Leaders come up short against Baskonia in their return to league action

MATCH REPORT. 06/03/2022. Rodrigo Salamanca. Photographer: Pedro Castillo

The match slipped away from Real Madrid's grasp in a game that was decided in the last quarter. Real Madrid's standout performer was Tavares.

The Endesa league leaders were back in action after three weeks without a game, but were unable to overcome Baskonia in round 23 of the Endesa League. Pablo Laso's side were dominant in the first half, but the visitors, thanks to strong outside shooting, turned the game around and decided the match in the final quarter. Madrid's best player was Tavares with 16 points and 23 PIR.
Following message of support for Ukraine prior to the game, our side hit the court and went on an 8-0 run. The team from Vitoria also came out hard and levelled the game through outside shooting and good work from the three-point line thanks to Costello and Giedraitis. Tavares, with 6 points, finally tipped the balance of a tight first quarter in favour of Laso's men (16-14).
Real Madrid hit back in the second quarter, with Rudy and Heurtel on fire, taking the lead (26-18). The French point guard was looking for space on the outside and he found it for Taylor, Randolph and Rudy (66% from 6.75) taking a +12 lead, the highest of the game. Yabusele and Poirier also put in a great performance at the back, and the number of Baskonia turnovers should also be highlighted. The pace of scoring slowed down as the second quarter came to an end as Baskonia went into the break with a 38-29 lead.

Video.72-80: Leaders come up short against Baskonia in their return to league action

There was a momentum swing after the break as Baskonia continued to dominate the offensive rebounding and take advantage of second chances. Peters, with 5 points, Enoch and Baldwin levelled the score in the 27th minute (44-44). The visitors' onslaught was halted by Tavares who scored six points from under the basket, but Baldwin lifted his team with 9 points and 4 assists. Hanga's three-pointer on the buzzer was not enough as Baskonia went ahead 54-57 at the end of the third quarter.
 Battle for the victory
The game was to be decided in the closing stages as Real Madrid went back in front with 5 points from Llull and two blocks from Hanga and Poirier. The team from Vitoria kicked their game up a gear as Costello and Fontecchio were on fire with 7 points apiece, putting on a 2-14 run (36'). The hosts did not throw the towel in at any time, and came closer thanks to Tavares and free throws to get to within four points with two minutes to go. Baskonia were able to hold on, with two free throws from Enoch and a Granger three-pointer to make it +9 (min. 39). The home side gave it their all with Heurtel and Deck, but it wasn't enough to win the game. The focus now shifts to the three games coming up in the next six days against Estrella Roja, Olimpia Milano and San Pablo Burgos.