REPORT | 24/03/2019 | Nacho Díaz | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor CarreteroThe Whites, behind throughout the game, never felt comfortable against Barcelona.
- Liga Endesa
- Matchday 24
A Clásico of high intensity from the initial tip off. Barcelona played better in that game, with eleven points in a row putting the Whites bench on the back foot. With 3-13 on the scoreboard, Claver and Heurtel shone and caused Laso's side to dig in. Tavares put an end to a scoring streak of more than four minutes and Llull, with five consecutive baskets, led a reaction that stopped Pesic (10-13). Another triple from the Menorcan (in addition to the first of the match) scored a partial of 12-2 in just over two minutes and levelled up the contest. The first quarter ended 17-17.
Duel from the 6.75 line
Madrid looked to be back in the game but the visitors hit another run. They did it from the three-point line. Barcelona scored six baskets from 6.75 (Kuric two, Smits three and one from Heurtel); three from three by Carroll who was the one who held the Whites together before the break. The American went to the dressing room with 15 points (13 in this quarter), without missing, and a 19 PIR. Barca hit from the outside and Madrid answered on the paint, with Ayón (6) and Reyes taking advantage of their superiority. At halftime, Laso's side were five down (40-45).
Laso decided that Madrid had to take a step forward to win the Clásico. But the Whites were not able to take up the initiative against Pesic's defenses. Every time they got close on the scoreboard, Barcelona hit back. Another 0-8 run for the visitors saw the biggest gap of the game open up (45-55). Singleton and Heurtel were successful from a distance and points from Campazzo, Ayón and Taylor kept the home side in the game (57-62).
Madrid came closer
The European champions showed pride and came back to within two points, but the another run in the third quarter thanks to the blaugranas strength on the treys (Heurtel and Kuric) saw them pull away. With 3:53 to play (66-76) the search for the comeback was on. Randolph was on fire with the treys and free throws: Thompkins with an offensive rebound and subsequent basket saw them close the gap but four points from Barcelona stretched the difference. Two mistakes in the last Whites` attacks put an end to the Whites chances of a Clásico win (76-82).