2018-19Regular SeasonRound 18
January 11, 2019 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 PALAU BLAUGRANA

Heurtel paces Barcelona to fifth straight win

In a key battle in the race to reach the playoffs, FC Barcelona Lassa registered its fifth consecutive win by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 79-68 at Palau Blaugrana on Friday. Barcelona improved to 11-7 and is not tied on victories for fifth place in the standings with Olympiacos. Panathinaikos dropped to 8-10 and is tied for eighth place with AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan and KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. Thomas Heurtel led the winners with 23 points and Kevin Seraphin added 14. Ioannis Papapetrou led Panathinaikos with 17 points. Barcelona was up by 37-36 at halftime, extended the lead to 56-52 after 30 minutes and had to wait until the final 2 minutes to celebrate a well-deserved win.

Nick Calathes and James Gist each struck from downtown for an early 0-6 Panathinaikos lead. Ante Tomic hit a jump hook, igniting a 10-0 run in which Heurtel had all the remaining points for Barcelona. Stephane Lasme hit a jumper and Matt Lojeski added a fastbreak layup but free throws by Heurtel and Kevin Pangos restored a 13-10 Barcelona advantage. Nikos Pappas struck from downtown but Seraphin followed a reverse layup with foul shots for a 17-13 score after 10 minutes. Seraphin scored again and a fastbreak layup by Pierre Oriola made it 21-14. Adam Hanga scored in penetration and a mid-range jumper by Kyle Kuric kept Barcelona fully in charge, 25-17. Papapetrou and Dinos Mitoglou tried to change things for the guests but Kuric buried a triple and Heurtel downed a jumper for a 30-22 Barcelona lead. Papapetrou followed an up-and-under layup with a triple to bring Panathinaikos within 32-29. Tomic matched Papapetrou's dunk with a jump hook and a three-point play by Gist tied it at 34-34. A three-point play by Victor Claver and a put-back by Dinos Mitoglou fixed the halftime score at 37-36. A layup by Calathes and a dunk by Papapetrou gave the guests a 37-40 edge soon after the break. Claver's reverse slam and Heurtel's floater allowed a three-pointer by Pau Ribas to retake the lead for Barcelona at 44-42. Soon, Claver and Chris Singleton each struck from downtown and a three-point play by Seraphin made it a double-digit game, 53-42. Lasme dunked and Papapetrou added a triple to bring the guests back to life while Mitoglou and Lukas Lekavicius made it even closer, 56-52, after 30 minutes. A second-chance layup by Gist and a floater by Lekavicius tied the game, 56-56, early in the fourth quarter. Heurtel and Pappas traded baskets and a put-back layup by Seraphin restored a 60-58 Barcelona edge. DeShaun Thomas buried a triple but Oriola and Hanga gave their team a 66-61 lead with under 6 minutes left. Kuric bettered Georgios Papagiannis's dunk with a three-pointer, Papapetrou and Tomic exchanged layups and Heurtel buried a three-pointers to seal the outcome, 75-65, in the next-to-last minute.

Pivotal performer

Once again, Heurtel was the heart and soul of his team, finishing the game with 23 points on 6-of-8 two-point, 2-of-4 three-point and 5-of-5 free-throw shooting. He added 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 22.

Game-changing moment

Panathinaikos kept its chances alive, 69-65, with under 4 minutes left, but Tomic scored around the basket, then Heurtel and Hanga each struck from downtown in a 9-2 run that allowed Barcelona to seal the outcome and celebrate a truly important win.

Stellar stat

Barcelona led 15-9 in rebounds at halftime and ended up outrebounding Panathinaikos by 39-19 in this game. That is, Barcelona outrebounded the Greens by 24-10 in the second half, which allowed the hosts to dominate the game.

Did you notice?

Barcelona won the tie-break advantage if both teams finish the regular season with the same record. Panathinaikos had beaten Barcelona 76-70 on November 21. Barcelona not only won, but managed to do it by more than 6 points.

Next game:

In Round 19, Barcelona visits Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Thursday. A day later, Panathinaikos faces Zalgiris Kaunas on the road, too.

Thomas Heurtel - FC Barcelona Lassa - EB18
Friday, January 11, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: RADOVIC, SRETEN; PATERNICO, CARMELO; MOGULKOC, EMIN
Attendance: 5934 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
FC Barcelona Lassa17201923
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens13231616
End of Quarter1234
FC Barcelona Lassa17375679
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens13365268
FC Barcelona Lassa
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 SERAPHIN, KEVIN 15:58 14 5/5   4/5 6 1 7 1   2 1   4 3 19
3 PANGOS, KEVIN 15:30 2   0/1 2/4 1 1 2 3         2 5 7
5 RIBAS, PAU 20:10 3   1/5     1 1 3   1     2 1 1
6 SINGLETON, CHRIS 21:06 3 0/2 1/2     5 5 1   1     1 2 6
8 HANGA, ADAM 19:58 7 2/5 1/3   1 3 4 1         2 1 6
9 BLAZIC, JAKA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 SMITS, ROLANDS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 HEURTEL, THOMAS 26:25 23 6/8 2/4 5/5 1 1 2 3   4     2 4 22
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 18:54 4 2/2 0/2   1 1 2   1       2   3
24 KURIC, KYLE 14:22 8 1/2 2/3     1 1 1 1 1     1 2 9
30 CLAVER, VICTOR 23:35 8 2/2 1/5 1/1   1 1   1   1   1 1 7
44 TOMIC, ANTE 24:02 7 3/4   1/2 2 6 8 1 1 4     3 5 13
Team           3 3 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 79 21/30 8/25 13/17 15 24 39 14 4 14 2 0 20 24 98
        70% 32% 76.5%
Head coach: PESIC, SVETISLAV
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 17:40 6 1/3 1/2 1/2                 3 1  
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 9:08 2 1/1       1 1           2 1 2
7 LASME, STEPHANE 9:45 4 2/4               2     4   -4
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 36:56 17 5/7 2/5 1/2   3 3 2 4 1     2 3 20
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS 23:01 5 1/2 1/4     1 1 2 1       3   2
14 GIST, JAMES 23:53 8 2/5 1/2 1/1 4   4 1 1     2 2 2 8
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 KALAITZAKIS, GEORGIOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 22:30 8 2/6 1/1 1/2   1 1 2 1 2     3 5 7
24 LOJESKI, MATT 2:35 2 1/1     1 1 2 1         1   4
33 CALATHES, NICK 31:54 8 2/6 1/3 1/4   3 3 5 2 3     2 7 11
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 22:38 8 4/5     1 1 2 2 1       2 1 11
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 200:00 68 21/40 7/17 5/11 7 12 19 15 10 8 0 2 24 20 63
        52.5% 41.2% 45.5%
Head coach: PITINO, RICK

Head Coaches

PESIC, SVETISLAV
FC Barcelona Lassa

"We played a team that was with full energy and additional motivation, with a new coach and good concepts on defense. This is the reason why we are happy. Of course, winning a EuroLeague game, everybody is happy. Like always, it is important how we won the game against a team with very aggressive defense that came wanting to win the game, which is normal. We kept calm, sticking to our concepts, knowing what we wanted to play in the crucial moments of the game, and this, of course, is very important."

"We expected a team with additional motivation, big illusion and a new coach, of course, and I am not saying that they didn't play defense with Xavi (Pascual); they played great defense against us in the first game in Athens. But now, they are fighting for every victory because if they want to qualify to the playoffs, they must win one or another game away. This is what was very difficult for us, because we had a very difficult game two days ago and playing against a very aggressive team on defense and offense, everybody had the opportunity to see how the play. If you don't play defense and don't control the rebounds, they are really good in transition, like in the second quarter. But we are in a good rhythm and have confidence, and did a great job in the second half, on defense and getting 10 offensive rebounds in just 20 minutes. In the end, 15 offensive rebounds and 24 defensive rebounds, Panathinaikos had 7 offensive and 12 defensive rebounds. In the first game, Panathinaikos had 16 offensive rebounds. Of course, basketball not only defense or rebounds, but this is the basics. If you control offensive rebounds, you have a very good chance to improve your confidence and play good basketball. If you don't make long shots but have 10 offensive rebounds – Seraphin had 6 of those – then it is very difficult to lose the game. Plus, we had a 70% two-point shooting percentage, from the start until the end. It is difficult to lose the game doing that."

PITINO, RICK
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"It is very disheartening to play that hard and give a great effort like that and not only to lose, but to get dominated like that on the glass, 24-10 in the second half. They missed 14 shots and got 10 back. There is no tactics, there is no strategy with that, it is just total domination of getting the ball back on the glass. It was very disappointing to play such a good game in other areas and let that happen. I was brought here to just improve the team, not to look at the standings. We are getting better in certain areas but have some major issues physically. We have two starters out, we are getting dominated on the glass, so I don't think you worry about the standings when you lose the backboard like that."

Players

HEURTEL, THOMAS
FC Barcelona Lassa
"It was very important to win tonight. This is a good victory and we are very happy. I think we did a really good job in the second half on defense and offense. I think that everybody can be happy tonight. It is our fifth win in a row and we want to keep going, so we will try to win again next week."
SERAPHIN, KEVIN
FC Barcelona Lassa
"Right now we are in a pretty good rhythm so we have to keep going but yes, right now we are playing pretty good. Every game is important, you know? There is not even one game that we are able to see and think it is not important. We had a few losses in a row and now we are winning some games in a row, so we have to keep going. We know that everything can flip, so we need to stay focused and keep working."
THOMAS, DESHAUN
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
"It was the details that played a role in the end. The little things that made the difference were for Barcelona. You have to be tough when playing away. We must be ready to play away from Greece. We are a talented team and we have to put our minds to be a little more focused. It's enough to make one or two wins away from our headquarters and we'll still be there. We have to pay close attention to the details. "