2020-21Regular SeasonRound 14
December 16, 2020 CET: 19:00
Local time: 19:00 PALAU BLAUGRANA

Mirotic leads Barcelona to home win

FC Barcelona stayed stop the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings by downing Khimki Moscow Region 87-74 at Palau Blaugrana on Wednesday. Barcelona improved to 11-3 in the standings and remained undefeated against Khimki at home with its sixth consecutive win against the Russian powerhouse. Meanwhile, Khimki dropped to 2-12 and is now on a six-game losing streak. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 24 points. Cory Higgins added 20 points, Alex Abrines 13 and Pierre Oriola 10 for Barcelona, while Nick Calathes dished 12 assists. Alexey Shved led Khimki with 22 points. The guests also got 13 each from Sergey Karasev and Jordan Mickey. Barcelona led 32-25 at the end of a high-scoring first quarter, boosting its margin to 51-41 at halftime and then again to 69-53 after 30 minutes, never looking back.

Higgins needed just 6 seconds to strike from downtown and Mirotic added a jump hook for a 5-2 lead. Abrines downed a triple and Mirotic added consecutive fastbreak layups, giving the hosts a 14-7 edge. Vyacheslav Zaytsev and Dairis Bertans each struck from beyond the arc for Khimki and Jordan Mickey added an alley-oop slam. Nonetheless, Mirotic and Oriola boosted Barcelona's lead to 24-15. Shved stepped up with a tip-in and a three-pointer, getting help from Karasev to get Khimki within 27-23. Rolands Smits and Adam Hanga restored a 32-25 Barcelona lead after 10 minutes. Mickey posted a three-point play and a jumper early in the second quarter and Shved hit a runner. Brandon Davies and Smits, however, kept the hosts ahead, 36-32. Shved fed Devin Booker for a huge alley-oop slam but Davies scored down low and Higgins added a three-point play at 41-36. Shved struck from way beyond the arc and Karasev sank a jumper, then Mirotic followed a floater with a jumper, getting help from Higgins and Abrines to make it 51-41 at halftime. Abrines and Karasev traded threes right after the break, then Booker and Zaytsev hit layups to give Khimki hope at 54-48. Mirotic rescued Barcelona with 4 quick points and Abrines fired in his third triple for a 61-51 score. Davies and Oriola stepped up before a layup by Mirotic fixed the score at 69-53 after 30 minutes. Kyle Kuric, Shved and Stefan Jovic each struck from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter. Karasev scored off a steal to bring Khimki within single digits, 72-64, with over 6 minutes left. Barcelona found a go-to guy in Higgins, who had 7 points in a 9-0 run that sealed the outcome, 81-63, with 3 minutes remaining.

Pivotal performer

Once again, Mirotic was highly effective on offense, helped on the boards, and made sure his team added another win. He finished the game with 24 points on 7-for-8 two-point, 2-for-3 three-point and 4-of-4 free-throw shooting, adding 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 7 fouls drawn for a PIR of 34.

Game-changing moment

A three-pointer by Shved brought Khimki within 42-39 late in the first half. Mirotic stepped up with a floater and a jumper, igniting an 11-2 run that bridged the halves. Abrines capped the run with a bomb from downtown, giving Barcelona a 54-41 margin which the hosts handled well until the final buzzer.

Stellar stat

Barcelona shot really well from beyond the arc and took great care of the ball. The hosts nailed 10 of 15 three-point shots (66.7%) while Khimki only make 11 of 36 (30.6%). Barcelona finished the game with 26 assists and only 13 turnovers.

Did you know?

Shved played his 150th EuroLeague game on the night of his 32nd birthday. He just needed 150 games to score 2,470 points and dish 689 assists. No other player with 150 games or less matches Shved's achievements: Vasilije Micic had 639 assists in 137 games, and Keith Langford amassed 2,289 points in 143 showdowns.

Next game

Both teams return to EuroLeague action later in 48 hours, on Friday. Khimki visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne that night, tipping off 15 minutes before Barcelona hosts Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv, a big team in the history of Barca head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius.

Nikola Mirotic - FC Barcelona - EB20
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI; DIFALLAH, MEHDI; PANTHER, ANNE
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
FC Barcelona32191818
Khimki Moscow Region25161221
End of Quarter1234
FC Barcelona32516987
Khimki Moscow Region25415374
FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 13:38 6 2/5   2/4 3   3 4   1   1 2 3 7
8 HANGA, ADAM 22:55 3 0/2 1/2     2 2 4   3     2   1
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 14:42 4 1/3   2/4   1 1 1   1     1 2 2
13 HEURTEL, THOMAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 PUSTOVYI, ARTEM 2:06                     1       1
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 22:10 10 2/4   6/8   1 1 1 1 2 1   3 5 10
21 ABRINES, ALEX 22:41 13 0/1 3/5 4/4 1 3 4 2 1       4 2 15
22 HIGGINS, CORY 27:29 20 3/5 2/2 8/8   3 3     1     1 8 27
23 MARTINEZ, SERGI 10:20           3 3 1   1     2 1 2
24 KURIC, KYLE 20:29 6   2/3   1 2 3     1     1   6
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 23:50 24 7/8 2/3 4/4 1 3 4 1 2 1     1 7 34
99 CALATHES, NICK 19:40 1 0/2   1/2   3 3 12   2     1 1 11
Team             2 2     2          
Totals 200:00 87 15/30 10/15 27/34 6 23 29 26 4 15 2 1 18 29 116
        50% 66.7% 79.4%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
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
Khimki Moscow Region
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 SHVED, ALEXEY 35:06 22 3/6 5/12 1/3 2 7 9 6 3 4     3 5 26
3 MCCOLLUM, ERRICK 4:11           1 1     2     1   -2
6 TIMMA, JANIS 6:02   0/1 0/2           1           -2
7 KARASEV, SERGEY 21:06 13 3/3 2/5 1/2 1 1 2 1 3 1 1   4 1 12
8 ZAYTSEV, VYACHESLAV 19:32 5 1/3 1/1   1   1 3 1 2   1 2   3
12 MONIA, SERGEY 10:38     0/1         2   1     4   -4
17 ODINOKOV, VLADISLAV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
24 JOVIC, STEFAN 19:25 3 0/1 1/3   1   1 1 2       3   1
31 BOOKER, DEVIN 23:44 8 3/5   2/2 1 4 5 1   1   1 5 4 9
33 JEREBKO, JONAS 22:41 2 1/3 0/4   1 1 2 2   1     3   -4
45 BERTANS, DAIRIS 14:38 8 1/1 2/4   2   2 1         2 1 8
55 MICKEY, JORDAN 22:57 13 5/10 0/3 3/5 2 3 5     1     2 7 12
Team           4 1 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 74 17/33 11/35 7/12 15 18 33 17 10 14 1 2 29 18 63
        51.5% 31.4% 58.3%
Head coach: KURTINAITIS, RIMAS

Head Coaches

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
FC Barcelona
"I don't know what happened to us before the game but we didn't come out with the right mentality and although we had a really unbelievable first half, we couldn't really stop them. In the third quarter, we stopped them a little bit and at the same time, when we broke the game, we started to play for the score and Khimki gets back in the game. Yes, they hit a lot of difficult shots, Shved, but when you have a plan, you must follow it and a lot of times we didn't follow it. But I am happy about the win. There is not much time to practice all EuroLeague season, this is the reality."
KURTINAITIS, RIMAS
Khimki Moscow Region
"I just want to congratulate Sarunas [Jasikevicius] and his team, Barcelona, for a good game. It was a tough game, as we expected. Now, Barcelona is playing well. They have a lot of games, we knew Barcelona's schedule and tried to play fast, but we are not in the right shape right now, because our shooting percentage at this speed is not as good as we usually get. We lost some balance in two and three-point shots; as you saw, we took 35 three-point shots and Barcelona took 34 free throws, so this is what we need to get better at, to try to take the right decisions, especially on offense. We need to be aggressive to draw fouls, then we need to take three-point shots and pass the ball and we are having problems with that. As I said before the game, Saras is going a great job. He has great players and puts them for the team's results. At the moment, we have problems with that because some of our players take maybe too much by themselves. He has really made a team with good quality players. This is great, because basketball is a team game. He has discipline on defense and offense. What I told my players today about discipline is this: if Kuric would play like you, he would take 20 three-point shots because he is the best scorer in the EuroLeague. He is not a shooter, he is a scorer, but he is waiting because Sarunas knows discipline is important for a team. He waits until he has two open shots and makes them. This is what I want to say: Sarunas separates strong players from team play, on defense and offense. This is not usual but he did it with Zalgiris, too, and it is Zeljko Obradovic's style. We play a little bit different. We play with more freedom and for that, we need to be in good condition."

Players

MIROTIC, NIKOLA
FC Barcelona
"No doubt, we obviously played a good game tonight. I am very happy for the win. I think we could have played better defense today. We really started good in the third quarter, but we knew we played against a very good offensive team. Shved made really tough shots and they got back in the game. We knew it was going to be hard, but we won, we are happy and want to keep building on this and think about the next one. We need to be more consistent. We have to try to find the way to play for 40 minutes, especially on defense. We cannot always play great offense but even today we scored 87, so we have to find the way to play better defense, rebound the ball more, talk more in transition... because we are capable! We have a really athletic team, two-meter point guards like Adam [Hanga] and Nick [Calathes], so I think we are going to be fine. We are working well and improving our game."
MICKEY, JORDAN
Khimki Moscow Region
"I feel we played a good game. We took too many threes down the stretch. We needed to go inside a little bit more. But we missed some shots that we normally make and they were able to capitalize on our mistakes and get in transition. I just think we have to play a little bit better defense and we will be fine."
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