Barcelona wins showdown with Besiktas for share of Group D lead
FC Barcelona Regal took the showdown between undefeated teams in Group D by downing Besiktas JK Istanbul 72-60 at home on Thursday. Barcelona is now tied with CSKA for first place at 3-0, with Besiktas right behind at 2-1. Nate Jawai scored 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to lead the winners, while Ante Tomic, Pete Mickeal and Marcelinho Huertas added 11 points apiece. Huertas and Erazem Lorbek shined early to give Barcelona a 16-7 lead. An outstanding Curtis Jerrells brought Besiktas within 20-18 after 10 minutes. A tip-in by Baris Hersek completed Besiktas' comeback, 24-26. Sarunas Jasikevicius rescued Barcelona and a jumper by C.J. Wallace gave the hosts a 36-34 halftime edge. An 8-0 run that Tomic capped with a free throw made it a double-digit game, 52-42. Besiktas managed to get within 62-57 with three minutes to go but Jawai and Huertas were too strong in crunch time and kept Barcelona out of trouble until the final buzzer. Jerrells paced Besiktas with 18 points and Damir Markota added 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Besiktas rallies, gets close
Pete Mickeal got Barcelona going with a big basket in the low post - and the free throw that came with it. Besiktas struggled to score in the opening two minutes until Jerrells struck from downtown. Tomic split free throws and Erazem Lorbek sank a jump hook for a 6-3 Barcelona lead. Tomic kept pacing the hosts with a tip-in and Lorbek added a put-back layup to boost the hosts' lead to 10-3. Gasper Vidmar hit an off-balance shot, which Jawai matched with a put-back slam. Jerrells hit free throws, but Marcelinho stepped up with back-to-back floating jumpers, good for a 16-7 Barcelona margin. Patrick Christopher rescued Besiktas with a fallaway jumper that Joe Ingles copied in the other end. Jerrells found space for an uncontested layup and a three-pointer by Christopher brought the guests closer, 19-14. Vidmar scored down low and free throws by Jerrells kept Besiktas within 20-18 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: good defense, good game
Vidmar shined with a backdoor layup early in the second quarter, as Barcelona struggled to score until Jawai hit a jump hook. Tomic added a close basket to give Barcelona some fresh air at 24-20. Vidmar stayed on fire with a power layup as Barcelona tried to improve its ball circulation by bringing Sarunas Jasikevicius off the bench. Cehver Ozer made free throws and Baris Hersek took over with a tip-in to complete the guests' comeback, 24-26. Mickeal scored in the paint, but Hersek erased that with a baseline jumper. Jasikevicius buried a mid-range shot and follow that with a rainbow jumper to put his team back ahead, 30-28. Christopher shined with a high-flying put-back layup and then matched Jawai's jump hook with a backdoor basket for a 32-32 tie. Ingles fed Xabi Rabaseda for an alley-oop slam but Serhat Cetin answered with a long jumper for a 34-34 tie. A jumper by C.J. Wallace restored a 36-34 Barcelona lead at the break.
Third quarter: an 8-0 run puts Barcelona ahead
Barcelona improved its defense after the break and free throws by Huertas gave his team a 38-34 lead. Randal Falker stepped up with a power basket, but Jawai answered with a jump hook at the other end. Damir Markota made foul shots - his first points of the night – but Lorbek beat the buzzer with a wild baseline jumper. Rabaseda sent the crowd to their feet with a one-handed alleyoop dunk, which caused Besiktas to call timeout at 44-38. Ozer tried to change things with a put-back basket and a driving layup by Jerrells brought the guests as close as 44-42. Huertas gave Barcelona some fresh air with a three-pointer and Tomic added a layup for a 49-42 score. Ingles and Tomic capped an 8-0 run with free throws to make it a double-digit game, 52-42. Jerrells scored in penetration and soon added foul shots to get Besiktas within 53-46 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Barcelona seals the win
Both teams struggled to score for nearly two minutes until Jerrells shined with another driving layup. Wallace immediately answered with an off-balance jumper and Tomic added a layup in transition to keep Barcelona out of trouble at 57-48. Ozer struck from downtown but once again Wallace sank a catch-and-shoot jumper. Besiktas tried twin point guards with Jerrells and Tutku Acik together on court. Markota beat the shot clock with a corner triple, but Jawai gave Barcelona a 60-54 edge with over four minutes to go. Barcelona improved its defense off a timeout and Jawai took over with a big dunk. Besiktas struggled to find open shots until Markota hit another triple for a 62-57 score with three minutes to go. Huertas scored in penetration and a backdoor layup by Jawai sealed the outcome, 64-57, with 2:08 left. Besiktas called timeout and never gave up, but Barcelona cruised to an important win.
Thursday, October 25, 2012