Jawai, Ingles lead Barcelona to 11th straight win
FC Barcelona Regal rallied from an early 15-point deficit to down Montepaschi Siena 69-77 on Friday night in Siena. The victory extended Barcelona’s winning streak to 11 games and improved its record to 12-1 atop Top 16 Group F, while Siena dropped its fourth consecutive game and now sits in a three-way tie for fourth place in the group at 7-6. Siena stormed in front 21-6 to open the game but Barcelona, which played without its top three scorers - Juan Carlos Navarro, Ante Tomic and Pete Mickeal – made a 2-17 run at the end of the first and a 4-11 run to start the second quarter to go up 29-24 and take the lead for good. The margin reached 48-61 near the end of the third quarter, and when Siena managed to come within 69-72, Marcelinho Huertas sealed the deal. Nate Jawai amassed career-highs of 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Barcelona in victory. Joe Ingles netted 20 points, and Huertas finished with 14 points plus 6 assists. Bobby Brown had 15 points and 6 assists for the hosts, while David Moss scored 12. Tomas Ress had all of his 10 points in the first half, and Kristjan Kangur also scored 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Hosts take big lead, Barca catches up
Siena stormed out of the gate as Ress nailed a three-pointer to start things before Brown hit a jumper and David Moss sank a three for a 10-0 lead in little over two minutes of play. After a timeout, Ingles opened Barcelona's account, but Aleksandar Rasic hit a triple and Ress followed it up with another one of his own to make it 16-2. After Jawai and Ingles scored more inside, Brown hit Siena's fifth shot from downtown for the biggest margin, 21-6. Barcelona, however, answered with back-to-back three-pointers from Huertas and Alex Abrines, as well as Jawai's follow dunk. The run continued when Ingles hit a triple, then Huertas and Ingles scored fastbreak layups on back-to-back possessions to tie it at 23-23 before Rasic made a driving layup to make it 25-23 after the first quarter.
Second quarter: Ingles, Jawai put Barcelona in front
Barcelona’s streak continued at the start of the second quarter. Abrines hit back-to-back jumpers, giving the visitors a 25-28 lead, and even though Moss hit a jumper and Benjamin Eze made an uncontested dunk for Siena, Ingles and Huertas hit back-to-back three-pointers for 29-34. The hosts tied the game at 36-36 with a triple from the left corner from Brown and a monster dunk from Viktor Sanikidze, but Jawai made basket-plus-free throw and a fastbreak two-handed slam to keep Barcelona in front. After Ress split free throws, Jawai muscled his way inside for another dunk and 40-45 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Barcelona extends the margin to double figures
Jawai made couple of dunks to start the third quarter before Moss and Victor Sada traded triples for 43-52. Sanikidze kept Siena within range with his offensive rebounding that produced a couple of put-backs, but Jawai answered with two easy baskets of his own after brilliant assists from Sada and Sarunas Jasikevicius. A jump shot from Jasikevicius and an awkward runner from Ingles made it 48-61, before Brown quickly answered with couple of layups. Benjamin Ortner converted a basket-plus-free throw to cut the deficit back into single digits, but Erazem Lorbek hit a shot, making it 55-66 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Huertas and Jawai seal the deal for Barcelona
A dunk from Moss and a triple from Kristjan Kangur cut it to 60-67 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but a tough baseline jumper from Sada kept the hosts at bay. Despite being in a comfortable situation, the visitors never stopped hustling for loose balls and controlling the glass. But Kangur’s three-pointer sparked the hosts’ run, and with a runner from Rasic and a pair of foul shots from Kangur cut it to 69-72. Huertas made a floater and Jawai grabbed a key offensive rebound with 32 seconds to go. Huertas sank both free throws to seal the deal and keep Barcelona’s winning streak alive.
Friday, March 29, 2013