Barça Lassa suffered a cruel blow in game two of the Liga Endesa final series, and now trail Real Madrid 2-0 and will need to win back-to-back games at the Palau to level the series and then come back to Madrid and get the win that so narrowly slipped away on Monday night.
Stratospheric defence and control of the rebounds meant Barça led for most of the game and looked to heading for a crucial victory, but a Carroll three right with a second to go meant they’d end up losing by the tightest of margins. Heurtel, with an immense 30 points, was Barça’s star performer, but sadly not even that majestic showing was enough to come back to Catalonia with the win.
It had all looked so different at the end of the first period, when Madrid had only got the ball in the hoop four times and trailed 11-17. An 8-0 streak finally put a stop to the inspired Huertel, but Barça responded with a 7-0 of their own and were back on top by the interval (29-34).
There was more of the same after the restart, Barça peaking at +12, and although Madrid kept cutting away at that lead, the Catalans always found something in response. This was as good as basketball Clásicos can get. Gripping stuff.
Two minutes to go, Barça led 65-74. That looked to be enough. Sadly it was not. Madrid cut into another lead and this time cut away the remaining points as well.
Stunned to have let an opportunity like this slip, all the Barça players can do now is wait until Wednesday at 9.00 pm CEST and game 3 at the Palau. Tonight was not the result we wanted, but series is by no means over yet.
Real Madrid: Randolph (6), Fernández (7), Campazzo (4), Tavares (11), Deck (1), Taylor (-), Thompkins (3), Ayón (8), Llull (13), Causeur (2), Carroll (25) & Reyes (1).
Barça Lassa: Pangos (9), Ribas (2), Singleton (4), Claver (12), Tomic (6), Hanga (-), Heurtel (30), Smiths (5), Kuric (-) & Oriola (12).
Periods: 11-17; 29-34; 53-59; 81-80.