Real prevails in El Clasico
In an outstanding back-and-forth battle, Real Madrid took the first El Clasico of this Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season by downing archrival FC Barcelona 86-76 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Real improved to 5-3 in the standings while Barcelona dropped to 6-2. Anthony Randolph led the winners with 16 points, Facu Campazzo and Gabriel Deck each added 13 and Jordan Mickey scored 12 for Real. Nikola Mirotic paced Barcelona with 19 points, Ante Tomic had 13 and Kyle Kuric 12 for the visitors. Campazzo and Randolph fueled a 15-0 lead that put Real ahead for good and then Mickey and Usman Garuba boosted the hosts to a 32-14 margin after 10 minutes. Tomic, Kuric and Malcolm Delaney led a 0-18 run that brought Barcelona within 37-35. An unstoppable Mirotic helped Barcelona reach halftime ahead 48-50. Real made the difference after the break by building a 61-50 cushion. Barcelona managed to get within 71-64 after 30 minutes, but Real managed to keep a safe margin throughout the fourth quarter and until the final buzzer.
Randolph got Real going with a jumper that Mirotic bettered with a triple. Campazzo followed a floater with a three-pointer and Randolph had 5 points in a 15-0 run highlighted by Deck's layup-plus-foul. Rolands Smits stepped up with a put-back layup, but Randolph and Campazzo boosted their team's margin to 24-6. Delaney downed a three-pointer only to see Mickey take over with a put-back layup and a dunk and Garuba score down low to make it 30-9. Tomic and Pierre Oriola brought Barcelona a bit closer, 32-14, after 10 minutes. Kuric and Rudy Fernandez traded triples early in the second quarter, but Tomic scored twice in the paint and Delaney struck from beyond the arc, which caused Real to call timeout at 37-25. Kuric dunked off a steal, Tomic added a jump hook and a three-pointer by Delaney brought Barcelona back in the game, 37-32. A red-hot Kuric capped a 0-18 run with a bomb from downtown. Fernandez answered from beyond the arc for a 40-35 score. Tomic scored again, but Mickey and Nico Laprovittola gave the hosts fresh air at 44-37. Mirotic rescued Barcelona, then Hanga followed a triple with a reverse layup that tied it at 46-46. Mirotic completed the visitors' comeback with a put-back layup and added a jumper for a 46-50 Barcelona lead. A jumper by Sergio Llull fixed the halftime score at 48-50.
Jeffery Taylor hit a corner triple right after the break and Deck added a backdoor layup for a 53-50 Real lead. Campazzo took over with a three-point play and then Taylor followed a three-pointer with an off-balance basket for a double-digit Real lead, 61-50, after a 15-0 run. Mirotic struck from downtown and added a layup, but Deck kept the hosts on control, 69-57. Kuric buried one from beyond the arc and got help from Tomic and Pau Ribas to give Barcelona hope at 71-64 after 30 minutes. Llull hit a double-pump jumper early in the fourth quarter and Garuba added a layup for a 75-64 Real lead. Cory Higgins scored his first 4 points, but Randolph downed one from downtown for a 78-68 advantage with over 4 minutes left. Higgins kept pacing Barcelona, but didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, a layup by Llull sealed the outcome, 82-71, with 2 minutes remaining.
Anthony Randolph had a strong all-around game for Real, taking off early and finishing strong. He had 16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block and 3 fouls drawn for a game-high PIR of 20.
Real trailed 46-50 late in the first half when it found an X-factor in Jeffery Taylor, who hit a three-pointer from each corner and added a big basket in a 15-0 run that saw Real take the lead for good, 61-50. The hosts never looked back after that.
Real outrebounded Barcelona 41-32, including 11 offensive rebounds. Real limited Barcelona to just 11 assists and dished 17. At the same time, Barcelona took more two-point shots (37, Real 35) but Real Madrid scored more shots inside the arc (20, Barcelona 16). Those two-point shooting percentages (Real 57.1%, Barcelona 43.2%) ultimately made the difference.
Did you notice?
Brandon Davies was held scoreless for just the second time in his 78-game EuroLeague career. He had a PIR of -12, the lowest by any Barcelona player in EuroLeague history. Luka Zoric of Fenerbahce has the all-time PIR negative record, -14, against Barcelona on November 29, 2013.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action early next week. Real welcomes Khimki Moscow Region on Tuesday, November 19. A day later, Barcelona hosts Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul.
Thursday, November 14, 2019