Real Madrid lost on the road at Anadolu Efes in the Euroleague matchday 24 clash, postponed due to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Our team came up against inspired opponents from the three-point line, especially in the third quarter. Despite being 17 points down with just 10 minutes to play, Chus Mateo's boys produced an epic fightback to turn the game around in the final quarter. They battled until the final minute but just couldn't do enough to clinch their 20th victory in European competition this season. With 16 and 15 points, Musa and Deck led the charge for the madridistas, as Hanga made his 100th appearance in our colours.
The game started slowly on the scoreboard, with both teams leaning into a physical clash with heightened contact (7-8, min.4). That initial sluggishness wasn't to last long, as Chus Mateo's team began to up the pace in offense, moving the ball well and finding a nice balance between inside and out, while capitalising on the Turkish outfit's turnovers. Musa and Deck were inspired beneath the hoop, with 7 points each to guide us into the lead at the end of a tough first period (18-24).
Anadolu hit back
Ataman's team enjoyed a strong start to the second quarter, producing stunning statistics from the triple led by Clyburn and Larkin. Madrid reacted well inside three minutes, finding solutions through Tavares and Cornelie in the paint (31-39). Then, an unsportsmanlike foul against and a Singleton three-pointer in the same play saw the Turkish side race to a 9-0 run to turn the scores around at the break (42-39) with Pleiss posting 4 points in a row to help boost the hosts further.
Video.90-89: Real Madrid lose at the last, despite coming from 17 down
Madrid did all they could to switch things up after the break. In less than three minutes, Tavares, Musa, Hezonja and Deck made it 48-49. That's when the hosts began raining down triples (over 50% success rate) through Singleton, Bryant (12 points), Larkin and Clyburn (11) to post a 12-0 run (min. 26). And it would get worse - Ataman's squad ended the period 17 up thanks to their incredible efforts from three.
Madrid's stunning final quarter
With the scores at 77-60, Chus Mateo's boys would have to mount an impressive turnaround. Thanks to a 2-10 run, based on strong dominance of the rebound, they did just that, making the most of second balls and scoring from three themselves now as well. A solid defensive base, added to Musa, Deck, Rudy and Yabusele's point-scoring, made it 79-72 with 36 minutes on the clock. Anadolu Efes did their best to stop the madridista onslaught, but Sergio Rodríguez sunk two threes, added to one for Yabusele, as the visitors did the unthinkable and went back into the lead with just one minute left to play. Then, thanks to points for Larkin, Pleiss and Clyburn, the Turkish team edged back in front once more. Our boys refused to give up and a Musa triple came close to forcing over-time in the final second but ultimately it just wasn't enough.