Real Madrid managed an extremely comfortable 79-53 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv last night, in the first of their five-game series in the Euroleague Top 16. The second game will also take place in Madrid tomorrow.
Real opened brightly, leading 5-0 before David Blatt’s team countered with an eight-point run of its own. Both teams were guilty of some slack defending, but Real’s three-point shooters were off-mark and Maccabi ended the first quarter on a high and a 23-14 lead.
What came next was the worst quarter in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Euroleague history. Sylven Landesberg scored a three-pointer to put Maccabi up by 12, but Real responded with an incredible 24-1 run until the end of the quarter, dominating offensive rebounds and finally scoring all the three-pointers it missed in the first quarter. Real Madrid ’s bench contributed its points while Maccabi’s could hardly contribute anything.
There was never going to be any way Maccabi could return from the 11-point deficit at halftime, being fully aware no team can win an away game after being limited to 27 points in the first half. Things hardly improved in the second half, when Maccabi scored 26 on its way to a 26-point loss, its worst Euroleague defeat in more than a decade.
Not one of Maccabi’s players scored in double figures, while Real enjoyed points from 10 different players, including Rudy Fernandez with 15 and Nikola Mirotic with 14.
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