Zalgiris doesn’t stop shining Doncic in a loss vs Real Madrid 54
Zalgiris Kaunas couldn’t hold off the young star Luka Doncic and lost 66-87 to dominating Real Madrid on Thursday night at Zalgirio arena. Madrid improved to 4-0 on the season, while Zalgiris dropped to 2-2 record.
Madrid trailed for only a single possession the entire night and pulled away for good behind 14 third-quarter points from Doncic to lead 42-61. Doncic finished with a career-high 28 points plus 9 rebounds and 4 assists, while Facundo Campazzo had 12 points and 6 assists. Gustavo Ayon and Jeffrey Taylor also scored 12 apiece.
Kevin Pangos netted 20 points for Zalgiris and Antanas Kavaliauskas scored 16 in defeat.
Madrid had a great start to the game with Ayon doing everything. He scored the first 6 points collected 2 steals and delivered an assist as the visitors opened things with a 2-10 lead. A triple from Paulius Jankunas got Zalgiris going, before Kavaliauskas heated up, scoring three times inside and cutting the gap to 11-15. Dino Radoncic hit a corner three for the visitors, but Pangos finished the first quarter with a floater and a triple late in possession to make it 16-18 after 10 minutes.
Kavaliauskas kept working inside and Pangos went for a driving layup that gave Zalgiris its first lead, 26-25. But it was short-lived, as Campazzo nailed back-to-back threes before Rudy Fernandez added 4 points and found Taylor for a corner triple and the first double-digit lead of the night, 28-38. Pangos answered with a three, but Ayon scored in traffic to end the first half with Madrid holding a 31-40 lead.
Early in the third quarter, Kavaliauskas kept the hosts in rage with 5 points, including a three-point play, but Madrid quickly pulled away behind Doncic. The teenage guard strung together 9 points, including a jumper and a triple in transition, for a 38-54 margin. Another three by Doncic followed by a fastbreak dunk by Campazzo extended it to 42-61. Zalgiris was not giving up and Brandon Davies scored 6 points late in the third to make it 50-63 with 10 minutes to play.
If there was any hope for the hosts, it diminished after Fernandez hit a tough three to open the scoring in the fourth and then Taylor hit back-to-back triples from opposite corners for a 53-73 lead. There was no coming back from that deficit for Zalgiris, as coach Sarunas Jasikevicius gave a chance to Zalgiris youngsters Martynas Arlauskas and Gytis Masiulis. Both of them, as well as Madrid’s youngster Santiago Yusta, scored before the final buzzer as Madrid cruised to victory.