Barça finished off 2012 in the best possible way – with a win against Real Madrid, beating the previously unbeaten league leaders with a massive 96 points thanks in large part to Navarro’s 33 point contribution – with a 44 point valuation. Juan Carlos Navarro once again led his team to a famous win, with a flurry of 12/13 baskets and an immaculate five from five in three pointers, which brought the Palau to their feet in admiration for their captain.
With Madrid on fire this season and Barça in need of the win, this was always going to be a great game, but not many would have bet on so many points in a match up that tends to be governed by a safety first attitude, given the importance of the game to both clubs, but today provided a great display of basketball for the fans.
Navarro and Rudy set the pace
Navarro for Barça and Rudy Fernández for Real Madrid were their teams’ leaders from the start and the first quarter finished with a narrow 23-20 margin, with Pascual using three different types of defensive set ups - 2-3, 2-1-2 and a mixture using Rabaseda to mark Carroll.
Navarro maintained his scoring in the second quarter, chalking up a total of 19 points in the first half – but Madrid showed why they are top of the league with Felipe Reyes leading the visitors’ attacks as they dominated in the offense rebounds to move into a 34-38 lead before the hosts hit back to go in 44-43 at the break.
Navarro, Lorbek and Wallace finish off Madrid
Barça continued to look solid in the third quarter, showing no weaknesses and clearly focussed on the job in hand, they took a 66-60 lead which they then extended to nine points, 73-64, with ten minutes to play after a brilliant three pointer from Navarro.
Now Barça shut up shop and refused to let Madrid back into the game and with three pointers from Saras and Wallace, they stretched the lead to 81-66. The crowd were right behind their team, but Madrid hit back to cut their hosts’ lead to eight points thanks to a flurry of points from Carrol. Now the man of the match Navarro stepped up and finished off any hope the leaders might have entertained with another three pointer, which Lorbek then repeated to ensure a well-deserved win over the previously unbeaten leaders.