Unicaja Malaga held on to take out Real Madrid on the Spanish south coast, but the hosts needed overtime to record the 99-92 win. The victory maintained Malaga’s amazing form, with the club consolidating its position at the top of the Liga Endesa standings with a 12-2 record. Unicaja is clear of a chasing pack of four teams on 10-4, including giants Madrid and Barcelona.
As for Real Madrid, this loss meant they have fell in the last two games consecutively, including the loss to Barcelona in El Clasico last time out. Los Blancos will surely fight back as the season progresses and will once again have an eye on the title crown, but as it stands Malaga is the team to beat.
Unicaja Malaga vs. Real Madrid, 99-92 OT
Real Madrid started the game with the kind of Basketball that suggested the team wanted to send out a message. A blistering 29 point haul handed the away team an early advantage, with the scoreboard reading 17-29 after ten minutes. In the second quarter Unicaja fought back and piled in 29 points of their own through the buckets, with Madrid answering with 19 points. At the long break Los Blancos retained the lead, but it was narrower at 36-38. In the third frame the scoring eased off as both teams felt each other out and tension descended on the hardwood. Real edged the stanza 11-14 to extend the margin to 47-52 through thirty minutes of play. The hosts were against the wall but in the fourth act the Malaga contingent rallied to a 20-15 run that tied the game at the end of regulation, the score reading 67 apiece. The game moved into overtime and Unicaja carried its momentum from the fourth quarter to edge the added period 22-15 to tighten its grip on first place.
Fran Vasquez led the scoring for the winners with 23 points and he even doubled up by pulling 10 rebounds off the glass. Following Vasquez were Jayson Granger with his own double-double (21 points and 10 assists), Ryan Toolson with 15 points, while Will Thomas and Vladimir Golubovic logged 10 points each.
Rudy Fernandez kept pace for Madrid with a game high 24 points, but there was a big drop to the next double figure scorers with Sergio Lull recording 12 points and Sergio Rodriguez 11 points. Felipe Reyes took a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards in the losing effort.