2021-22Regular SeasonRound 14
December 10, 2021 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 PALAU BLAUGRANA

Mirotic leads Barcelona to first place in El Clásico

In a direct battle to lead the standings, FC Barcelona took the first clásico of the season by downing Real Madrid 93-80 at Palau Blaugrana on Friday to take sole possession of first place in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Barcelona is now atop the table with a 12-2 record, with Real right behind at 11-3. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Brandon Davies and Nicolas Laprovittola added 16 each while Rokas Jokubaitis had 12 for Barca. Fabien Causeur and Thomas Heurtel led Real with 11 points apiece. Sergio Llull, Walter Tavares and Nigel Williams-Goss each had 10 for the guests. Mirotic had 13 first-quarter points, getting help from Davies and Jokubaitis for a 24-19 Barca lead after 10 minutes. Davies and Jokubaitis allowed the hosts to extend their margin to 47-35 but Rudy Fernandez and Llull got Real within 51-42 at the break. Laprovittola boosted Barca's lead to 64-51 but Williams-Goss helped Real to get within 67-58 after 30 minutes. Real kept its chances open until the final 4 minutes, but then Mirotic made the difference, sealing the outcome in style.

Tavares hit a jumper and Llull added an up-and-under layup for a 0-4 Real lead. Adam Hanga hit a floater and bettered Mirotic's driving layup with a bomb from downtown as the visitors' lead reached 2-9. Mirotic kept pacing Barca and Jokubaitis added a three-point play to keep the hosts within 9-11. Causeur struck from beyond the arc but Dante Exum, making his debut for Barca, scored in penetration and Mirotic followed a three-pointer with a jumper that gave the hosts their first lead, 16-14. Causeur sank another triple but Davies followed a jumper with a layup, getting help from Mirotic and Jokubaitis to boost Barca ahead 24-19 after 10 minutes.

Davies followed a dunk with a three-point play early in the second quarter. Kyle Kuric took over with a reverse layup to make it a double-digit game, 31-21. Causeur buried his third three-pointer and Heurtel matched Kuric's layup with a jumper. Davies and Vincent Poirier traded baskets and Laprovittola hit a step-back triple to restore a 38-28 Barcelona lead. Heurtel answered from downtown but Jokubaitis stepped up with a layup and Davies hit a triple for a 43-31 score. Llull and Jokubaitis traded jumpers, Tavares dunked and Mirotic kept the hosts way ahead, 47-35. Fernandez and Llull each buried a three-pointer, bringing Real a bit closer, 51-42, at halftime.

Mirotic buried a deep three-pointer right after the break. Causeur tried to change things with a floater but Laprovittola improved it with a bomb from downtown and added a three-point play that gave his team a 60-46 margin. Heurtel stepped up for Real and Guerschon Yabusele found his first points but Mirotic kept the hosts way ahead, 64-51. Heurtel took over with a driving layup that Jokubaitis improved with a bomb from beyond the arc. Williams-Goss followed a three-point play with a coast-to-coast layup, giving Real hope, 67-58, at the end of the third quarter.

Laprovittola struck from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter and Davies hit a jumper but Williams-Goss singlehandedly kept Real within 72-61. Fernandez buried a deep triple but Laprovittola and Kuric kept the hosts fully in charge, 76-64. Kuric struck from beyond the arc, Poirier hit a jump hook and Sertac Sanli gave Barcelona an 81-66 margin with over 6 minutes left. Yabusele dunked and Llull added a layup that kept Real within 81-70. Yabusele hit a triple and Heurtel hit his trademark stop-and-pop jumper to get Real within single digits, 84-76, with over 4 minutes left. Sanli rescued the hosts with a tip-in that Tavares matched with a layup but Mirotic sealed the outcome, 91-80, already in the final minute.

Laprovittola shines against his former team

All eyes were on Thomas Heurtel, Adam Hanga and Nicolas Laprovittola as FC Barcelona hosted Real Madrid in Round 14 at Palau Blaugrana, as all three players returned to a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague 'Clásico' against their former teams. Laprovittola had the final words, as he led Barcelona to a 93-80 victory with an outstanding performance. He finished the game with 16 points on 3-for-4 shooting from downtown, adding 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 22, his second-best mark this season. In the last four games since starting point guard Nick Calathes was injured, Laprovittola has averaged 14.8 points, 5.5 assists and a PIR of 19.5.

Barcelona's accuracy makes the difference

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid faced each other in Round 14, and even when the foul difference was not huge - Real picked up 27 fouls, Barcelona 25 -, the hosts went to the foul line more than their opponents, and were way more accurate. Barcelona hit 26-of-29 free throws (89.7%) while Real went to the foul line 21 times, hitting 11 attempts only. Its free throw shooting percentage, 52.4%, was its second-lowest this season - it hit 44.4% of its attempts in Round 12 against Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Barcelona also had a season-high 6 blocks against Real.

Mirotic's legendary performance

Nikola Mirotic had an outstanding performance in Round 14, leading FC Barcelona to a 93-80 victory against archrivals Real Madrid. Mirotic finished the game with 31 points, matching his career-best effort. That had come when he played for Real against Zalgiris Kaunas on March 7, 2013. On Friday, he added 10 rebounds and 9 fouls drawn for a PIR of 39, a new personal best. The last Barcelona player to score more than 30 points in a EuroLeague game was Juan Carlos Navarro, who also got 31 against Zalgiris on November 9, 2006. As for PIR, it ties the second-best mark in club history. Ante Tomic still holds the record with a PIR of 40 against Anadolu Efes Istanbul on February 27, 2014.

Nikola Mirotic celebrates - FC Barcelona - EB21
Friday, December 10, 2021
Attendance: 7079
By Quarter1234
FC Barcelona24271626
Real Madrid19231622
End of Quarter1234
FC Barcelona24516793
Real Madrid19425880
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 14:11 16 6/6 1/1 1/1   1 1 2         4 1 16
1 EXUM, DANTE LIMAN 12:49 2 1/1 0/1   2   2 1         1   3
5 SANLI, SERTAC 25:49 5 1/2 0/5 3/4 2 2 4   1 4 3   3 3 2
8 MARTINEZ, SERGI 23:25   0/1     1 2 3 3 1 1 1 1 4 2 3
10 SMITS, ROLANDS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 HAYES-DAVIS, NIGEL 11:15 2 1/4       1 1       1 1 2   -2
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 10:55         1 4 5   1   1     1 8
20 LAPROVITTOLA, NICOLAS 33:07 16 2/4 3/4 3/3   2 2 5   1     2 6 23
24 KURIC, KYLE 25:32 9 2/5 1/4 2/3   2 2 2 1 2   1 2 1 3
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 13:58 12 3/4 1/1 3/3 1   1 4         4 3 15
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 28:59 31 4/4 3/6 14/15   10 10 1   5     3 9 39
42 CAICEDO, MICHAEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 4 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 93 20/31 9/22 26/29 8 28 36 18 4 14 6 3 25 26 114
        64.5% 40.9% 89.7%
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
0 WILLIAMS-GOSS, NIGEL 12:13 10 4/5   2/3 1 1 2 2   1     2 2 11
1 CAUSEUR, FABIEN 22:27 11 1/3 3/4 0/2   1 1 1         2 3 9
2 NUNEZ, JUAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 HEURTEL, THOMAS 19:19 11 3/10 1/3 2/2   2 2 4   2   2 2 1 3
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 25:36 8   2/3 2/4 2   2 2         3 4 10
8 HANGA, ADAM 24:22 5 1/5 1/2   1 1 2 1 1   1 1 4 1 1
11 VUKCEVIC, TRISTAN 4:54   0/1       1 1         1     -1
17 POIRIER, VINCENT 15:59 7 3/4 0/1 1/2 3 1 4     1     4 2 5
22 TAVARES, WALTER 23:02 10 5/9     3 3 6 1 1   2 1 4 2 13
23 LLULL, SERGIO 22:07 10 3/8 1/4 1/4   1 1 2 1 2   1 1 5 4
28 YABUSELE, GUERSCHON 25:57 8 1/4 1/2 3/4 1 3 4 1   1     4 5 8
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 4:04                         1   -1
Team           4   4               4
Totals 200:00 80 21/49 9/19 11/21 15 14 29 14 3 7 3 6 27 25 66
        42.9% 47.4% 52.4%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO

Head Coaches

FC Barcelona

"I thought we responded. Most of the time, our defense was really, really good but at the end, some little mistakes, as always, didn't allow us to take the next step. But OK, it was a little bit expected. Madrid is obviously a very good team and we keep going. This is great, there are some character-building wins. It is very important. It is not important to lead the standings right now. It is important that we are finding solutions with a little bit of problems that we are having. People are stepping up, people are responding to some bad games, coming back and playing really good games. This is, for me, important. We are showing character. The standings are really nice to look at, but it is not so important right now."

"Congratulations to our players and fans. Our players for showing the character, for finding solutions, for a great fight, like we understood, playing against a very good team. And it was not perfect, but we kept insisting, we kept insisting and we pulled it out. To the fans, for creating this atmosphere. We need more of this Palau on the big evenings, like we say, and it truly was. It was a great pleasure to play in this kind of atmosphere. We continue asking for more from the coach, from the players, from everybody on the staff, and we will continue asking more from the fans. Today was fantastic, and thank you for that. We are making too many childish mistakes, to be honest, and that is the only negative thing I can say today. We did really well: when Brandon (Davies) was hitting outside shots, it made things really hard for Madrid, but we gave away too much."

Real Madrid
"First of all, congratulations to FC Barcelona for the victory. I think that we didn't play a great game defensively. They did a lot of things right and we made mistakes that they punished. And then offensively, I have the feeling that our percentages, especially from two-point and free throw range, were very bad. I think that if you want to win in a court like this, against a team like this, you have to play a very good game, and I think we didn't play at our best level. Congratulations to Barcelona, which played a really good game. They knew how to handle the game better than us, maybe because of the lead they had since the second quarter. It was hard for us to get back. We had some situations, getting a turnover or not hitting a shot, and never found the rhythm to have better control of the game."


FC Barcelona
"It was a very difficult game for us, very emotional for me, especially, for my teammates. We know how important the game was. The beginning of the game was huge. We had to play physical against them. We had a not very good third quarter but kept fighting and never basically gave them the chance, because we have so much respect for this team. We know they have experience and they can come back anytime. So it was a great performance and the Palau was amazing. I am blessed. It was a special night. All the credit goes to my teammates, all the credit goes to my coaching staff, and all the credit goes to these amazing fans. So thanks to them."
FC Barcelona
"Every game like this, with this environment, playing against one of the best teams in Europe, is going to be like this. We prepared our minds. Our last game wasn't good and we improved in this game. I think we have to keep going. We are doing things well. We have a tough week, so we have to rest. I am very happy to win. Every game we win, we enjoy a lot in the locker room, with everybody. I think we are building our character, our mentality, and that is very important."
Real Madrid
"I think that the positive that we can take from the game is that even though it wasn't going our way, we continued to fight and it is a long season, so we have to fight no matter what, and just continue to improve. I think we made just too many defensive mistakes, especially early on, to let them get comfortable. And obviously, we didn't shoot free throws well. That was another big problem for us."
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