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Real Madrid remains untouchable at WiZink Center

MATCH REPORT. 14/12/2021. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Pedro Castillo

The Whites downed Alba Berlin to claim an eighth home win in the EuroLeague in a game in which every player posted points.

Real Madrid opened the double-round week, ahead of Thursday’s road trip to AX Armani Exchange Milan, with another win at the WiZink Center, the team’s eighth straight victory on our floor, to remain unbeaten at home in the competition. The hosts downed Alba Berlin after tipping the game in their favour in the second stanza with a run of 24-10 and rounding off the win in the last quarter. Pablo Laso and Heurtel missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19, with assistant Chus Mateo stepping up to lead the team. All 12 players netted points, with Tavares (17 points and a PIR of 25), Randolph (13 and 15) and Rudy (14 and 14) pacing another fine team performance.

The direct approach from Alba Berlin, who also enjoyed success on three-pointers (four), saw the game get off to a rip-roaring start that caught Real Madrid off-guard, before the hosts gradually got a foothold in the contest. Firstly, they were boosted by the points under the basket from Williams-Goss and Tavares, before the threat from the outside in the final throws of the quarter saw the madridistas take the initiative (19-16, min. 10).

Fine second quarter
Real Madrid established a lead in the second quarter. The team upped the pressure in defense, closed out the rebounds and prevented the opposition from running and shooting with any ease. Llull, who fired a warning shot minutes earlier with a trademark triple, brought the team to life in attack. In the space of 8:42, he posted six points, two rebounds and three assists. Rudy also stepped up to the plate with two triples and three assists and alongside some fine minutes from academy graduate Juan Núñez, who served up the play of the match with a backwards basket, dished some assists to the unstoppable Tavares. The Cape Verde-born player netted 13 points in the first half as the madridistas established a +17 lead after tearing up a 24-10 run in the second stanza (43-26, min. 18).

Video.87-64: Real Madrid remain untouchable at WiZink Center

Madrid had nullified the Germans’ dangerous play and managed to maintain its lead. Solid in defense and looking formidable on rebounds, where the guests are one of the competition’s top performers, Madrid read the game down to a tee. Randolph was heavily involved and his confidence was growing with every passing minute. He produced a masterclass in the third quarter, in which he sunk 11 points and produced plays of every kind: triples, offensive rebounds, penetrations in what was welcome news for our team. The power forward established Madrid’s biggest lead of the night to make it 58-38 in the 27th minute.

However, the guests tried to haul themselves back into the game. They reduced the arrears with a series of three-pointers (62-51, min.34), only for Madrid to hit back in stunning fashion. Rudy extinguished the Berlin-based team’s chances with a pair of treys, whilst Poirier continued to claim rebounds (nine), as did Williams-GossHangaCauseur. Madrid was now firing on all cylinders and pulled away to put the result beyond the guests to ease to victory in a game that ended with three academy graduates on court (NúñezVukcevic and Ndiaye) and all 12 players netting points (87-64, min. 40). Causeur chalked up his 307th appearance for Madrid to move up into seventh spot and overtake his teammate Thompkins in the all-time foreign appearance-maker charts. In less than 48 hours’ time, Madrid faces a tricky road trip to Milan (Thursday, 8:45pm CET).