He real Madrid suffered its fourth defeat of the season in the Euroleague, all of them at home, by not being able to recover on the court of the Milan (81-76) of an unfortunate first time in which lost 21 points.

The Spanish team faced the duel with the stimulus of closing their qualification for the competition’s playoffs with eight games still to be played. For that goal He also recovered Walter Tavares and Sergio Llullwhom he had missed at times during his injuries.

The night started well for Chus Mateo’s men, fine in attack and scoring comfortably to sign a 5-12 that forced Ettore Messina to call the first timeout. They continued that good dynamic until 15-19, certified with two free kicks from Bosnian Dzanan Musa. What followed until half-time was a drama in an act and a half, a visiting collapse that no one saw coming.

Shavon Shields who had already warned before, opened fire with five points in a row and was joined in the task of execution by an old friend and now enemy of Real Madrid, Nikola Mirotic. The Montenegrin shot with precision and without any mercy until he scored 11 points in a row between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second. Together they scored 22 of the 26 points that their team had at that point.

And Real Madrid, meanwhile, stuck at 19. Not even the bench helped, which in the end only converted three points in the first half. When he finally came out of that block he was in, with a pyrrhic free throw from Walter Tavares to break a 21-0 runit already seemed too late (36-20, min.25).

The 16 points in favor of the Italian team weighed too much, especially considering that it was not willing to give up its effectiveness from the outside shot or its strength in interior defense. At halftime, Milan doubled its rival in rebounds, 26-13; and had only conceded four baskets of two, three in the first four minutes of the game and another with two seconds left before the intermission (48-29, min.20).

Given the circumstances, the Madrid team could only improve. A cool head led him to get within fourteen thanks to a triple by Gabriel Deck midway through the third quarter. And although he received five points in a row from Rodney McGruder that returned the +19 that he had when passing through the locker room, he recovered again with a 0-7 that reduced the distance to twelve with whom he faced the final ten minutes.

What at times seemed impossible, a visitor showing signs of vital signs in the last quarter, had happened. Even in those, both sides spent two minutes without putting the ball in the hoop, a negative dynamic that Mirotic broke with a triple.

And then The resurrection of Real Madrid was confirmed. Sergio Rodríguez took the helm and captained the ship in what was his home, with two triples and an assist for Vincent Poirier’s alley oop. Guerschon Yabusele and Sergio Llull also rowed with them, and suddenly a run of 2-15 put the team within three. Seeing is believing.

However, if there was someone on the track who was not willing for there to be a comeback, that was, of course, Mirotic. His pride, added to his quality and competitiveness, awakened that version that makes him one of the best players in Europe. And those are big words.

The Balkan lifted Milan again and pulled the team as hard as he couldat least to keep him ahead until the final stretch. Real Madrid had the tie if they had hit the three-pointers, but that didn’t happen. And a steal by Shields and the subsequent trip to the basket sealed with two frees ended up tipping the balance.

Data sheet:

81 – Milan (23+25+18+15): Napier (8), Melli (2), Shields (27), Ricci (-), Voigtmann (-) -starting team-, Lo (8), McGruder (7), Hall (4), Mirotic (23) and Hines (2).

76 – Real Madrid (19+10+25+22): Campazzo (8), Deck (10), Hezonja (11), Musa (12), Tavares (8), -starting quintet-, Fernández (3), Rodríguez (9), Poirier (6), Llull (4) and Yabusele (5).

Referees: Matej Boltauzer (Slovenia), Tomasz Trawicki (Poland) and Mehdi Difallah (France).

Incidents: Matchday 26 of the Euroleague played at the Forum in Milan.