Real Madrid maintained their unbeaten away record in the league after defeating Casademont Zaragoza in a match that marked the return of Antonhy Randolph, who put on a superb performance almost a year after rupturing his left Achilles tendon. Pablo Laso’s charges extended their winning run to eleven straight games, five of these have come in the league, which they remain top of. After an evenly balanced first half, the Whites secured the spoils in the third and fourth quarters. Llull was the standout player for the madridistas, with 17 points and five three-pointers, followed by Heurtel’s 13 points.
The talking point before the start of the game was Anthony Randolph's inclusion on the Madrid bench. Pablo Laso brought on the power forward with 2:37 to go in the opening quarter and his first contribution was a three-pointer (he finished with four points in the period) to mark his return. Before, Madrid had opened up a lead after a fine start in defence and the partnership of Llull-Yabusele in attack (12 points between the two). Randolph’s three-pointer pulled our side clear in the ninth minute to make it 10-19.
Video.65-86: El Real Madrid gana en Zaragoza en la vuelta de Randolph
Game lacking continuity
Ponsarnau's side responded quickly thanks to their accuracy in three-pointer shooting and offensive rebounding, which dealt a blow to a Madrid side that was too hasty in attack. Waczynski capped the comeback and Mobley fired his team ahead. The home point guard was the difference between the two sides in the second quarter. With 13 consecutive points, he spearheaded a 25-8 run that plunged our team into trouble (35-27, min. 17). At that point, Laso's troops rediscovered their sharpness and offensive fluency. A three-pointer from Taylor and another from Llull, his third, levelled the game before the break with a 0-8 run (36-35). Randolph continued to confirm that he has recovered from his injury and with 7 points was one of the best players in the first 20 minutes.
Madrid sets itself up for victory
In the third quarter, Madrid closed down on rebounds and nullified Casademont Zaragoza’s outside game as the hosts began to suffer against the division’s best defence. Meanwhile, the Whites upped their game in offense, where more players began to get in on the act. Causeur, who posted seven points in this quarter, Williams-Goss, Tavares, Yabusele and Llull, with his fourth trey, combined to cause havoc in the Aragonese side’s defence in a fine third stanza, which ended with a run of 12-24 as Madrid established a +10 lead (49-59). After having done the most difficult but, which was to rack up a strong lead, Madrid was solid in the final throws of the game and avoided making any mistakes, despite Casademont Zaragoza’s surges. Scoring triples for fun, with Llull on fire (5/8 in three pointers) and with the help of Heurtel (another three in this quarter), they were able to manage the lead, which they increased to 22 points at 62-84 with one minute to go. It was a convincing victory (65-86) and now the Whites must turn their attention to next Friday’s Euroleague Clasico (9 pm CET).
CASADEMONT ZARAGOZA-REAL MADRID STATISTICS