Barça matches the series in a heart-stopping finale

The final moves to a WiZink Center that could decide the champion


Barça beat Real Madrid this Wednesday at the Palau Blaugrana (71-69) to equalize the Endesa League final and travel to Madrid with hope, on a night in which the Blaugrana fought, suffered and won in a final of a heart attack on some whites who, at least, were able to force extra time after dominating a good part of the match.

But there were no extra minutes –Rudy Fernández lost the final ball– and the show ended in 40 minutes and in favor of an improved Barça, with another face, that ran and defended more, and soaked up the best possible atmosphere at the Palau . Led, again, by Nikola Mirotic who had 26 points and 7 rebounds.

The Montenegrin had to deal with Guerschon Yabusele in double figures (16 points and 11 rebounds), but he managed to tame the fierce white gala and impose his greatest versatility. It was an electric pulse, even, just like the match in general. A script not suitable for everyone, and that leaves an open series for the two games, at least, that remain. Now, at the WiZink Center in Madrid.

At the moment, there are two games of heads and tails. The beginning and the end seen this Wednesday were different from the first clash. From Mirotic’s 5-0 in the first duel, which was of no use to the interests of a Barça that was lost at home, it went to the initial 0-8 in this second match. But the contest was equalized, Barça rowed until they were ahead and the Blaugranas finished by knocking down their rival.

Real Madrid won by +10, but this time the whites couldn’t take off at the Palau Blaugrana. Sarunas Jasikevicius’ men were more connected to the match, strong in defense, and despite the fact that Madrid was dominating the scoreboard for much longer, they had the mettle and, this time, the success to equalize the duel –they arrived tied at half-time ( 32-32)–, prevail and, thus, also equalize the series.

Although it was not easy. Barça, already in the last quarter, enjoyed its maximum advantage (+8). But a 4-point play by a fantastic Guerschon Yabusele, with two free throws plus his own rebound after missing the third to score, led to a 0-8 run that made it 65-65 on the scoreboard.

The game stalled there, neither Barça nor Madrid knew how to score. Not even the free throw line helped to find water in that collective drought, until Nikola Mirotic for the Blaugranas and Edy Tavares for the Whites gave way to less than two heart-stopping final minutes, with the score 67-67.

Little time, few points, but a basket by Mirotic and free throws by Cory Higgins were worth Barça, although Causeur missed a triple and Rudy Fernández lost a ball that could well, in the final double play, change the game and the course of the match. final.

But Barça was more involved in the game than in the opening duel of this final. He pressed harder in defense, tried to put more gears in attack, and fought so much that they even hit each other, like the mutual header between Davies and Calathes that ended with the Greek with stitches on his left cheekbone. And with a mate from Adam Hanga angered by his old fans, considering that he should have stopped the play. One more anecdote in a game of great pressure and tension that equals the final.


–RESULT: BARÇA, 71 – REAL MADRID, 69 (32-32, at halftime).


BARÇA: Calathes (2), Higgins (10), Hayes (-), Mirotic (26) and Sanli (-) –starting five–; Laprovittola (8), Abrines (-), Martínez (-), Davies (8), Kuric (7), Jokubaitis (7) and Smits (3).

REAL MADRID: Hanga (10), Causeur (4), Deck (7), Yabusele (16) and Tavares (11) — the starting quintet –; Rudy Fernandez (2), Poirier (2), Taylor (6), Abalde (4), Nunez (-) and Llull (7).

–PARTIALS: 13-17, 19-15, 24-22 and 15-15.

–REFEREES: Pérez Pizarro, Calatrava and Castillo. Without eliminated.

–PAVILLION: Palau Blaugrana, 7,201 spectators.