REPORT | 18/12/2020 | Edu BuenoThe Whites defeated Olympiacos in overtime, the third extra period in four days, with Laprovittola, Tavares and Thompkins proving to be decisive.
- Matchday 15
- Fri, 18 Dec
Match-up 31 in the competition between these two European giants began with a lack of shooting accuracy on both sides, leading to a low scoring first quarter (12-12). Laprovittola, with two three-pointers, and Abalde (PIR of 7), who controlled the defensive rebound, allowed Real Madrid to take the lead in the opening minutes against an erratic Olympiacos, that was bolstered by the performance of its star man Ellis.
Causeur inspires Madrid
The Greek team managed the period of the game better, showing its physical power and mastery in tight matches. Real Madrid, on the other hand, found it difficult to get up to speed and continued to miss the target. Spanoulis thrived on the situation and along with Vezenkov on the court the pair drove Olympiacos on to 27-19 after an 8-0 run in the 17th minute. Laso turned to Causeur and his introduction inspired the team at both ends of the court. The Frenchman thwarted the Greek point guard and the Madrid defence provided stiff resistance to the opposition, which was no longer as comfortable in the game. Thompkins (6 points), Rudy, Causeur, and Llull, led the comeback with a 3-12 run in the visitors' best spell. A three-pointer from Mahón - his 472nd in the EuroLeague, making him the third highest all-time three-pointer in the competition - brought the first half to an end with Madrid one point up (30-31).
Laso's charges extended their lead at the start of the third quarter. Randolph, who picked up an injury to his left leg shortly afterwards, and Causeur, gave Real Madrid a seven point lead (30-37, min. 23). But it's never plain sailing against a team like Olympiacos, as the Greeks refused to lie down. Spanoulis and McKissic guided their team, as Martín produced the goods in the paint, and the hosts pegged Madrid back to lead 51-43 in the 29th minute.
Madrid turns the screw
But Real Madrid always seems to find answers to the questions posed, and this time they came from Carroll and Thompkins. The American pair inspired the Whites from the perimeter and in the space of 3 minutes, from 29' to 32', they scored 2 each. Laprovittola added the fifth and Tavares began to dominate the Greek zone, already achieving the double-double. Olympiacos had no response to Madrid's spectacular 2-17 run, as the Whites turned the game around in the 32nd minute to make it 53-60. As expected, the Greeks once again showed their fightback spirit, thanks to McKissic and Sloukas who, with two free throws, tied the game on 69 points with 29 seconds remaining. Neither team was able to do anything special in the last two possessions and the clash went to overtime.
Madrid made to work hard for victory
It was the third overtime in four days and it was already taking its toll on some tired legs, the task being made even harder by a very physically strong Olympiacos throughout the night. Even so, the desire to win is the hidden ingredient of success. Laprovittola netted first for Real Madrid, but Martin responded for the hosts, who made it 81-79 with 42 seconds remaining. The decisive moment came when Llull caught the ball on the next play and did not release it until he nailed a three-pointer - 81-82 with 30 seconds to play. Sloukas was thwarted by a great Madrid defence. Then it was the calm Laprovittola, who sealed the victory (82-86, min. 40). This win means its seven out of seven this month, with three games remaining. Next up, the Whites match up against Alba Berlin on Tuesday at the WiZink Center (9:00 pm, CET).