Barça have made mathematically sure of first place in the Liga ACB and hence home court advantage throughout the playoffs. And they did it in a direct head-to-head with one of the two teams that could still stop them, Baskonia. With the points difference in their favour, it means the pressure is off for the final game, which can only be a good thing with the trip to Kaunas and the EuroLeague Final Four to come straight after.
Barça were outstanding at the Buesa Arena, and a 46% 3-point conversion rate with Abrines rising to the occasion with six of them, and Laprovittola leading the scoring, this was superlative hoops from the boys in blaugrana.
The first half had been as tight as tight can be, ending 45-45. Three-pointers were playing a big role, as was Mirotic (9 pts in the first period alone), but every time Barça seemed to have made a break, good defence and effective offence from the home side brought the sides back together again.
It was Abrines, with three 3-pointers in the space of 8 minutes plus a crucial defence against Howard who spearheaded the Catalans into the first truly meaningful lead of the game, 64-73 on the half hour.
At +9, Barça had a lead to defend and although Baskonia never gave up, the closest they got to cutting it down was the four-point gap at 84-88. Jasikevicius' side did a thoroughly professional job of maintaining their lead and always finding the right response.
The minutes ticked down and there it was... top of the league!
Baskonia: Marinkovic (20), Thompson (15), Costello (6), Giedraitis (4), Hommes (14), Howard (9), Heidegger (-), Sedekerskis (5), Dani Díez (2), Kotsar (9).
Barça: Satoransky (8), Laprovittola (18), Abrines (18), Mirotic (13), Nnaji (6), Da Silva (5), Sanli (8), Sergi Martínez (-), Tobey (5), Kuric (6), Jokubaitis (4).
Periods: 21-24, 24-21 (45-45), 19-28 (64-73), 20-18 (84-91).
Referees: Daniel Hierrezuelo, Jordi Aliaga, Sergio Manuel.