Round 22 of the ACB Liga Endesa saw another edition of El Clasico as fourth-place Barcelona hosted arch rival Real Madrid in Catalonia. It was a typically feisty encounter that saw Barca deliver a rare ACB Liga Endesa loss on Los Blancos. The 94-72 win was actually something of a demolition as Barcelona put Madrid to the sword.
The victory enhanced Barca’s position to 15-7 in fourth. This was only the third loss of the ACB Liga Endesa season for Real Madrid, so the team stays top by four games at 19-3. Barcelona is having a season to forget, one from bottom in the EuroLeague and not flying high domestically. However, the club will make the play-offs of the league and could be a thorn in Madrid’s side.
Indeed, the last two El Clasico games have gone in favour of Barcelona, including the Copa del Rey final. Barca has proved it can beat Real Madrid in crunch games, including beating them in a thumping win this weekend. Los Blancos are favorites for the league title, but don’t rule out Barcelona just yet.
It was exhibition hoops from Barcelona at times and the hosts started well by winning the first quarter 21-14. Barca controlled much of the contest and extended in the second quarter to lead 45-29 through the long break. Real Madrid was struggling and the momentum stayed with the hosts in the third act. Barcelona used a 27-17 run to make it 72-46 through thirty minutes and effectively kill the game. Madrid rallied in the fourth frame, but it was not enough as Barcelona eased off the gas down the straight.
The hosts were dominant in the key area, draning 56 points in the paint compared to Madrid’s 36. It was also a rounded attacking effort of 22 assists, while Los Blancos managed just 9 scoring passes. Thomas Huertal led the win with 21 points and 4 assists, followed by Pierre Oriola with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Rudy Fernandez paced a poor Real Madrid with 11 points in the losing effort.