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Juan Carlos Navarro came up big against Real Madrid on Sunday night. / ACB MEDIA

FC Barcelona Lassa won't have to wait until New Year's Eve to celebrate. With an impressive effort from start to finish in a pivotal ACB League game on Sunday night, the Catalans closed out 2015 in style, rolling to a 91–84 triumph over archrivals Real Madrid at the Barclaycard Center in Madrid, Spain.

A half dozen players scored in double figures for FC Barcelona, which turned a modest six-point halftime lead into an unbridgeable 19-point gap by midway through fourth quarter. The Madrileños clawed some of it back in mop up time, but it was too little, too late.

The victory gives FC Barcelona sole possession of second place in the Liga ACB standings, one game ahead of Real. It also allows the Catalans to keep pace with first-place Valencia, who are now 13–0 on the season.

Justin Doellman led the way for FCB with a game-high 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting. He went 2-for-3 from 3-point territory and grabbed 5 rebounds. Tomáš Satoranský added 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting — all 2-pointers — and snatched a team-high 7 rebounds. Satoransky also had a game-high 6 assists.

Real Madrid outshot Barça from 3-point territory, 39%–33%, but the Catalans dominated the paint and were on fire from inside the arc, where they shot 30-for-42 (71%). Real struggled mightily, however, going just 19-for-37 (51%) from 2-point range.

Sergio Rodríguez scored 14 points to pace Real Madrid in the losing effort. Gustavo Ayón had a game-high 8 rebounds and a team-high 5 assists for Real Madrid.

Pau Ribas, Samardo Samuels, Juan Carlos Navarro and Ante Tomic also scored in double figures to help propel FC Barcelona's well-balanced offense.

FCB were up just three points with time winding down before halftime when Navarro drained an off-balance 3-pointer that beat the buzzer and put Barça up 50–44. The last-second shot seemed to stun Madrid, who wandered off to the dressing rooms shaking their heads in disbelief while their Catalan counterparts high-fived each other to celebrate Navarro's buzzer-beater.

FC Barcelona came out out of the dressing room eager to keep up the momentum. Navarro and Madrid guard Sergio Lull traded baskets to start the third quarter before small forward Jonas Maciulis brought Madrid back to within 4 points at 52–48. FCB then went on a quick 7–0 run, however, and began to pull away.

Madrid center Felipe Reyes and Rodríguez each dropped baskets to try and reel the Catalans back in with three minutes to go in the third, but Satoransky, Doellman and Navarro answered back, stretching the blaugrana lead to 15 points at 67–52. Barça managed to make it a 16-point game by the start of the fourth quarter.

Then it was Ribas' turn, as the shooting guard netted Barça's first 5 points of the final frame. When Madrid looked up midway through the fourth they were down by 19 points at 79–60, their largest deficit of the evening.


[HIGHLIGHTS] Basket (ACB): Real Madrid-FC... by fcbarcelona

GAME STATISTICS

Reial Madrid, 84
FCB Lassa, 91

Real Madrid (23+21+14+26): Maciulis (11), Reyes (9), S.Rodríguez (14), Ayón (6), Llull (12) –starting five- NDour (1), Nocioni (3), Doncic (-), Carroll (13), Thompkins (4), Hernangómez (-), Taylor (11).

FCB Lassa (25+25+24+17): Doellman (17), Navarro (12), Satoransky (16), Perperoglou (-), Tomic (11) –starting five- Ribas (15), Lawal (-), Vezenkov (5), Samuels (13), Oleson (2).

Referees: Daniel Herrezuelo, Calatrava and Manuel.

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