FC Barcelona Regal beat Unics 56-67
Regal FC Barcelona made it to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four! Barcelona made it to the Final Four for the 12th time in club history - his third appearance in four years - by edging Eurocup champion Unics 56-67 in Kazan, Russia in Game 3 of the playoffs on Tuesday. Barcelona swept the best-of-five playoff series and will face either Montepaschi Siena or Olympiacos BC in one of the Euroleague semifinals in Istanbul, Turkey on May 11. Barcelona also registered its fifth win against Unics in as many games this season. Juan Carlos Navarro paced the winners with 21 points. Marcelinho Huertas had all of its 9 points in the fourth quarter, in which Barcelona sealed the outcome. Henry Domercant led Unics with 19 points. Terrell Lyday added 12 for the hosts. Domercant helped Unics to get an early 10-4 l4ad but Navarro and Lorbek brought Barcelona within 19-17 after 10 minutes. A fallaway jumper by Domercant soon gave Unics its only double-digit lead, 32-22, late in the first half. Navarro and Ndong fueled the guests' comeback and allowed Barcelona to get a 38-39 edge. A layup by Alksey Savrasenko made Unics tie the game, 50-50, with 8 minutes left but C.J. Wallace, Fran Vazquez and Chuck Eidson combined for all points in a 0-10 run that sealed the outcome, 50-60, sending Barcelona to the Final Four!
Lynn Greer got Unics going with a four-meter jumper, as the hosts tried to use long possessions from the very beginning. Barcelona went scoreless in the opening 2
minutes and a three-pointer by Domercant gave Unics a 5-0 lead. Erazem Lorbek rescued Barcelona with free throws but Kelly McCarty copied him at the other end. Navarro swished a running jumper that Domercant bettered with a triple off a screen to make it a six-point game, 10-4. Navarro answered from downtown and Lorbek shined with a jump hook in transition for a 10-9 score. Nathan Jawai stepped up with foul shots and a three-pointer by Pete Mickeal tied it at 12-12. Unics kept running its offense through Jawai, who took over with a power basket. Navarro and Greer traded triples but free throws by Boni Ndong tied the game again, 17-17. Barcelona kept missing open shots and a jump hook by Vladimir Veremeenko put the hosts back ahead, 19-17, after 10 minutes.
Jawai picked up his third foul early in the second quarter, forcing Unics coach Evgeny Pashutin to change its game plan. Both teams went scoreless for almost 2 minutes
until Domercant stepped up with free throws. Barcelona could not find the way to the basket and entered the foul bonus really early in this period. Vazquez made foul shots that Domercant matched at the other end. Wallace split foul shots and a backdoor layup by Mike Wilkinson gave Unics a 25-20 margin. Lyday hit 1-of-2 from the foul line off a timeout but Victor Sada kept Barcelona within 26-21. Domercant downed a mid-range jumper and a layup by Savrasenko boosted the hosts' lead to 30-22. Unics kept dominating the game tempo and Domercant beat the shot clock with a fallaway jumper that made it a double-digit game, 32-22. Navarro buried an open triple and even when Lyday hit free throws, Lorbek beat the buzzer with his own shot from downtown for a 34-28 Barceloba deficit at halftime.
Barcelona tried to speed up the game tempo after the break, as Jawai picked up his fourth foul. Domercant stepped up with his trademark five-meter jumper off the elbow but a three-pointer by Sada kept the guests within 36-31. Jawai set the crowd on fire with a dunk that Navarro matched with a left-handed floating layup. Unics entered the foul bonus midway through the third quarter and Barcelona tried to attack the basket to make the most out of it. Ndong scored around the basket and followed that with a five-meter jumpe to force Unics to call timeout at 38-37. Ndong scored again to complete the guests' comeback, 38-39. Vereemenko tried to change things with a close basket but free throws by Navarro put Barcelona back ahead, 40-41. Bostjan Nachbar made free throws but Navarro bettered it with a seven-meter bomb and soon added a six-meter jumper to boost his team's lead to 42-46. A wild triple by Domercant fixed the score at 45-46 after 30 minutes.
Lyday took over with a layup-plus-foul early in the fourth quarter, as Unics raised its defensive intensity. Marcelinho Huertas shined with a driving layup - his first points - and Jawai fouled out with over 7 minutes left. Wallace took over with a reverse layup that Savrasenko erased in the other end. Lyday missed twice from downtown and Eidson, who had been scoreless until now, buried a three-pointer to put Barcelona back ahead, 50-53. Vazquez hit free throws that Wallace nailed a critical triple off a timeout to boost the guests' lead to 50-58. Unics struggled to score right when it mattered and free throws by Vazquez made it a double-digit game, 50-60, after a 0-10 run. Lyday tried to change things with a layup-plus-foul but Huertas followed an unbelievable rainbow three-pointer with a driving basket that sealed the outcome, 53-65, allowing all Barcelona players to celebrate that they will keep fighting for Euroleague glory at the 2012 Final Four!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012