Barça have lost at the Palau Blaugrana for the first time this Liga Endesa season as Unicaja Malaga triumphed 95-105 edged a grippingly tight encounter.
Abrines took 11 points in the first period but the Andalusians led by a point as the second began. A three from a majestic Abrines kick started a 9-0 streak at the start of the second and it looked like we could be in for a festival from the blaugrana. Tomic was also outstanding, but as Malaga found more and more 3-pointers, the +5 lead at the break was anything but definitive.
Indeed, 7 unanswered scores from Unicaja changed the script in the third. It was end.to-end for the whole period, and at 74-76 nothing was decided going into the final ten minutes.
That’s when Unicaja found their A-game. In the blink of an eyelid they had gone +12 and not even a 7-0 run from Barça was enough to cut the gap down to any less than six. As long as Malaga were getting things right in offence, nothing was going to change. And right they got it. A ten-point defeat on home territory hurts, and now all the side can do is hope to make amends for that on Tuesday in a Euroleague fixture against Asvel Villeurbanne (9.00pm CET).
Barça: Hanga (2), Ribas (2), Abrines (14), Oriola (9), Davies (11), Higgins (9), Mirotic (17), Delaney (9), Tomic (20) & Kuric (2).
Unicaja: Adams (19), Jaime Fernández (8), Toupane (5), Deon Thompson (8), Elegar (10), Suárez (12), Brizuela (15), Díaz (4), Waczynski (15), Gerun (9) & Guerrero (-).
Periods: 26-27 / 56-51 / 74-76 / 95-105