Real Madrid levelled their semi-final play-off with Caja Laboral after posting a 73-64 win in the Spanish capital to tie the series at one-game all.
Sergio Llull and Novica Velickovic were unstoppable as they both posted 16 points to lead Madrid to victory but they didn’t brake free until the fourth quarter when they increased their seven point lead to ten off a three from Velickovic. A coast-to-coast dunk from Llull was the dagger that Caja Laboral couldn’t come back from.
It was always going to be difficult for Caja Laboral to match their feat in game one, missing Andres Nocioni to a hamstring problem and choosing to leave out Pablo Prigioni, despite him playing 23 minutes. Maciej Lampe was a different player to the one who hit 21 points and 11 rebounds in game one. He only managed three points and was kept quiet by Mirza Begic, Velickovic and company.
The game’s opening though was tame. Mirza Teletovic, who hit 16 points hit a circus lay-up off the top of backboard to give Caja Laboral a 14-10 lead with 3:01 remaining in the first. But that was the highlight of a nervous first ten minutes for both sides.
Late in the second quarter,as both teams were struggling to get open looks in a defensive-minded contest, Jaycee Carroll hit an off-balance floater which was bettered by a three from Brad Olesen to give the visitors a 40-36 advantage.
The hosts kept finding themselves trailing by single-digits but that didn’t last much longer, when great team play led to an easy two-handed dunk from Begic to give Real a 41-40 lead.
Madrid were then in full flow, and coasted to victory as the visitors played out a tired looking second half performance.
Along with Teletovic, Nemanja Bjelica also hit 16 points, but in vain.