Defence was to thank for Thursday’s impressive Euroleague victory against Maccabi Tel Aviv (74-58), a game that was tight enough until the third period, but then the home side flew into action.
Victor Claver led the blaugrana march with 14 points and 7 rebounds in a game that was preceded by an emotional tribute to club legend Juan Carlos Navarro.
Neither side found their rhythm in the first period, but a Claver three got Barça into the first meaningful lead at 16-11 and the quarter ended 18-12.
Offensive rebounds were the key to holding onto that lead, but Maccabi were gradually working their way back into the game. Ante Tomic might have broken Mike Bastiste’s Euroleague record for 2-pointers (949), but Barça only led by one at the break.
The third period was when it all started to fit into place. A 12-2 streak saw Barça Lassa bomb ahead, and three consecutive threes from Kuric built up a game-winning difference of 19.
The final period was about keeping it intense, and especially in defence. With Claver still opposing in points the difference was maintained and the Israelis were eventually soundly beaten 74-58.