AP Photo/Thibault Camus The Barcelona footballers cheer on their basketballing counterparts in 2010.
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VIDEO: Barcelona beat 2011 NBA champions Dallas Mavericks

Gerard Pique was in the stands for the win and we bet he had his basketball singlet nearby, just in case.

THE DALLAS MAVERICKS suffered a surprise defeat to FC Barcelona Regal as they prepare for the upcoming NBA season.

The Mavs, who won the NBA title in 2011, played without German star Dirk Nowitzki and lost out 99-85 after 19 point games for Juan Carlos Navarro and Pete Mickeal.

Barcelona, 17-times Spanish champions, went 18 points up in the third quarter before getting hauled back. Navarro then stepped up with a couple of crucial three-pointers to see his side home.

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Nowitzki was in the stadium and ready to play but his knee swelled up in the warm-up. He said:

Last year I dealt with (swelling in the knee). We did treatment twice and the swelling didn’t come back. Hopefully it will respond next week and I can play through the year.

“It’s unfortunate, I would have loved to play. But the pre-season is not the time to force a swollen knee.”

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle declared, “I admire the way they pass, move the ball, cut and make screens. They had the advantage the whole game. Barca is an NBA team.”

Making his excuses early by the sounds of it.

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