Real Madrid defeated Anadolu Efes 80-71 as they took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five Euroleague quarter-final series in the Spanish capital.
But Real certainly did not have things their own way as the Turkish side burst through the Madrid frontline for a 15-0 run, and a 38-27 lead in the second quarter.
The hosts though found a way back in the third and got their groove back to retake the lead and not relinquish it.
KC Rivers hit six three-pointers, en route to 21 points for the winners. Gustavo Ayon amassed 14.
“We managed to get a win in a game that was difficult for us from the beginning,” Madrid coach Pablo Laso said.
“We didn’t have good rhythm in the first half. We were always trailing them on defence and offence, doing everything a second late. We took a lot of shots in the first half, but didn’t work on them.
“We were much more focused on defence and offence in the second half, controlling other aspects that escaped us before like rebounds. That allowed us to play better and win game one. It is tough to win these games, but is logical, these are the Euroleague playoffs. A 1-0 lead is a good start, but there is a long way to go.”
Dario Saric posted 13 points to lead Anadolu Efes.
Barcelona kept their home-court advantage by beating Olympiacos 73-57 to go 1-0 up in their series.
This win was Barcelona’s ninth in a row in the Euroleague. It also marked the eighth straight home win for Barcelona against Olympiacos.
Juan Carlos Navarro and Bostjan Nachbar each scored 10 to lead a balanced Barcelona attack.
“I am happy with this win,” Barcelona coach Xavi Pascual said. “It was difficult to get into the game, as happens in these kind of showdowns. We missed some easy shots, but played excellent defence all game long and controlled the boards. We were the fair winners of this game. I am happy and looking forward to Friday’s game.’
Dimitris Agravanis led all Olympiacos scorers with nine points.