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Mario Hezonja driving to the hoop. PHOTO: G. PARGA - FCB

Nobody ever wants to lose at home, but if it comes in a meaningless game then it isn't so bad. On Thursday, Barça fell 91-89 in overtime to Fenerbahçe for their first Euroleague defeat of the season. The two-point loss has will probably have no negative effects on the standings as Barça previously won in Istanbul, also by two points, and would win first place in a hypothetical tiebreaker based on aggregate point differential.

Xavi Pascual's team has an 8-1 record, while Obradovic's team is 7-2. If Barça win the last game of this phase at Panathinaikos they'll be all set. The only way Barça would fall out of first is with a series of results by unlikely margins of victory.

A good average

Barça currently has one more victory and is +110 in scoring differential (781 points for and 671 against). Fenerbahçe, meanwhile, is at +50 (756 for and 706 against) making it very difficult, if not virtually impossible, for them to make up the difference. They would need a big win over Bayern Munich combined with a huge Barça loss to Panathinaikos, which is already resigned to third in the group.

For Barça, first place is little more than a formality at this point.

 

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