Llull collapses before a Khimki as broken as heroic

The Menorcan started like a shot (16 points in 12 minutes) and finished with 21 and only 9 shots. Laprovittolla, 19. The Russian team held out with just eight players.


They say that the first time in everything is the hardest. Perhaps that is why, with enough face to face against a rival to whom no more things could happen, it cost Madrid more than the account to put the first triumph of the European course in the bag. A brilliant Sergio Llull (21 points with just 9 shots and a PIR of 26) helped. A victory that rescues the Whites from the last position to which they fell at the end of the second day with an unprecedented 0-2 in their continental locker.

Upgrade to win; it wasn't difficult. Real appeared with an average of 70 points (17th out of 18 teams), 12 assists (17th) and a PIR of 68 (last). Figures that were already approaching the break with 60 credits (49-41). The progress was evident, although with an asterisk by the circumstances, and it remained to channel the victory. He did it in the third quarter without finishing off in a game of fluid scoring and permissive defenses that conceded good shots: 17 of 34 for the Whites and 8 of 16 for the Blues from the triple. Nailed 50% .

The Khimki were a band, in a good way: meager but cohesive in the face of adversity. A pitcher of penalties, worse than cold water, has fallen on his back in recent weeks. Five casualties due to coronavirus, including Jordan Mickey, three already known due to injury, and what three (Shved, Jovic and Errick McCollum), and two more from the last minute (Karasev and Bertans, who traveled and could not even enter the call). So the Russian bench, led by Kurtinaitis and four other suit technicians, was to be seen just before the opening jump (and after). A row of empty chairs and three kids between 20 and 21 years old willing to have a chance (and it was well that forward Odinokov took advantage of it again). The rest, all available, were on the parquet. There were no more: Zaitsev, Vialtsev, Monia, Jerebko and Booker.

The result, they will say, was sung, but there was not so much music. The Khimki entered with confidence and without nerves, and at the same time psyched to go at his own pace and prevent everything from getting out of hand. He did it until the final honk. A round of applause for a team accustomed in other years to diluting itself in adversity despite showing off seedlings. What does not take away to go 0-3 equaled bottom with Alba Berlin. Zaitsev (21 points), Jerebko (18) and Booker (22) carried the weight.

On the front, the best by far, the performance of Llull, facing, quick legs and accurate: 16 points in his first 12 minutes on the track and 21 at the end with 4 of 5 of two, 3 of 4 of three and 4 without failure from the staff for 26 valuation. His initial streak was followed by Laprovittola, who in 14 minutes added 4 triples and 14 points (he finished with 5 of 7 and 19). Individual actions and good passes. Between him and Campazzo, 15 of Madrid's 23 assists (7 and 8, respectively). Tavares got off to a good start at the restart and then Thompkins had a little hand. Conclusions, none; numbers, some more: 94 points and 113 valuation. Until next time, on Friday in Milan, in Chacho and Messina's lair. Without tifosi, of course.

Photos from as.com
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