2020-21Regular SeasonRound 29
March 11, 2021 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 WIZINK CENTER

Barcelona wins 'El Clasico' in Madrid

In a battle between archrivals, FC Barcelona took a decisive step toward the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs by downing Real Madrid 76-81 at WiZink Center on Thursday. Barcelona improved to 21-8 in the standings and will mathematically seal a playoff spot if either Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul or Zalgiris Kaunas lose on Friday. Real dropped to 17-12, but remained in the playoffs zone. Pierre Oriola led the winners with 18 points, Nikola Mirotic added 13 while Kyle Kuric and Nick Calathes each had 11 for Barcelona. Gabriel Deck paced Real with 17 points, Edy Tavares tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds and Alberto Abalde scored 11 for Los Blancos. Barcelona led 19-24 after 10 minutes, kept a 38-41 margin at halftime and was still ahead, 54-57, at the end of the third quarter. Real led 69-68 with over 4 minutes left, but Mirotic and Oriola combined for all the points in a 3-9 run that allowed Barcelona to cruise to its 21st win in one of the critical games of the regular season.

Calathes scored twice down low and Oriola added a three-pointer in a 0-7 opening run. Jeffery Taylor and Carlos Alocen stepped up for Real but Calathes and Oriola each struck from downtown, 6-13. Alocen sank consecutive floaters, igniting an 8-0 run that Tavares capped with a layup for a 14-13 Real lead. Cory Higgins and Taylor traded layups before Kuric hit a triple for a 16-18 Barcelona edge. Deck took over with a three-point play but Mirotic found his first points and Kuric insisted from beyond the arc, giving the guests a 19-24 lead after 10 minutes. Fabien Causeur and Abalde joined the three-point shootout to bring Real within 25-26 early in the second quarter. Rolands Smits hit a three-pointer, but so did Abalde, Nico Laprovittola and Mirotic, 31-32. Alex Tyus scored down low and Abalde downed a jumper, but Kuric and Higgins kept Barcelona ahead, 35-36. Oriola stepped up with a dunk-and-foul and a layup, but Deck kept Real within 38-41 at halftime.

Mirotic dunked right after the break. Alocen matched that with a step-back jumper, Tavares added a jump hook and Deck bettered Mirotic's layup with a triple that gave Real a 46-45 lead. Alex Abrines followed a tip-in with a three-pointer but Deck brought his team within 49-50. Oriola scored again and Kuric struck from downtown, but Jaycee Carroll and Tavares answered to make it 54-55. Davies's tip-in fixed the score at 54-57 after 30 minutes. Carroll and Laprovittola each struck from beyond the arc for a 60-59 Real lead early in the fourth quarter. Tavares took over with a dunk-and-foul, but Davies scored around the basket and Calathes followed with consecutive backdoor layups for a 63-65 Barcelona lead with 6 minutes left. Tavares kept pushing the hosts with a one-handed alley-oop slam, Adam Hanga and Abalde traded triples and Usman Garuba put Real in charge, 69-68. Mirotic scored in the paint and fed Oriola for a three-pointer that caused the hosts to call timeout at 69-73. Tavares and Mirotic traded free throws, Deck split attempts and Oriola dunked for a 72-77 score with 55.9 seconds remaining. Deck kept pacing Real, but Higgins sealed the outcome from the foul line.

Pivotal performer

Pierre Oriola was Barcelona's X-factor, bringing Edy Tavares out of the paint with his outside shooting and providing his trademark character and aggressiveness. He finished the game with 18 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 15.

Game-changing moment

Usman Garuba gave Real its last lead, 69-68, as Nikola Mirotic stepped up in crunch time. He scored in the paint, then found Pierre Oriola for a three-pointer, hit free throws and had a big block. Oriola quickly dunked at the other end to put Barcelona ahead for good, 72-77, with 55.9 seconds remaining.

Stellar stat

Turnovers made the difference in this game. Barcelona averaged a league-worst 15.0 before this game, but only picked up 9. On the other hand, Real had 16 turnovers and those extra possessions Barcelona had were critical. Barcelona made 12 of 15 free throws (80.0%) and Real struggled from the foul line (11-of-17, 64.7%).

Did you know?

With this loss, Real is 0-6 against Spanish teams in the current EuroLeague campaign. It previously lost 79-72 at Palau Blaugrana and also lost both games against TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Valencia Basket. Last season, Real was 4-0 against the same teams in EuroLeague action.

Next game

Both teams return to EuroLeague action next week. Real hosts CSKA Moscow on Thursday, March 18. A day later, Barcelona visits AX Armani Exchange Milan.

Nikola Mirotic - FC Barcelona - EB20
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
Real Madrid19191622
FC Barcelona24171624
End of Quarter1234
Real Madrid19385476
FC Barcelona24415781
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 CAUSEUR, FABIEN 8:32 3   1/2 0/2   1 1   1 1       1 2
6 ABALDE, ALBERTO 22:13 11 1/3 3/7     1 1 4         3 2 9
7 TYUS, ALEX 15:05 4 2/4     2   2 3   1 1   2 1 6
8 LAPROVITTOLA, NICOLAS 15:46 6 0/2 2/3     2 2 1         3 2 5
9 REYES, FELIPE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 ALOCEN, CARLOS 15:11 8 4/4 0/1     3 3 1   5     1   5
14 DECK, GABRIEL 32:28 17 2/6 3/4 4/5   4 4 1   2   1 3 5 15
16 GARUBA, USMAN 9:23 1     1/2 2 2 4   1       4 1 2
20 CARROLL, JAYCEE 12:51 5 1/2 1/3     2 2 1         1   4
22 TAVARES, WALTER 29:11 16 5/6   6/8 1 10 11 3 1 4 1   4 8 29
33 THOMPKINS, TREY 15:14   0/1 0/2     2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1   -1
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 24:06 5 1/3 1/1         2 2 2 1   3   3
Team           4 1 5               5
Totals 200:00 76 16/31 11/23 11/17 9 28 37 17 6 16 4 2 25 20 84
        51.6% 47.8% 64.7%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO
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
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 9:42 7 3/5   1/2 1   1   1 1     4 4 5
2 WESTERMANN, LEO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 HANGA, ADAM 16:50 5 1/5 1/2   1 3 4 2         1 3 8
9 BOLMARO, LEANDRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 14:47 3 0/1 1/2   2   2     1     1   1
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 25:09 18 4/8 3/5 1/2 2 4 6 1   1   2 2 2 15
21 ABRINES, ALEX 14:20 5 1/1 1/2   1   1   1       5 1 2
22 HIGGINS, CORY 29:01 8 2/5 0/2 4/4       5   3   1 2 3 5
24 KURIC, KYLE 21:31 11 0/2 3/4 2/2 2 3 5     1     1 3 14
30 CLAVER, VICTOR 11:15     0/1   1 1 2 2 2 1     1   3
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 30:00 13 3/8 1/3 4/5   5 5 5 1 1 2 1   8 24
99 CALATHES, NICK 27:25 11 4/7 1/1     2 2 3 2       3 1 13
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 81 18/42 11/22 12/15 10 19 29 18 7 9 2 4 20 25 91
        42.9% 50% 80%

Head Coaches

Real Madrid
"First of all, congratulations to Barcelona for the victory and also to my guys for their work, because they had a great game. We played with a lot of energy, were able to dominate the rebounds. We dominated many aspects of the game, so I have to congratulate the guys because we did a great job. In the end, basketball goes down to details, and those details decided such a close game. I think we brought back some energy to our game. We played certain situations on offense, were solid on defense and rebounds. We will see what happens with Alex [Tyus], it looks like it is only a sprained ankle. You cannot say anything wrong about the team in terms of fight. The team did well, we made mistakes but obviously, in basketball it is very difficult to play a perfect game. They are a great team, with great players, and punished us. We were able to fight for the win until the final moments. Like I said, some other times, as a coach, you feel more frustrated, but not tonight. The team gave everything it had and we were very close to winning."
FC Barcelona
"I really want to congratulate our players and our fans. It is an important victory, as every time we play here. I think that the game was exactly as we expected: a tough, physical game with a lot of nervousness. Tactically, when it came to details, I don't think we did very well. We prepared a lot of things, trying to anticipate how Madrid would play. We didn't do very well, we gave Madrid a lot of easy baskets and they were able to get confidence. In the end, any team could have won, but I believe Cory and Niko did some very important plays so that we could win. Again, congratulations to our guys. In clubs like Barcelona and Madrid, there are not changes of cycles, as a lot of people say. We have beaten Madrid a couple of times, but didn't bring out our best performance. Madrid is a championship-caliber team with very experienced, well-coached players. The only truth there is that each game is a different story, and surely, our next game against them will be different. We beat them a couple of times but we respect them and are ready to play against him. I don't believe any other theories."


Real Madrid
"In general terms, we did a great job. We competed until the final moments, which is something we didn't do in previous games, so we have to keep working and follow this way of competing and always giving our best."
FC Barcelona
"Madrid entered his game needing wins and in the end, a 'Clasico' is always an important game and as always, a big battle. We are happy with the win. It is true that we made a lot of mistakes which allowed our opponent to return to the game many times, taking the lead. But we were cold-blooded and were able to win the game. It is always our goal to be in the playoffs. After that, we will try to finish in the first four spots. We depend on ourselves to be first and it will be difficult because we don't have an easy calendar, but we will fight. It is easy, but also difficult to play for such a good team. There are a lot of talented, competitive players, it is not easy to play and you have to be ready. If you are not ready, anyone can take your spot. It is true that in the last few games, I had enough energy and had the strengths that I always have. I came in focused, it is a 'Clasico' and you have to be focused. I am happy for the win, for helping the team win."
FC Barcelona
"I think, as a team, we played better in the second half and seriously, we stepped up as a team defensively. We knew that we had to play good defense against Madrid. That's what we did and offensively, I think we played a very solid game. So I am very happy, it is a big win for us. Every time we play here against Madrid, every 'Clasico' is special, so I am proud of my team. It is too early, but each game, for us, is really important. For us, it just matters the next game. We are trying to be as comfortable as we can, stay healthy and grow as a team, we are really hungry to improve and I think we are in a good way."
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