Zalgiris falls short against Spanish champions in Madrid 53
Real Madrid made it a club record 13 consecutive victories in the EuroLeague by holding off Zalgiris Kaunas, 88-82, at the WiZink Center on Thursday night.
Rudy Fernandez scored 17 points in the second quarter to give his team a half-time lead, and the home team maintained its advantage after the break despite strong resistance from Zalgiris. Trey Thompkins paced the winners with 20 points on 4-of-5 three-pointers, while playmaker Facundo Campazzo combined 12 points and 8 assists while Fernandez finished with 17 points, all in the second quarter.
Lukas Lekavicius netted 21 for Zalgiris, all but 3 of those coming in the first half. Thomas Walkup added 19 points, K.C. Rivers scored 12 against his former club and Jock Landale added 11. Real remains top of the standings at 15-3, and Zalgiris drops to 5-13.
Edgaras Ulanovas gave Zalgiris an early edge from deep, but a dunk and a three-pointer from Mickey kept Real close. Campazzo and Walkup traded triples before Thompkins gave Real its first lead, 12-11, and Zalgiris was never in front again. Thompkins and Nigel Hayes joined the long-range shooting party before a three-point play from Mickey made it 18-16. Lekavicius penetrated to tie the game, but Tavares made it 20-18 at the end of the first.
Tavares netted twice at the start of the second for a 24-18 lead, before Lekavicius and Fernandez both scored twice. Jeffery Taylor and Landale dunked before Fernandez stroked his third and fourth triples for a double-digit lead, 38-27. The red-hot Fernandez continued his sparkling second quarter with a steal and slam, but Lekavicius also stayed hot with 5 quick points, pulling it back to 42-35. Fernandez made his fifth triple of the quarter, answered by Lekavicius again, and it was 47-41 at the break.
Campazzo and Tavares were both on target twice early in the second half, but triples from Arturas Milaknis, Rivers and Walkup kept Zalgiris within single digits. Thompkins and Fabien Causeur were also on target from deep, but so was Walkup again and the third quarter finished 68-59.
Mickey scored twice from close-range early in the fourth to protect Real’s lead, but Rivers and Paulius Jankunas netted three-pointers to keep Zalgiris alive, 73-67. Thompkins made a triple and free throws for an 80-69 lead, and another Thompkins deep shot effectively sealed the deal as Zalgiris went 4 minutes without scoring. Hayes and Lekavicius ended the drought with three-pointers, but it was too late as Real closed out the game.