REPORT | 31/05/2021 | Edu Bueno | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor CarreteroLaso's men posted the best offensive performance of the season to move to within a win of the semis.
- Playoff Liga Endesa
- Quarter final (matchday 1)
- Mon, 31 May
The madridistas began the series with another two setbacks, with Reyes and Abalde both missing out after testing positive for coronavirus. One man who was involved was Tavares following a month on the sidelines. In the build-up to the game, the center collected the awards for the league's best defender and the prize for his place in the competition's best quintet. A four-point haul from Tavares set Laso's team up to go on and produce a masterclass in the opening stanza. Following an even four minutes (12-11), Madrid tore up a 22-0 run with some amazing basketball, based on a strong defense and a devastating offense (9/11 on two-pointers and 4/5 on triples). Laprovittola paced the Whites with nine points in a row. The Argentine was joined by Carroll, Rudy, Tyus and Poirier to make it 34-11 at the end of the quarter.
Madrid on a different level
The hosts continued to be on inspired form in the second quarter and established complete control. In the 13th minute, the team was already 26 points up at 41-14 (a 28-point lead was the biggest of the night). Despite the guests' improvement, the Whites continued to motor on. Llull picked up from where Laprovittola left off and, along with a dominant Poirier in the paint (PIR of 20 at the break), they nullified the guests' attempts to get back into the contest. Another 10-0 run in the final stage of the second quarter capped off a fine first half from the team (56-30).
The guests didn't give in and came out for the second half intent on cutting the arrears. However, Madrid displayed its solidity and determation against a side that looked more comfortable in offense. The Whites replied to each of the Islanders' baskets with different options and impressive teamwork in offense. It was time for Taylor, Carroll and Tyus to enter the fray. It was only in the final minutes of the third quarter that Fisac's troops undid the madridista defense to reduce to deficit to 78-64 (min. 30).
Highest points haul of the season
Herbalife Gran Canaria continued to push through the inspired Costello, but Real Madrid was completely bossing proceedings. Just when it looked like the guests were coming back within striking distance, the team stood tall, on this occasion shining on defensive rebounds. The Whites gradually continued to post more points and reached the 103-point mark, which represents a record for the season, with six players on 10 or more points
(103-79, min. 40). The series now travels to Gran Canaria for the second bout in 48 hours' time (10pm).