Barcelona closes door early on visiting Khimki, 87-70
FC Barcelona Lassa followed its leader and protected its home court Thursday with a commanding 87-70 victory over Khimki Moscow Region to join the win column in Top 16 Group F. Both teams are 1-1 among a four-way tie behind undefeated leader Olympiacos Piraeus. Barcelona staked its first double-digit lead early in the second quarter and liked the feeling enough to double it, 49-29, as Tomas Satoransky beat the halftime buzzer with a jumper. Khimki rallied with a 2-11 run to within 76-64 late in the fourth quarter, but Satoransky reappeared with a triple to end the threat. Navarro and Pau Ribas led the winners with 14 points each, while Satoransky added 13, Ante Tomic 12, Shane Lawal and Justin Doellman 10 apiece. Tyrese Rice had 14 points, Alexey Shved 13 and James Augustine 11 for Khimki, which suffered from 3-for-23, or 13%, three-point shooting.
First quarter: Navarro puts Barcelona in charge
Dimitry Sokolov got Khimki going with a layup and a huge block on Tomic but a three-pointer by Stratos Perperoglou gave Barcelona its first lead, 3-2. Sokolov kept pacing Khimki with a dunk but Navarro did better with a catch-and-shoot triple. Rice hit a one-handed jumper off the dribble but Barcelona kept running its offense through Navarro, who nailed a six-meter jumper for an 8-6 score. Tomic dropped his trademark jump hook, as Khimki struggled to find open shots now. Shved tried to change things with a close basket which Satoransky matched with a wild reverse layup. Sergey Monya scored in transition and Rice scored in penetration but a three-pointer by Ribas kept Barcelona ahead, 15-12. Justin Doellman hit a mid-range jumper, Rice shined with another floater and a layup by Shane Lawal boosted the hosts' lead to 19-14. Rice and Doellman traded free throws and a layup by Lawal gave Barcelona a 23-16 edge after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Barcelona runs away
James Augustine scored in close early in the second quarter but Lawal quickly answered with a two-handed slam for a 25-18 score. Tyler Honeycutt and Samardo Samuels split free throws and another three-pointer by Ribas made it a double-digit game, 29-19, forcing Khimki to call timeout. Sokolov split free throw, Samuels hit both attempts and Ribas buried another one from beyond the arc to break the game open at 34-20. Shved answered from downtown and free throws by Petteri Koponen kept Khimki within 34-25. Samuels scored down low, Zoran Dragic answered with a driving layup and free throws by Navarro restored a 38-27 edge. Samuels and Tomic took over with consecutive dunks and a three-point play by Navarro made it a 17-point game, 45-28. Tomic found space for an uncontested layup, Augustine split free throws and a buzzer-beating jumper by Satoransky fixed the halftime score at 49-29.
Third quarter: Honeycutt, Rice bring Khimki closer
Tomic took over with an alley-oop layup immediately after the break but Shved did better with a bomb from downtown for a 51-32 score. Tomic kept going with a big basket in the low post but so did Shved with a driving layup. Tomic found Satoransky for a three-pointer, but Honeycutt shocked the crowd with a big dunk and a six-meter jumper by Augustine brought Khimki a bit closer, 56-38. Rice shined with a coast-to-coast basket and Honeycutt hit a circus shot, but an outstanding Navarro kept Barcelona way ahead, 60-42. Rice scored in penetration and a three-pointer by Satoransky restored a 63-44 Barcelona lead. Augustine tried to change things with a layup that Perperoglou matched with a six-meter jumper. Monya answered with a driving layup and Honeycutt dunked off a steal to get Khimki within 65-50. Honeycutt split free throws before a put-back layup by Ribas fixed the score at 67-51 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Barcelona seals win early
Koponen buried a step-back jumper early in the fourth quarter but Lawal matched it with a power layup for a 69-53 Barcelona lead. Ribas buried a three-pointer to force Khimki to call timeout at 72-53 with more than 7 minutes left. Khimki kept struggling to score and a dunk by Lawal seemed to seal the outcome at 74-53 after a 7-0 run. Both teams kept fighting for points differential in what promises to be a very balanced Group F. Augustine scored down low, Samuels dunked again and a three-pointer by Shved kept Khimki within 76-58. Dragic finished a great Khimki play with a layup and Rice scored around the basket to keep the guests within 76-62. Sokolov scored around the basket but Doellman beat the shot clock with a turnaround jumper. Dragic scored again and a three-pointer by Satoransky made it 81-66 and allowed all Barcelona fans to celebrate the win. Both teams kept trying but the hosts had cruised to a very important, well-deserved win.
Thursday, January 7, 2016