Barcelona outlasts Partizan in opener
FC Barcelona grabbed its first win in Group A by topping Partizan NIS Belgrade 67-60 at home on Thursday. Kostas Papanikolaou and Ante Tomic paced the winners with 13 points. Marcelinho Huertas posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 assists while Joey Dorsey had 8 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks for Barcelona. Dragan Milosavljevic led Partizan with 15 points. Leo Westermann added 10 while Joffrey Lauvergne had 9 plus 13 rebounds for the guests. The first quarter saw as many as eight lead changes, but a dunk by Djordje Gagic allowed Partizan to get a 17-18 edge after 10 minutes. Both teams struggled to score in the second quarter, and a floating layup by Huertas gave Barcelona a 28-26 edge at halftime. Maciej Lampe shined late in the third quarter to boost the hosts' lead to 45-40 after three quarters. A three-pointer by Alex Abrines made it a double-digit game, 56-46. Partizan did not give up and managed to get within 59-54, but Lampe and Tomic stepped up to lead Barcelona to an important win.
First quarter: Partizan ahead after 8 lead changes
Dejan Musli got Partizan going with a layup that Tomic erased with a close basket. Partizan powered the offensive glass in the opening minutes and a put-back layup by Lauvergne gave the guests a 2-4 lead. Abrines struck from downtown, Westermann banked in a one-handed floater and a three-pointer by Lauvergne made it 5-9. Huertas fed Tomic for an alley-oop slam and a two-handed dunk by Dorsey tied it at 9-9. Barcelona improved its defense with Dorsey on the floor and Partizan switched to a 1-2-2 zone defense off a timeout. Huertas found his first points and answered Milosavljevic's three-pointer with another layup, good for a 13-12 Barcelona lead. Milosavljevic scored again and Bogdan Bogdanovic added a layup in transition to put Partizan back ahead, 15-16. Juan Carlos Navarro connected with Dorsey for a wild slam, but a dunk by Gagic provided the eighth lead change in the game and gave Partizan a 17-18 edge after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Barcelona improves defense, regains the lead
Victor Sada nailed a fade-away jumper early in the second quarter, as Barcelona adjusted its man-to-man defense. Partizan was held scoreless for more than two minutes until Bogdanovic nailed a three-pointer. Marko Todorovic shined with a put-back layup, but a close basket by Musli put Partizan back ahead, 21-23. Abrines buried a long two-pointer, as Barcelona found the way to lock down the defensive board. Coach Dusko Vujosevic called timeout and Partizan stopped allowing close baskets. Meanwhile, Westermann swished an off-balance triple from the top of the key to restore a 23-26 edge. Barcelona tried to use longer possessions to find better shots, but the hosts kept struggling to score. Papanikolaou rescued Barcelona with a three-pointer in transition and a floating layup by Huertas gave his team a 28-26 edge as both teams headed back to the locker rooms.
Third quarter: Barcelona leads after a physical battle
Both teams struggled to score after the break until Papanikolaou nailed a corner three-pointer. Westermann quickly answered from downtown and an off-basket basket by Tarence Kinsey - his first points - tied the game again, 31-31. Huertas found Tomic for an easy layup and a free throw by Bostjan Nachbar gave Barcelona some fresh air at 34-31. Lauvergne scored again and a layup by Musli put Partizan ahead 34-35. Tomic scored around the basket but Kinsey soon tied it at 37-37. Bogdanovic split free throws, which Huertas improved on with a shot from downtown. Partizan could not find the way to the basket, but its physical defense kept the guests in the game. Both teams went scoreless for almost two minutes until Papanikolaou hit a free throw. Lampe sank a jumpe,r but a five-meter shot by Westermann kept Partizan within 43-40. Lampe downed another jumper for a 45-40 Barcelona lead after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Hosts pull away and seal win
Bogdanovic took over with a high-flying reverse layup early in the fourth quarter, which Dorsey erased with a put-back slam. Navarro provided a highlight with a fast break three-pointer, which got the crowd involved at 50-42. Dorsey was all over the place on defense, with high-flying rebounds, a huge block on Lauvergne and a steal that allowed Papanikolaou to make it 51-42. Musli tried to change things with free throws and a layup by Lauvergne gave Partizan some hope at 51-46. Dorsey stepped up with a close basket, however, and a three-pointer by Abrines boosted Barcelona's lead to double digits, 56-46. Milosavljevic struck from downtown, but Papanikaolou matched at the other end. Milosavljevic insisted with another three-pointer and a wild dunk by Gagic made the hosts call timeout at 59-54. Lampe beat the shot clock with a jumper, Gagic scored around the basket and Navarro gave Barcelona a 62-55 in the next-to-last minute, enough to cruise to its first home win in this 2013-14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season. An alley-oop dunk by Tomic sealed the hosts' win in style.
Thursday, October 17, 2013