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Clásico Defeat

MATCH REPORT. 02/01/2023. Edu Bueno. Photographer: Víctor Carretero

The game was decided in the dying embers by the Blaugranas. Tavares was Madrid's best player with 19 points, 11 rebounds and a 30 point index rating.

Real Madrid lost to Barcelona in the Clásico on league match-day 14 at the WiZink Center. It was a very evenly matched game, with the score alternating between the two sides but it would go the way of the visiting side in the final stretch. Tavares, who scored 19 points, 11 rebounds and 30 index rating points in his 400th game as a Madrid player, and Yabusele, with 14 points and 18 index rating points, were the most outstanding players for the Whites.

The third Clásico of the season began with a relentless offensive pulse in a dazzling and spectacular first quarter. Both teams displayed their enormous offensive prowess and the 26-28 score after 10 minutes was a true reflection of what was happening on court with attacking at the forefront. Barcelona were a little more accurate in their shooting but what allowed them to go ahead were, above all, the four Madrid turnovers. Yabusele, with 9 points and 11 index rating points, kept up an intense duel with Vesely, who finished with 8.

Madrid Responds
All the offensive joy at the start gave way to greater aggressiveness in defence and a more physical game, in which points were now at a premium. The visitors, with two three-pointers, increased the lead to 30-37 in the 15th minute. But Madrid did not despair and reversed the situation in the ensuing minutes. They levelled the rebounding battle, lowered their opponents' shooting percentages and made the Blaugranas' attack feel much more insecure, forcing them into five turnovers. Poirier and Tavares led an 11-2 run for us, which Musa finished off in the 19th minute to put us ahead. Kalinic, the best Blaugrana of the quarter, was determined to put his side ahead at half-time and almost did so if it hadn’t been for the incredible Llull. The captain closed the first half with a three-pointer from centre court that lifted a packed WiZink Centre (44-42, 20th minute).

Video.78-87: Clásico Defeat

The game got back up to cruising speed in the third quarter but was somewhat out of control with both teams trying to make a breakthrough with quick attacks. A series of runs changed hands frantically. First for the visitors (0-7); then for Chus Mateo's team with good spells from Williams-Goss, both in attack and in defence against Laprovittola (11-3); and one more for the Blaugranas with Mirotic and Da Silva lead the charge (0-10), which took them into the final period with a 5-point advantage (57-62, 30th minute).

Playing Catch-up
The small details mark this type of game and the offensive rebounding was to be key. Another key was the emergence of Higgins, who punished us with follow-ups to take a valuable +8 lead at 69-77 in the 36th minute. We had to go against the tide and Madrid tried everything but with no joy. Deck brought our team to within four points but the Blaugrana would broaden the gap again, which was now insurmountable (78-87, 40th minute). It's time to turn the page and think about the Euroleague, in which we will host Maccabi on January 6th (Friday, 8.45pm CET).