Barcelona rallies past CSKA
FC Barcelona rallied from a double-digit margin in the fourth quarter to beat CSKA Moscow 81-73 at Palau Blaugrana on Wednesday. Barcelona improved to 8-2 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings while CSKA dropped to 5-5. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 21 points, Brandon Davies added 14, Kyle Kuric 13 and Nick Calathes 10 for Barcelona. Johannes Voigtmann paced CSKA with 21 points and Toko Shengelia added 17 for the guests. Barcelona led 38-27 at halftime, but CSKA buried 8 three-point shots in the third quarter - Voigtmann buried 4, Shengelia 2 and Marius Grigonis and Nikita Kurbanov 1 each - to lead 51-60 after 30 minutes. Mirotic had 8 points in a game-changing 19-3 run that put Barcelona ahead for good, 70-64, and he made sure his team held on late.
Iffe Lundberg got CSKA going with a put-back layup and Sertac Sanli and Calathes soon gave CSKA its first lead, 4-3. Toko Shengelia stepped up with a reverse layup that Calathes erased with a floater. Marius Grigonis and Shengelia helped the visitors gain a 7-9 lead. Jokubaitis hit back-to-back shots, but Shengelia banked in a running shot and got help from Grigonis and Will Clyburn to set an 11-13 CSKA edge. Jokubaitis kept pacing Barcelona with another jumper, fixing the score at 13-13 after 10 minutes.
Davies scored in the low post and Kyle Kuric dunked off a steal for a 17-13 Barcelona lead early in the second quarter. Clyburn and Kuric traded three-pointers and Daniel Hackett added a fastbreak layup for a 20-18 score. Kuric downed a jumper and Calathes added a put-back layup for a 24-19 Barcelona lead. Sanli matched Lundberg's driving layup with a tip-in and Mirotic stepped up with a couple of layups and a bomb from beyond the arc, boosting his team to 33-24. Kuric and Voigtmann exchanged three-pointers and Davies banked in a shot to fix the halftime score at 38-27.
Kuric struck again from beyond the arc immediately after the break. Voigtmann buried three consecutive three-pointers in a 0-11 run that gave CSKA hope at 41-38. Calathes stepped up with a layup, but Shengelia scored in the low post, then a red-hot Voigtmann followed a fast break slam with his fifth triple for a 43-45 edge. Shengelia also struck twice from downtown to force Barcelona to stop the game at 45-51. Davies and Rolands Smits tried to change things for the hosts but Clyburn and Nikita Kurbanov boosted the margin to 49-57. Grigonis improved on Calathes's layup with a turnaround three-pointer at the end of the third quarter for a 51-60 CSKA lead.
Grigonis made it a double-digit game, 51-61, early in the fourth quarter. Sanli buried a three-pointer and then Mirotic added his trademark backdoor layup to bring the hosts within 58-61. Nigel Hayes-Davis buried a mid-range jumper and Davies completed Barcelona's comeback with a hook, 62-61, after an 11-0 run. Shengelia struck from downtown, but Mirotic followed a tip-in with a jump hook for a 66-64 edge. Mirotic kept pushing his team and Jokubaitis added a layup that made it a 6-point game with over 4 minutes left. Shengelia swished a three-pointer, Mirotic somehow hit an off-balance shot and Davies gave Barcelona a 75-67 margin with over 2 minutes remaining. Shved hit a jumper but Davies matched it with a jumper to seal the outcome, 77-69, as CSKA did not recover.
Mirotic steps up late to win
FC Barcelona trailed by double digits, 51-61, early in the fourth quarter of his team's big showdown against CSKA Moscow. Nikola Mirotic knew it was his moment and did not disappoint any Barcelona fan at Palau Blaugrana. He had a backdoor layup, a tip-in, a jump hook and a pair of free throws in a 19-3 run that put Barcelona ahead for good, 70-64. Mirotic went on to score one of the biggest baskets in this game, an off-balance shot in the paint that restored a 72-67 margin. Mirotic had 12 of his 21 points in the final 10 minutes, finishing the game with 8 rebounds, 5 fouls drawn and a PIR of 27.
CSKA's amazing third quarter
Things did not look good for CSKA Moscow at halftime of its Round 10 game against FC Barcelona - it trailed by 11 points at halftime (38-27) and Kyle Kuric buried a three-pointer right after the break. CSKA did not panic and used a rain of three-pointers to return to the game. Johannes Voigtmann got the party started with three consecutive bombs from downtown. He buried another one, Toko Shengelia added back-to-back triples and then Nikita Kurbanov and Marius Grigonis each hit one from beyond the arc. Those 8 three-point shots matched the record for most scored in the third quarter of a EuroLeague game - Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (2011), Montepaschi Siena (2012) and Maccabi Tel Aviv (2015) also did that in the past.
By the numbers: Barcelona was effective in the paint
FC Barcelona showed up to its game against CSKA Moscow with a different game plan, trying to take as many two-point shots as possible. Barcelona only took 12 three-point shots against CSKA, but had 51 attempts inside the arc, tying for the most by any team all season; AS Monaco also shot 51 earlier that night in Tel Aviv and UNICS Kazan did so in Round 2. Barcelona was more effective, hitting 26 two-pointers (51.0% 2FG). CSKA only took 31 two-point shots and made 12 of those (38.7%). Barcelona was also more effective from the foul line, converting 14 of 16 attempts (87.5%) against CSKA's 13 of 20 (65.0%).
Wednesday, November 17, 2021