Game of runs
In a game of runs, Madrid led 30-14 after a Sergio Llull three opened the second quarter, but triples by Carl English and Luka Bogdanovic sparked a 27-10 Sevlla run to lead 41-40. Madrid rallied to take a 46-40 halftime lead into the locker room, but were rattled by the quckness with which Sevilla came back into the game. They again failed to close out on a Sevilla shooter as a Luka Bogdanovic triple on the buzzer gave Sevilla the momentum they needed to take into the second half.
Mirotic and Suarez hit from deep
Instead, the third period saw Madrid create another blowout, as they led 74-49 with as a result of poor perimeter defense in both man-to-man and zone, Nikola Mirotic and Carlos Suarez hitting long range bombs to push Los Blancos in to a 28-5 tear. Sevilla’s star forward Paul Davis was nowhere to be seen, scoring only 4 points in 18 minutes and getting into foul trouble.
Sevilla’s Second Comeback Falls Short
Just as the game seemed to be meandering to a close, Sevilla threw everything they had at Madrid for a second time, going on a 19-6 run, getting within 7 points with under three minutes on the clock. Earl Calloway finished with 11 points and 9 assists, picking the seams in the Madrid defense. If he had been able to sink one or two of the foul line jumpers he created with his quick handle, the game may have been very different.
As it was, Sergio Rodriguez checked back in with three minutes remaining and gave Madrid the steady playmaking they had lacked with Sergio Llull at the point. Rodriguez immediately found Suarez all alone under the rim, and Mirotic’s sixth three of the game came as a result of Rodriguez’s pick and roll with Suarez. That pushed the lead up to 10 and sealed the win. Despite a spirited comeback from Sevilla, Madrid never really seemed in danger of letting the lead slip for a second time.
40 minutes needed tomorrow
Madrid progress to tomorrow’s final against great rivals FC Barcelona, but will need to play for a full forty minutes in order to win. A phenomenal atmopshere should be in store for the final that many people may have predicted from the start.