Real Madrid taught a lesson in how to beat the best of defenses — by taking care of the ball — and in so doing broke a Euroleague record on Thursday in the Game of the Week!
In its 93-79 home win over CSKA Moscow, the top-ranked defense in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague this season, Madrid committed just 2 turnovers, which were the least in the almost 3,000 games played in the Euroleague this century.
The previous record of 3 turnovers was shared by four teams: Efes Pilsen in 2001, CSKA in 2007, Olympiacos Piraeus last season and Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul earlier this season.
Despite 8 ties and 17 lead changes in the first three quarters, Madrid didn't commit a single turnover until the fourth had started, when Sergio Rodriguez lost the ball driving through the lane. He also had the second turnover, a couple minutes later, but for the game's final 7 minutes, Madrid resumed its perfect protection of the ball. Rodriguez can be forgiven for his 2 turnovers considering that he also dished the most assists, 8, of all players in the game. Sergio Llull added 5 assists and, like all of his other teammates, 0 turnovers.
CSKA's defense was the least scored up on in the Euroleague this season, just 69.5 points per game, before Madrid put up 93 on Thursday. At the same time, CSKA was used to forcing 13.4 turnovers per game on opponents until Madrid broke the record.