For Christmas, a Barca classic. Barca defeated Madrid (78-87) at the WiZink Center in front of 11,187 spectators on matchday 14 of the Endesa League, thus reaching the whites as the ACB leader with 11 wins and three losses, pending the results of the Baskonia and Tenerife on their visits to Granada (this Tuesday) and Murcia (Friday), both pursuers with one win and one less game. Laprovittola (19 points and six assists) and Higgins (18 points, 14 of them in the last quarter) sentenced Madrid too hung up on Tavares (19 points and 11 rebounds).
Williams-Goss, Musa, Deck, Yabusele and Tavares. Laprovittola, Satoransky, Kalinic, Mirotic and Vesely. The Chus Mateo and Jasikevicius quintets started a very even face to face in the first quarter. A few more pushes from Barcelona, like the 0-4 that they scratched in half a minute with bingos from Satoransky and Kalinic after an early loss for the Whites, but always with the local reaction just around the corner. And with Tavares as the flag, a knife for any defense in Europe, author of Madrid’s first four points. The host began stepping on his safety zone and ended up waking up with a triple by Yabusele and a penetration with a basket and free kick for the French center. Between the two white towers they wrote the first 10 points of their team.
Barca took the initiative with their feet firmly on the floor, good circulation of the ball, the wick of Laprovittola and Vesely dancing on the outside (7-12). Chus Mateo’s group responded by connecting the outsiders, Musa and Deck (14-14), in a double-sided exercise: Madrid suffered excessively from turnovers (four in that first section), a crack that the Catalans squeezed , and at the same time symbolized his version of resistance with up to three actions of two plus one. There the match moved, in that blow by blow between the two fighters, hook goes, right comes, and the result is very tight (26-28 at the end of the first quarter).
A triple by Sanli and a sporadic appearance by Higgins kept the script. Jasikevicius was driven by demons when a good visiting defense was finished without closing the defensive rebound. Barca had tightened the nuts in defense (30-36). The match had to start to be won from behind, a commandment for many coaches. The meeting was already another, thicker and chewed, less fast, definitely drawn on the coaches’ blackboard. And Madrid found themselves without air: only four points scored in more than five minutes, curiously with Tavares warming up on the bench for a long time despite having only one foul in his backpack. Nor did Barca throw rockets. He let go of the white block and then the giant returned to the track. Jasikevicius also recovered Mirotic and Vesely. All the ammunition inside. And there Madrid comes out winning. Sanli missed two three-pointers and Tavares started his festival: he scored under the basket and from midrange, took a foul from Sanli, intimidated Vesely, stole a ball and counterattacked Musa to turn the story around (41-39). With Tavares, a 9-2 run in three minutes. Madrid, with only four points in more than half of the second quarter, signed 14 at the end of that section. And as a cherry, a tangerine Llull’s sidereal on the horn to warm up WiZink (44-42).
From the review of Jasikevicius’s lessons, Barca came out much more plugged in after the break. Again the defense at a thousand revolutions and a 0-7 run that would be a usual note in the restart. A few minutes of gusts, of acceleration in one basket and another more than a constant speed in either of the two teams. Mirotic committed his third personal foul and Madrid went 6-0. At times the appointment was a street runner, full of losses, and with as many failures as successes. Williams-Goss asked for a pass with five points so that the white team could have a breather on the scoreboard instead of always going on their backs. Sanli also charged with the third foul for colliding with the armored Tavares to the despair of Jasikevicius, who complained that each melee with the Madrid giant ended in a foul for his team (57-52). Finally, the Cape Verdean also reached the three fouls and returned to the bench with two minutes left to finish the third quarter. Madrid did not score again until that period ended and Barca took advantage, this time, of another window of inspiration to tie a resounding 0-10: 57-62.
Chus Mateo was still guarding his goose that laid the golden eggs at the start of the fourth quarter. Poirier’s effervescence was enough to crush the Barca ring while Abrines and Laprovittola lost the ball. Jasikevicius, pure fire, asked for calm in the middle of the storm: 62-62. Mirotic was not there either, unprecedented at the end of the film, and Barca had a hard time finding the hoop until Higgins and Laprovittola broke loose with a three-pointer each (62-68). Tavares returned as a floater and scored on the first ball he touched, but the match had been made his own by a magician like Laprovittola. The Argentine penetrated and penetrated fearlessly into the white zone, even though Tavares lived there and even though he had failed the previous time. An example of personality that was joined by the wand of the unpredictable Higgins, who scored 14 points in the last quarter. Madrid fell short of Tavares’ arms. They lacked more company at the moment of truth and the Catalans kept their cool to manage their incomes (67-74, 71-77…) in a slow-cooked denouement, the game often stopped by video arbitration. Madrid did not find the spark for the comeback there. At Christmas, the classic was Barcelona.
Real Madrid: Williams-Goss (5), Musa (14), Deck (8), Yabusele (14) and Tavares (18) –starting five–; Llull (5), Causeur (2), Cornelie (-), Poirier (10), Hezonja (1), Sergio Rodriguez (-) and Abalde (-).
Barcelona: Laprovittola (19), Satoransky (4), Kalinic (9), Mirotic (12) and Vesely (11) –starting five–; Higgins (17), Da Silva (7), Abrines (-), Sanli (7) and Jokubaitis (-).
Partials: 26-28, 18-14, 13-20 and 21-25.
Referees: Peruga, Cortes and Martinez. No deleted.
WiZink Center. 11,187 viewers.
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Source: EL PAIS