Spain ACB: Barcelona hands Madrid First Loss

Real Madrid was just three matches away from running the table in the first leg of the Spain ACB, but long-time rival FC Barcelona Regal put a stop to the 14-game ACB winning steak Madrid had with a 96:89 victory in front of a reported 7,359 in attendance at the Palau Blaugrana on Sunday. Of the nine ACB matches in Week 15, eight were won by home teams.

Regal rested their hopes on guard Juan Carlos Navarro, who dropped in 33 points and accumulated a valuation of 44. Navarro was near perfect in the shooting department, knocking down 7 of 8 inside the arc (87%), 5 of 5 from behind the arc, and 4 of 4 at the free throw line. He also grabbed 6 rebounds on the day.

Barca jumped out quick in this Week 15 matchup, with Navarro and Pete Mickeal scoring early and often, building a 23:20 lead after the first ten. Rudy Fernandez tallied 12 in the first quarter, shooting 3 of 4 in long-balls.

Madrid changed up their offensive set to see if they could find something that worked better, and it paid off as the Whites were able to pick up the lead late in the half. The club’s exchanged baskets through the end with Sergio Rodriguez draining a three-ball at the buzzer to pull the visitors to within one, 45:44 at the half. Navarro connected with 19 points in the first half alone to pace Barca.

The third quarter was the difference in this one as the hosts earned a 28:20 win of the frame to extend their margin to nine (73:64) heading into the final 10. Both clubs played a bit more aggressively in the second half, which was to Regal’s favor as they were able to connect on 14 of 15 (93%) free throws as a team on the day, while Madrid shot 70% (14 of 20). Madrid starter Carlos Suarez found himself on the bench a fair amount in this contest, the victim of heavy fouling on his part, picking up his fourth personal foul early in the third.

Barcelona went on an 8:2 run to open the fourth and extend the margin to 81:66, but Whites had no intention of letting the game get out of hand and fought back with a 5:15 run of their own, putting the score at 86:81 with just over three minutes to play. Navarro continued with his hot streak, dropping in a three and then a deuce to put the game out of reach.

Navarro’s 33 and Mickeal’s 15 paced the Barcelona effort, while Fernandez’s 18 and Rodriguez’s 17 paced Madrid.

Spain ACB: Week 15 Results

This Week’s Matches[matches league_id=4 match_day=15 template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings[standings league_id=4]

Next Week’s Matches[matches league_id=4 match_day=16 template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

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