a quarter where points were evenly spread. For Real Madrid there was an switch between Reyes (4) and Ayón, who was still unstoppable in the paint (8) and had already clinched a double-double. The Whites tried to pull ahead but struggled to get more than five points and Fisac's side hit back to level the clash that Llull had now made 76-74.

Madness at the end
It was blow for blow in attack. Yusta on the one side, Okoye on the other, and the inimitable Ayón with moments of genius. Seibutis took the initiative first (85-89) and then the tie was levelled with 33 seconds to play (94-94) to make Zaragoza dream. Randolph led a small come back for the Whites, dunking after a turnover in play. Llull made it 96-94; Okoye made it 96-96. With nin seconds left, Llull sprinted down the court, got past several players and sent in a shot. It touched the rim, then the board, and then Randolph, tapped the shot in just as the buzzer went and the red light came on to make it 98-96. Absolute scenes at the WiZink Center.