2020-21Regular SeasonRound 5
October 23, 2020 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 PALAU BLAUGRANA

Barcelona dominates El Clásico

FC Barcelona took the first clásico of this Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season by downing archrivals Real Madrid 79-72 at home on Friday. Barcelona improved to 4-1 in the standings while Real dropped to 1-4. Kyle Kuric led the winners with 15 points. Brandon Davies added 14, Cory Higgins had 13 while Sergi Martinez pulled down 9 rebounds for Barcelona. Trey Thompkins led Real with 14 points while Alberto Abalde added 13. Barcelona led 18-14 after 10 minutes and boosted its margin to 48-27 at halftime. Real managed to get as close as 64-56 early in the fourth quarter but Martinez and Higgins stepped up in crunch time to keep Los Blancos out of reach until the final buzzer.

Rolands Smits got Barcelona with a one-handed alley-oop slam and Alex Abrines added a close jumper before Edy Tavares and Carlos Alocen gave Real its first lead, 4-5. Adam Hanga took over with an acrobatic layup and Davies followed a jump hook with a jumper for a 12-9 Barcelona edge. Abalde stitched together a jumper and a triple but Higgins, Kuric and Pierre Oriola kept the hosts ahead, 18-14, after 10 minutes. Kuric struck with a four-point play early in the second quarter. Gabriel Deck scored around the basket, Sergio Llull banked in an off-balance shot and Rudy Fernandez struck from downtown as Madrid got within 25-21. Kuric followed a layup with a jumper, igniting a 7-0 run in which Davies sank a five-meter shot that made it a double-digit game, 32-21. Usman Garuba stepped up with a put-back layup and a jumper for Madrid but Heurtel and Davies rescued Barcelona. Nick Calathes added a fastbreak layup that broke the game open, 41-25. Smits capped a 13-0 run with a bomb from beyond the arc that boosted the Barcelona lead to 46-25. A jumper by Higgins kept it that high, 48-27, at halftime. Abrines scored in penetration soon after the break. Abalde sank a jumper and Tavares added a layup to bring Real within 50-31. Thompkins hit a put-back layup, getting help from Facu Campazzo and Jeffery Taylor to make Barcelona call timeout at 54-39. Abrines struck from beyond the arc but Thompkins and Garuba brought Real even closer, 57-43. Abalde scored again, Campazzo sank a three-pointer and Garuba added a layup for a 60-50 score. Kuric and Davies gave Barcelona some fresh air at 64-52 after 30 minutes. Thompkins scored down low early in the fourth quarter and Campazzo banked in a floater that made it a single-digit game, 64-56. Martinez downed a triple and Higgins followed that with a layup-plus-free throw and a jumper that seemed to seal the outcome, 72-58, with over 4 minutes left. Llull, however, had 5 points in a 0-7 run that gave Real hope, 72-65, with under 3 minutes to go. Davies dunked and Martinez scored in the paint to allow Barcelona to celebrating an important win.

Pivotal performer

Martinez entered the game averaging 0.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in two previous EuroLeague appearances this season. He played 30 minutes and 7 seconds tonight, and finished it with 7 points and a game-high 9 rebounds for a PIR of 10. Martinez definitely was Barcelona's unexpected factor in this game.

Game-changing moment

Real only found his usual scoring rhythm early in the second quarter. Campazzo found Deck for a layup, Llull buried a jumper and Fernandez added a triple to get their team within 25-21. That's when Kuric stepped up with back-to-back baskets and Davies downed a jumper from the high post for Barcelona's first double-digit lead, 32-31. Real's offense collapsed right after that and Barcelona kept a safe margin until the final buzzer.

Stellar stat

An outstanding first half made the difference in this game. Barcelona hit 15-of-22 two-point shots (68.2%), limited Real to hit just 7-of-21 shots inside the arc (33.3%) and outrebounded Los Blancis by 19-10. The PIR difference at halftime, 59-14, said it all.

Did you know?

Real had never registered four losses so early in any of its EuroLeague seasons this century. Last season, Real needed 19 games before suffering its fourth loss of the season. In the 2013-14 season, Madrid had its fourth loss in the 27th game of the season, Game 3 of the playoffs against Olympiacos Piraeus.

Next game

Both teams returning to EuroLeague next week. Real hosts FC Bayern Munich on Thursday, October 29. A day later, Barcelona visits TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Two Barcelona players, Hanga and Heurtel, go against their former team.

Cory Higgins - FC Barcelona - EB20
Friday, October 23, 2020
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
FC Barcelona18301615
Real Madrid14132520
End of Quarter1234
FC Barcelona18486479
Real Madrid14275272
FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 28:02 14 4/6   6/10   4 4 2 1 1 4   4 7 21
8 HANGA, ADAM 15:53 4 1/3 0/1 2/2 2 2 4 3   1     5 3 5
9 BOLMARO, LEANDRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 12:16 7 2/5 1/1     2 2   2 1   1 4 1 3
13 HEURTEL, THOMAS 13:34 6 3/4           1         1 1 6
14 PUSTOVYI, ARTEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 8:35 2 1/2 0/1   1 4 5 1   1     3   2
21 ABRINES, ALEX 25:49 8 2/3 1/4 1/1 1 4 5         1 2 1 7
22 HIGGINS, CORY 26:26 13 5/7 0/4 3/3   1 1 2 1 1       6 16
23 MARTINEZ, SERGI 31:07 7 2/3 1/2   2 7 9     1     3   10
24 KURIC, KYLE 14:11 15 2/3 2/3 5/5   2 2             3 18
99 CALATHES, NICK 24:07 3 1/1 0/4 1/2   1 1 7 1 6     2 1  
Team           2 1 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 79 23/37 5/20 18/23 8 28 36 16 5 13 4 2 24 23 90
        62.2% 25% 78.3%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 RANDOLPH, ANTHONY 2:49 1 0/1   1/2                   1  
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 9:00 3   1/1                   1   2
6 ABALDE, ALBERTO 32:49 13 3/5 2/3 1/2   3 3 2   1   1 3 3 12
7 CAMPAZZO, FACUNDO 20:28 7 1/4 1/5 2/2   2 2 6   1     3 1 5
8 LAPROVITTOLA, NICOLAS 10:39   0/1 0/2     1 1 1 1 2     1 3  
12 ALOCEN, CARLOS 12:04 3 0/3 1/2   1   1 1   3   1 1 2 -2
14 DECK, GABRIEL 8:30 2 1/2       1 1         1   1 2
16 GARUBA, USMAN 15:54 8 4/7 0/1   3 2 5 1       1 4 1 6
22 TAVARES, WALTER 17:35 6 2/5   2/2 1   1   1 1     2 3 5
23 LLULL, SERGIO 15:50 9 2/3 1/4 2/2   1 1 2   1       2 9
33 THOMPKINS, TREY 28:35 14 6/7 0/1 2/2 3 4 7 1 1   2   4 4 23
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 25:47 6 2/6 0/2 2/2 3 3 6   2 1     5 2 4
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 72 21/44 6/21 12/14 11 18 29 14 5 10 2 4 24 23 67
        47.7% 28.6% 85.7%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO

Head Coaches

FC Barcelona
"It was shocking that Madrid down 20 would play more aggressive, right? Very shocking! Of course, what are they going to do? They raised the level of their play, played at the level of the foul... I don't understand why we were a little bit surprised like this. We lost a little bit our control of the game. I think that, overall, we deserved to win this game but you know, we have to learn a lot from the great first half. And we have to learn that if we want to win something important, these great teams like Madrid, they will make adjustments. They will come back. They are not going to let you win. I was a little bit surprised how we came out in the second half, but OK, a win is a win. It is El Clásico with all the problems we have. I am very happy. Like we said, we miss our fans like crazy. I know that 8,000 people would have loved to be in Palau today, so this win is for them. Let's continue working, because we have a lot of work to do."
Real Madrid
"First, congratulations to Barcelona for the victory. I think that, for us, it was very difficult in the first half to match up with them. We were not matching up defensively or offensively. We were taking bad shots and were late on defense. So in the first half, they outplayed us. I think that our second half was much better. We showed desire and somehow, we tried to come back to the game using our defensive changes. We opened up the floor more but it was not enough to come back. I remember Sergi (Llull)'s three-point shot would have turned it a three-point game, but it was too late, because our job was not done in the first half. I think our first half was terrible but our second half was much better. Above all, we had the feeling at halftime that we had not played. They were better than us in almost all aspects of the game, especially in the second quarter. We turned the ball over a lot, didn't play good offense and lacked aggressiveness defensively. That is when they got a lead that was decisive in this game."


FC Barcelona
"First of all, it is always difficult to play against them, especially at home. It is always difficult to beat them. We played together and managed to get a win. We played very tough on defense in the first half and were aggressive on offense. This is why we got a 20-point lead. It is a long season and even when Real is now low in the standings, they have a lot of games left to play. Sergi Martinez played really well, really hard. We works well every day and this is good for him. I am feeling a bit better but I need to keep working every day."
FC Barcelona
"We knew it was going to be a fight. I mean, games with them are never easy, so we knew they were going to come out physical. We weathered the storm enough, but we have to be able to hold that lead better in the future. It is an important win. We are still growing. We are not a finished product. We have to go step by step and this is definitely great for our mentality, but like I said, we have to be better going forward."
FC Barcelona
"They are a good team and you definitely cannot relax at any point of the game against a team like that. I am glad about the way we fought back and just took a team effort to keep the lead. I just tried to play hard and do everything I can for my team. A lot of guys stepped up today, it was not just me. A lot of guys did the intangibles. I have to give them credit, too."
Real Madrid
"For me, I always focus on us. I don't really care what other teams do. If we play hard for 40 minutes, we are better than a lot of people. For me, I would rather just focus on my teammates, focus on my coach and myself, and do everything I can to be better. We just have to come together. Right now, we are a little bit in a bad place, but we have been here before. It is not the first time."
Real Madrid
"We were close to completing the comeback. We played a good second half but due to our bad first half, we couldn't get the win. We are a bit angry but have to keep working. We have to play with more intensity and be more focused, trying to get fewer turnovers, just that. These are the keys we have to follow day by day, and everything will come after that."
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