2021-22Regular SeasonRound 22
January 20, 2022 CET: 17:00
Local time: 19:00 BASKET HALL KAZAN

Browns lead UNICS to first-ever win over Barcelona

UNICS Kazan collected its first victory in history over FC Barcelona by prevailing 70-64 at home in a defensive slugfest. Despite having its last three games postponed, UNICS saw Lorenzo Brown score 22 points with 8 assists and John Brown added 20 points and 7 steals while Mario Hezonja chipped in 11 points and 11 rebounds to move to 12-7 including 11 wins in the last 14 games. Barcelona used a 2-14 run to lead 17-24 midway through the second quarter, and the guests remained ahead until midway through the third quarter when UNICS reeled off 12 straight points to lead by six points. The hosts kept up the defensive pressure and built the lead to 10 points in the closing minutes to get the win after famously wasting a 15-point lead and losing in overtime in Spain. Barcelona for its part welcomed back Nick Calathes but did not have the services of Nikola Mirotic in dropping its third game in the last four for a 17-5 record. Cory Higgins scored 17 points and Brandon Higgins picked up 16 points but no other Barcelona players scored more than 8 points.

Nicolas Laprovittola was first to score in the game with a three-pointer after nearly 2 minutes for Barcelona. Hezonja answered at the other end with an alley-oop dunk and then John Brown scored five straight points for a 7-3 lead. Barcelona went scoreless for 3 minutes until Nigel Hayes-Davis’ three free throws. John Brown added two more scores as the lead grew to 13-8. Davies picked up a steal and layup to pull within one points before John Brown’s free throws gave UNICS a 17-14 lead after 10 minutes for 11 points.

Barcelona held UNICS scoreless for nearly 3 minutes to start the second quarter and Higgins drained two triples in a 0-10 run to go up 17-24. Lorenzo Brown ended the drought with a putback and Andrey Vorontsevich trimmed it to 24-28 with a three-point play. Laprovittola punched back with a three-pointer but Lorenzo Brown answered with six straight points to make it 30-31. Sertac Sanli ended a 3-minute scoreless stretch and Barcelona led 31-35 at the break.

Davies opened the second half for the guests with Isaiah Canaan hitting a three-pointer at the other end for his first points of the game and make it 34-37. Laprovittola converted to give Barcelona a 35-41 cushion, but UNICS continued to dictate the grinding pace. The hosts held the league’s number one scoring team scoreless for more than 5 minutes and Hezonja drained a three-pointer among his five points in a 12-0 run to pull ahead 47-41. Kyle Kuric finally got Barcelona going again with three-pointer and Higgins cut it back to one point. But Vorontsevich drained a triple and Hezonja converted a layup at the buzzer of the third quarter to lead 54-48 after 30 minutes.

Higgins started the final frame with a three-point play to trim the gap to three points. But the Barcelona offense was stalling. Lorenzo Brown hit a three-pointer and John Brown also scored as the advantage grew to nine points - 61-52. Davies threw down a dunk for Barcelona’s first basket in nearly 4 minutes only to see Lorenzo Brown’s floater pushed the cushion to double figures 66-56 with 3 minutes to play. Kuric hit a big three-pointer and Hayes-Davis scored inside but Lorenzo Brown converted two free throws with 97 seconds left to make it 68-61. And Barcelona could not muster any more of a fight.

John Brown steals his way to personal mark

John Brown came into the game as the EuroLeague’s leader in steals and he only increased his average with a new personal record. Brown swiped 7 steals for a new career high after having picked up 5 steals five times this season, including the last two games. The seven steals is also the most in the EuroLeague this season - Nando de Colo, Daniel Hackett and Nicolo Melli all had grabbed 6 steals in a game. And it’s the most steals in a game in the league since Yogev Ohayon had 8 steals on November 20, 2014 against Limoges CSP.

Calathes out of rhythm offensively in return

Despite the loss, Barcelona can be happy about the return of Nick Calathes, who played his first game since Round 10 after breaking his leg. The Greek playmaker went scoreless with five missed shots in 20:00 minutes while picking up 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Barcelona coach Sarunas Jasikevicius said he played Calathes more than he wanted to because of the struggles of Nicolas Laprovittola and Rokas Jokubaitis, who both committed 4 turnovers in the loss - Laprovittola scoring 8 points with 2 assists and Jokubaitis picking up 2 points and 1 assist.

Telling numbers: Barcelona’s offense slowed to a crawl

The biggest number was 64 - as in the number of points Barcelona scored: the fewest all season and 19.9 fewer than the team’s average as the number one scoring team in the league. Barcelona collected only 10 assists - 8.9 fewer than its league-high average - and the number one three-point shooting team at 41.3% was held to 31.8% from long range. In addition to playing good defense, UNICS also managed to shoot 58.8% on two-pointers - much higher than Barcelona’s 41.0% performance from close range.

John Brown - UNICS Kazan - EB21
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Euroleague.net
Referees: LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT; KOROMILAS, ELIAS; BISSANG, JOSEPH
Attendance: 5251 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
UNICS Kazan17142316
FC Barcelona14211316
End of Quarter1234
UNICS Kazan17315470
FC Barcelona14354864
UNICS Kazan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 SPISSU, MARCO 4:42               2   1         1
00 BROWN, JOHN 33:23 20 8/14   4/7 1 3 4 1 7 2     4 4 21
3 CANAAN, ISAIAH 25:39 6 0/1 1/4 3/3   1 1   1 3 1   3 2 1
4 BROWN, LORENZO 35:18 22 8/10 1/3 3/4 1 2 3 8 1 2     3 5 29
5 BRANTLEY, JARRELL 2:18                           1 1
8 ZAITCEV, VIACHESLAV 8:27         1 2 3 1     1       5
11 HEZONJA, MARIO 37:33 11 2/6 1/4 4/4   11 11 1   7 1 1 2 4 11
12 KLIMENKO, ARTEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 UZINSKII, DMITRII 8:21   0/1 0/1         1   1     3   -5
23 JEKIRI, TONYE 18:29 5 1/1   3/4 1 2 3 1 1 1 1   2 3 10
33 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 25:50 6 1/1 1/2 1/1 1 4 5 2   1     2 3 12
44 KOMOLOV, ARTEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team             3 3               3
Totals 200:00 70 20/34 4/14 18/23 5 28 33 17 10 18 4 1 19 22 89
        58.8% 28.6% 78.3%
Head coach: PERASOVIC, VELIMIR
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
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 24:04 16 5/11 1/1 3/4 2 2 4   2 1     3 4 15
1 EXUM, DANTE LIMAN 1:23                              
5 SANLI, SERTAC 13:22 2 1/3     1 2 3     1 1   4 1  
8 MARTINEZ, SERGI 17:35   0/2 0/2     2 2     1     1   -4
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 15:05 6 2/3 0/2 2/2 2 4 6   1       4 2 8
14 HAYES-DAVIS, NIGEL 26:18 5 1/5 0/1 3/3       1         1 2 2
20 LAPROVITTOLA, NICOLAS 26:28 8 1/2 2/4   1 1 2 2 1 4   1 4 2 3
22 HIGGINS, CORY 21:46 17 4/7 2/5 3/3 1   1 1 1 2   2 2 4 12
24 KURIC, KYLE 23:09 6   2/5   1 1 2   2 1     2 2 6
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 9:39 2 1/2       2 2 1   4          
46 NNAJI, JAMES 1:11 2 1/1                         2
99 CALATHES, NICK 20:00   0/3 0/2     4 4 5   1   1 1 2 3
Team           3 1 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 64 16/39 7/22 11/12 11 19 30 10 7 16 1 4 22 19 50
        41% 31.8% 91.7%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS

Head Coaches

PERASOVIC, VELIMIR
UNICS Kazan

“We had excellent defense the whole game like John Brown, who had some crazy moments. Lorenzo Brown had an excellent second half as well for us. Other guys helped a lot: rebounds for Mario [Hezonja], some important shots by Canaan, Vorontsevich. But today was a team victory and I congratulate my players for this victory.”

“First off, congratulations to my players. They played really hard all game. Even in the difficult moments when Barcelona played better than us we kept our concentration and finally found a way to win. It was a defensive game because both teams had problems on offense. Today our offense was slow without the possibility of playing transition offense, to make some points in transition, which is always our goal. But today Barcelona stopped us. We needed to play a sometimes ugly, but very tough game.”

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
FC Barcelona
“Congrats to Peras [Coach Perasovic] and Kazan. Two teams in the top six or seven in the EuroLeague right now: it’s a big game. All of the big games are decided by details. I thought defensively we were solid except for the end of the third where they had a run at us with some cheap points. Defensively a huge problem was fouling the shooters, which we did four times. We’ve been emphasizing this. But obviously, we as coaches are not doing a good job. Offensively we were out of rhythm. We are very happy that we have Calathes and Higgins back. We will suffer with them until they get back into the rhythm. They are extremely important players for us. But I think we just didn’t have enough good performances. I thought Higgins was excellent. I thought Davies was okay, solid. But I cannot find a third player that was solid. And with one and half, two players to win in Kazan when UNICS are putting up these great defensively numbers, it’s just not enough. We were not good enough.”

Players

BROWN, JOHN
UNICS Kazan
“Of course we wanted to win this game. We owed those guys. It was a good atmosphere, our fans came out and showed up for us. It’s always beautiful to see them, they give us so much motivation in these types of games. [The most difficult part in the win was] just staying focused in the end: loose balls, turnovers in the end. That’s what we focused on."
BROWN, LORENZO
UNICS Kazan
“It feels amazing. It was two great teams battling out there. We just came out with the victory and that’s what matters most.”