Real Madrid got off to a good start in a very demanding March and picked up an important win ahead of the Euroleague playoffs. In Villeurbanne, the team notched up their fifth straight win in the competition after beating Asvel in a game that got complicated in the second half and in which Causeur (14 points and 23 index rating points) and Deck (12 points) were the standout performers. Chus Mateo's men remain in the fight for the lead with one game and one win less than Olympiacos. The worst thing was the last minute injury to Tavares.
There was little success and a lot of inaccuracy from both teams in the early stages of the game at the Astroballe. As the minutes went by, Madrid started feeling more comfortable and began to put some distance on the scoreboard thanks to good play from Williams-Goss, Causeur, Cornelie and Hezonja (6-13; 5th minute). Our team consolidated its dominance and took a +10 lead with an imposing Tavares under the hoop (3 rebounds and 2 blocks) to take the first quarter (10-20).
The French came out with their minds set on closing the gap, but they came up against a Real Madrid side that was very focused in defence. The dominance of the rebound and the success of Musa's outside shooting (two three-pointers in a row) allowed Chus Mateo's team to put a stop to the home side's onslaught and take a 17-29 lead (min. 14). Our opponents did not give up and sought to punish from the low post through Mathews. But again they came up against the visitors' wall with Poirier (5 rebounds) and Abalde working hard in the zone. The team put the icing on the cake at the break and increased the difference in the second quarter (32-47).
Video.71-75: The win in France keeps Madrid in EuroLeague fight
The Whites kept up the good work after the break. They maintained their accuracy in the two-point shot (56%) and control of the rebounding (19 against 23). The scoring pace increased and Causeur (8 points in less than a minute) and De Colo (12 points) exhibited a great battle from three-point range. At the end of the third quarter, the French found cracks in Madrid's defence and went on an 8-2 run to leave the score at 54-63.
Not all was said and done in the Astroballe and Asvel continued with the momentum from the end of the third quarter. In less than three minutes they went on an 8-1 run to make it 62-64. When the team needed it most, Deck appeared with six straight points to give them some breathing space with four minutes to go (64-72). The French side brought the tie back to boiling point with a three-pointer from Bost. However, Madrid defended very well in the last two minutes and came away with a hard-fought victory (71-75)
ASVEL-REAL MADRID STATISTICS