Barcelona runs away late, beats Maccabi
FC Barcelona used a big second half to turn a tight affair into a 96-73 blowout of visiting Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Friday at Palau Blaugrana. Barcelona stayed perfect at home to to share a league-best 8-2 record with Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Maccabi dropped to 6-4 on the season. The teams were tied 55-55 midway through the third quarter, but Barcelona used a 14-2 run in the third and a 16-2 run in the fourth to run away with a big victory. Nikola Mirotic starred with 25 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and 3 assists for Barcelona. Cory Higgins added 15 points, while Alex Abrines and Kyle Kuric scored 12 apiece in a victory. Tyler Dorsey finished as the top Maccabi scorer with 15 points. John DiBartolomeo had 13 points, and Scottie Wilbekin netted 11 in a losing effort.
Mirotic opened the game with a three-pointer and had 7 points early, but Wilbekin had a triple and three-point play to keep Maccabi within 11-10. Barcelona got to the foul line often before a three-pointer by Malcolm Delaney late in the first quarter and another from the corner by Abrines opened a 24-18 margin. DiBartolomeo fueled Maccabi's reply with 7 points in a 0-12 run during which Wilbekin hit one from way downtown as the visitors went up 24-30. Barcelona got right back in it. Abrines tied the game from downtown, and after DiBartolomeo knocked down back-to-back triples, Ante Tomic scored twice inside to help make it 38-36. Maccabi answered with more back-to-back triples, this time from Dorsey and Quincy Acy, and the visitors took 43-46 lead in to halftime. Mirotic hit a pair of threes early in the third, and after Othello Hunter's three-point play for Maccabi, Barcelona went on a 14-2 run with Abrines and Delaney each drilling a three-pointer and Higgins scoring 6 points to open a 69-57 advantage. Back-to-back threes from Dorsey cut the difference to 74-66 heading into the fourth, but the hosts opened the final quarter with a 16-2 blast fueled by 9 points from Kyle Kuric, including a pair of three-pointers, that broke the game open at 90-68 with 3:38 to go. The hosts cruised the rest of the way, leading by as many as 26 points to stay at the top of the standings.
Barcelona took the lead for good with a 14-2 third-quarter run with Cory Higgins and Alex Abrines in main roles. But Maccabi was hanging close until Barcelona started the fourth quarter with a 15-2 run in which Pierre Oriola had one triple and Kyle Kuric knocked down a pair, to break a tight game wide open.
Nikola Mirotic scored 25 points in 27 minutes to pace Barcelona. He also led his team with a career-best 14 rebounds, and also was a co-leader on the night with 3 assists.
Both teams took good control of the ball in the first half, with Maccabi committing 5 turnovers and Barcelona just 4 before halftime. Neither team allowed a single steal in the first two quarters. But Barcelona forced 11 more turnovers in the second half, which led to a stellar defensive performance and a runaway victory after the break.
In this game Barcelona center Ante Tomic reached two milestones, becoming only 10th player to register 150 blocked shots for his career, and also just the fourth player to grab at least 500 offensive rebounds. He is the only player besides CSKA Moscow's Kyle Hines to achieve both milestones in competition history.
Next week in Round 11 both teams will be at home. Barcelona will welcome the defending champs CSKA Moscow, while Maccabi will hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.
Friday, November 22, 2019