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The weekend couldn't have started any better for FC Barcelona. Sarunas Jasikevicius' side beat Real Madrid in the Euroleague (79-72), in the first of the two Clásicos in two days. Brandon Davies, with 21 points, and Kyle Kuric, with 18, were important figures, as well as Sergi Martínez with two key baskets that ended up deciding the match.
Clear Barça superiority
Kyle Kuric was the main protagonist of the first half, particularly in the second quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter (18-14, min 10), was quickly added to as the American managed eight points in just over two minutes to help Barça to surge ahead.
Defensive intensity allowed Barça to dictate the pace and rhythm to great effect, and their dominance in all facets of the game meant Madrid had only 27 points at the break (48-27).
Madrid knock on the door ...
Barça were able to extend the deficit at the beginning of the third quarter (50-29), but Real Madrid gradually improved, taking more risks and being more aggressive in attack. This was reflected in the score as Los Blancos brought themselves right back into contention with 10 minutes to play (64-52, min 30).
... but Barça hold firm
Real's Campazzo ensured the visitors moved to within eight points (64-56, min 32), but a triple from Sergi Martinez (67-56, min 32) and a 2-1 from Higgins (70 -56, min 33) turned the tide Barça's way again.
Seven points from Sergi Llull and two from Thompkins (74-69, min 38) meant a nervy final couple of minutes, however, Sergi Martínez, ended all hope of a Los Blancos comeback and ensured Barça's victory (79-72).
Barça: Davies (14), Hanga (4), Smits (7), Abrines (8), Higgins (13) –starters- Sergi Martínez (7), Calathes (3), Oriola (2), Heurtel (6), Kuric (15).
Madrid: Abalde (13), Alocén (3), Tavares (6), Thompkins (14), Taylor (6) –starters- Rudy Fernández (3), Campazzo (7), Garuba (8), Llull (9), Laprovittola (-), Deck (2), Randolph (1).
Breakdown: 18-14 / 30-13 (48-27) / 16-25 (64-52) / 15-20 (79-72)
Officials: Christos Christodoulou, Mehdi Difallah, Milan Nedovic.
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