The visitors had no reply for Real’s quick transition of the ball and fast-paced offense.
Galvanized Real had too much firepower for Monaco
Reigning champion Real Madrid made light work of a 91-73 home win over AS Monaco that kept them firmly in the driving seat of the 18-team competition. The final score in no way flattered the home team, which had built a staggering 30-point lead through the opening three quarters before it went through the motions in the fourth.
What was billed as the outstanding fixture in Round 8 quickly became a mauling after Monaco briefly took a 2-5 lead in the opening exchanges. Real hit top gear in no time and left the visitors a mountain to climb after storming back to go 30-15 ahead in the final minute of the opening period.
Monaco slashed it to 30-20 and that was as good as it got for the French side which was ripped apart by Real’s unselfish sharing of the ball in offense. The home side’s extra pass was so quick and devastating that Real’s players got a barrage of open looks, with Monaco struggling to keep up on defense.
The writing was on the wall for the visiting team when Real surged ahead 48-26 in the closing stages of the first half and although Monaco fought hard to stay in the match, there was no way back. The third quarter produced poetry in motion as Real romped to an 80-50 lead, with Dzanan Musa leading the charge.
The Bosnian forward mixed three-pointers with dazzling drives to the basket, while big men Walter Tavares and Vincent Poirier reigned supreme in the paint at both ends. Real’s selfless performance was epitomized by
27 team assists, with the home side also netting an impressive 18-of-21 shooting from two-point territory (85.7 percent).
In contrast, a disjointed Monaco was 19 of 49 from inside the arc, having relied too heavily on individual talent prompting one-on-one plays, which kept backfiring against an ironclad Real defense.
Monaco head coach Sasa Obradovic conceded that Real was firmly on course to repeat last season’s success and win back-to-back EuroLeague titles, judging by current form.
“They completely deserve the role of favorites to win the EuroLeague in the end,” Obradovic told the post-game press conference. The way they are playing at the moment is amazing and we never had a chance. They were aggressive at both ends whenever we tried to respond. They are unselfish in getting everyone involved and sharing the ball.”
Counerpart Chus Mateo was delighted with his team’s performance. “We did an amazing defensive job throughout the game,” he said. “We were able to run and we enjoyed a brilliant third quarter. I am really pleased with the 27 assists. The fine individual talent we have is producing a superb team effort, thanks to the commitment of these players. We are having a lot of fun at the moment.”