By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]
Nikola Mirotic scored 20 out of his 26 points in the second half and Cory Higgins hit the winning free throws as Barcelona beat Real Madrid 71 – 69 at home to tie the best-of-five Spanish ACB Finals at 1-1.
With the score tied at 65 and three minutes to play after a 0-8 run by Real Madrid, Mirotic made two tough go-ahead baskets for the 67 – 65 and 69 – 67. Gabriel Deck drove inside and made a wonderful spin move to send the pass to Edy Tavares for the slam that made things even again with a minute remaining.
Cory Higgins attacked the basket and missed the layup against Tavares but the Real big man touched his opponent’s hand just enough to send him to the free-throw line. After Higgins made both of his shots, Fabien Causeur missed the 3-pointer to win the game and Rudy Fernandez grabbed the offensive rebound only for Nick Calathes to stop him from making any attempt.
Mirotic also grabbed seven rebounds while Higgins finished with 10 points. They were the only Barca players in double figures.
Guerschon Yabusele led Real with 16 points plus 11 rebounds, Tavares had 11 points and Adam Hanga posted 10 points plus five rebounds. Unlike the first game that was a one-sided affair for Real, this time the match was close for the most part after the first quarter with multiple ties and lead changes.
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