Real Madrid takes game one 84-74 over Maccabi Tel Aviv in 3-point fest

Apr 20, 2022 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to Real Madrid 84-74 as Fabien Causeur and Rudy Fernandez hit their shots from deep to lead the Spaniards to 16/29 game from beyond the arc to take game one of the best of five Euroleague quarterfinal series. Avi Even’s team will look to even up the series in game two on Friday night back at the Wiznick Center.

Scottie Wilbekin was hot out of the gate for the Yellow & Blue but Causeur caused problems from downtown as did Fernandez to give Pablo Laso’s squad a 47-38 lead at halftime. With Real’s big men including Walter Tavares causing all kinds of problems for Ante Zizic inside, Jalen Reynolds scored 10 points in the third frame while Roman Sorkin also helped out to keep Maccabi in the game. But Nigel Williams-Goss ran the Real offense to perfection as the guard along with Fernandez and Guerschon Yabusele kept finding the bottom of the basket to take the 10-point game one win.

Fabien Causeur – Photo Credit: Real Madrid Basket

Causeur led the way with 20 points, Yabusele added 15 points, Fernandez score 12 points and Williams-Goss chipped in with 11 points and 8 assists in the win. Wilbekin paced Maccabi with 20 points, Sorkin added 12 points and James Nunnally chipped in with 11 points in the loss.

Avi Even – Photo Credit: Dov Halickman

“We let them play freely a bit too much but we were there,” Maccabi coach Avi Even explained. “We missed some of our shots as well. We can make some adjustments and we will learn from this game. They made some really tough 3-pointers. We have another game in 48 hours from now.”

Pablo Laso – Photo Credit: Euroleague

“I saw my team very concentrated the whole game,” Real coach Pablo Laso said. “That is something that we were talking about before the game. That feeling that you can play good, you can play bad, but you are focused for 40 minutes. That is something that we showed today.”

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv/Elad Goldstein

Maccabi’s leading scorer Scottie Wilbekin reflected on the defeat, “They got game one and it’s a long series. they have to win two more and we have to win three more. They got one game on us. For the next game we got to be more locked in as they won every quarter except the third which we tied. We got to do a better job to get to their 3-point shooters.”

Fabien Causeur – Photo Credit: Real Madrid Basket

Game MVP Fabien Causeur also shared his thoughts on the game one victory, ”We got the first game. The most important is that win, and the good things that we did. We will try to get better for the next game. It is going to be a long series, we already know.”

Nigel Williams-Goss – Photo Credit: Real Madrid Basket

Nigel Williams-Goss for Real Madrid and Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Scottie Wilbekin traded baskets to get the game underway, Guerschon Yabusele put in a pair of baskets in the paint as did Fabien Causer to give the hosts a 13-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Keenan Evans with a lay-up and Ante Zizic dunked, Walter Tavares, Causeur, Alberto Abalde and Vincent Poirier responded, Angelo Caloiaro found points off a broken play but Rudy Fernandez nailed a 3-pointer to end the period and hand Pablo Laso’s squad a 25-19 lead.

Rudy Fernandez – Photo Credit: Real Madrid Basket

Abalde and Fernandez drilled triples to begin the second quarter, Wilbekin and Roman Sorkin scored for Avi Even’s team as Real stayed in front 31-27 with 4:56 left in the first half. Anthony Randolph went for a corner 3-ball, Sorkin answered and John Dibartolomeo hit a 3-pointer to tie the game up at 34-34. But Causeur immediately came back with one from deep of his own, Adam Hanga dialed up long distance and then Real stole the ball as Causeur scored another from downtown to give the hosts a quick 9-0 run in less than a minute and take a 47-38 advantage at halftime.

Scottie Wilbekin – Photo Credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv/Elad Goldstein

Wilbekin started off the third quarter with a 3-pointer, Hanga scored from under the bucket, Wilbekin went from deep again but Williams-Goss did as well to give Real a 54-44 lead midway through the frame. Reynolds scored a quartet of baskets inside, Guerschon went from deep for a pair of triples, Causeur went from downtown as well and added a deuce to give Real a 65-56 lead after thirty minutes of action.

Rudy Fernandez – Photo Credit: Real Madrid Basket

Fernandez went from deep to get the fourth quarter rolling, Calaioro responded with a goner 3-ball, Fernandez nailed another triple as did Yabusele to keep Real in front 74-63 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation time. Evans scored a jumper, Sorkin dunked, Hanga and Sorkin traded baskets, Williams-Goss dropped a 3-point play while Yabuesle and Tavares both scored to give the Spaniards the game one win.

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