REPORT | 19/06/2019 | Nacho Díaz | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor Carretero (Barcelona)Thompkins was one of the key men tonight and came close to winning the game.
- Playoff Liga Endesa
- Final (Game 3)
Barcelona started well, but Real Madrid handled that perfectly, stopping the hosts with a solid defensive start, using the exterior (2 threes from Rudy) and a physical performance from Tavares. The Whites sank 4 of 5 threes that quarter (1 from Llull and another from Campazzo), to make it +5 (8-13) and minimise the problem, which was the offensive rebound yet again. Three consecutive free throws for Tomic put the azulgranas ahead (19-18).
Barcelona gave it their all and netted eight points, with Heurtel on form. Only a three from Monday's hero, Carroll, held off the hosts' great start. Pesic's side all of a sudden looked in trouble. Ayón played well, looking for the free-throw, and Thompkins showed his class with rebounds, blocks and 3 threes (without missing) to go 13 points clear in the second ten minutes. Campazzo rounded off the quarter 7-19, scoring eight to make it 34-40.
Real Madrid took the initiative and needed to keep it. Laso's team continued to bury the free throws (Taylor and Randolph) to really test the home side by making it +11 advantage (38-49). Just when it looked like the game was going the way of the Whites, the azulgranas struck back. They went on a 12-0 run against a Real Madrid who just couldn't score for four minutes, let alone stop Heurtel. The Whites would again turn to the outside shot (through Llull and Carroll), to eventually claw the game back (56-58).
Campazzo at the wheel
Barcelona had the tie where they wanted it, but Madrid looked solid in every attack, fighting off the hosts' chances. Campazzo led his team, scored points (8), disrupted the azulgrana offense and stole some vital balls. Thompkins continued his stellar run and the Whites held off Barcelona's attempts to swing the score line.
Nail biting finish
Rudy's long range three and another from Campazzo saw Real Madrid get so close to a win, but the azulgranas reacted through Kuric and Heurtel. It was 76-77 with 1:30 remaining but it would end 78-77 thanks to Singleton stopping the clock at 29.5 seconds. Llull's shot was hit off the backboard by Hanga, but good defense from Ayón saw Hanga lose the ball on the rebound and the refs handed possession to Madrid with 10.6 seconds left. The Whites messed up their final attempt as Campazzo tried his best with a shot, Rudy and Carroll fought for the rebound and the ball fell to Thompkins, who missed his chance to win the game (78-77). On Friday, the Whites will have another opportunity.