Few thought that Barça were capable of winning away to Madrid, but this team is made of different stuff. The first match of the final series of the Liga Endesa went to Barça by a scoreline of 93 to 98. The men managed by Xavi Pascual made it clear from the start that they were going to give it their all, and the 44 to 48 at the break made that evident. In the second half, Madrid battled back, but the three pointers and free throws made it possible for the blaugrana to regain home-court advantage.
Barça came out swinging at the Palacios de Deportes and they did it with a 0-7 run from. Their zone defence, with Papanikolaou on Rudy, worked magic and the 5-12 scoreline reflected what was happening on the court. Madrid reacted, however, and evened up the score before Barça managed to take a four-point lead before the end of the first half 44-48.
At the start of the second hand, the men managed by Pablo Laso showed their quality. Rudy and Darden brought Madrid level, but by using a 2-3 zone, Pascual’s men managed to take a five-point lead (57-62). Then, a 10-2 run gave the home team their first real lead of the night, 73 to 70 at the end of the quarter.
Neither of the two teams managed to take an insurmountable lead in the final quarter, but Barça thanks to their three point shots always enjoyed a slight advantage. From 75 to 76 to 82 to 85, the blaugrana drew a line in the sand. In the final seconds, the Catalans were on point with their free throws – Huertas and Navarro specifically – and Madrid tried their best from the three point line. The 93 to 98 final score allows Barça to regain home-court advantage.