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Madrid seal home-court advantage in the playoffs

MATCH REPORT. 29/03/2023. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Víctor Carretero

Our team ease past Fenerbahçe at the WiZink Center to continue their push for EuroLeague top spot with three games to go.

Real Madrid clinched their 22nd EuroLeague win of the season as they got the better of Fenerbahçe. With just three games remaining until the end of the Regular Season, the victory makes mathematically certain of home-court advantage in the playoffs and continues the battle at the top of the table with Olympiacos. Chus Mateo's team enjoyed the lead for almost the entire 40 minutes, dominating the clash with their offense in the first half (49 points), and defense in the second. Musa (25), Deck (23), Hanga (20), Poirier (14) y Rudy (10), were the top-rated performers.
The two teams got the game underway showing exactly why they boast the top two offenses in the competition, playing at a high pace which saw the first quarter turn into an attacking exhibition. Madrid edged it 24-21, led by Musa (6 points), Hanga (5) and Deck (9 PIR). Fenerbahçe actually started strongest, heading into the lead 15-17 with 7´ on the clock, before our boys stepped up in defense to change the dynamic.
Madrid take control
Without Tavares, sent to the bench with three personal fouls (Hezonja would join him with a third foul shortly afterwards), Poirier put the shackles on the Turkish team's inside, and his team's defense rose to join him. Fenerbahçe struggled to match the madridista improvements and the points began to dry up. Everyone was doing their bit for Chus Mateo's team, with Yabusele, Hezonja, Sergio Rodríguez and Cornelie all showing unerring accuracy. A 24-11 run after three consecutive triples, two from Cornelie (three without a miss in 8 minutes and 8/11 for the team in the opening 20 minutes), put the scores at +11 halfway through the second quarter (39-28). Just as it looked as though the home team would head into the break with a commanding lead, the visitors responded well through Calathes, Dorsey and Hayes-Davis (49-44, min.20).

Video.90-75: Madrid seal home-court advantage in the playoffs

Madrid were not about to make life easy in the third quarter. They upped their rhythm at both ends of the court, striking a fine balance between offense and defense. This was the best spell of the game as they edged away from a Fenerbahçe outfit who went over two and a half minutes without posting a point. At the same time, everything was going in for our boys, including an outrageous Hanga three-pointer and a Yabusele dunk that had the WiZink Center on its feet and put us 12 points up. The scores fluctuated for the rest of the quarter but Madrid were able to maintain their advantage, led by Musa, despite the Turkish attempts to fight back through Guduric (68-58, min.40).
A steady march to victory
It was all about game management from this point on. Fenerbahçe stayed in contention thanks to an admirable competitive spirit but Madrid weren't about to throw away all their good work and ultimately, the result was never in danger. Delightful teamwork on our part made sure of that. Rudy appeared right on time with two crucial triples, Musa contributed from the free-throw line (he ended up top-scoring with 16 points), Deck took a PIR of 23, Poirier, Hanga… All 10 players who stepped on court posted points to ensure Madrid take the first of this week's EuroLeague double-header in spectacular fashion (90-75). On Friday, our team heads to face Partizan (8:30pm CEST).