Barcelona cruises by ASVEL
FC Barcelona never trailed and led by as many as 25 en route to an 84-71 victory over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Thursday night at Palau Blaugrana. Nicolas Laprovittola scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the third quarter to help the hosts put the game away early. Nikola Mirotic added 16 points and 7 rebounds and Brandon Davies scored 11 for Barcelona, which improved to 17-5 on the season. Youssoupha Fall paced ASVEL with 20 points and 7 rebounds and Elie Okobo tallied 17 points and 8 assists in defeat. The result dropped ASVEL’s record to 9-13.
Barcelona won the opening tip and promptly took the lead on a Mirotic triple. James Gist got the visitors’ first bucket. After a layup by Mirotic and 5 quick points from Laprovittola, ASVEL called timeout trailing 10-2. Charles Kahudi tried to get ASVEL going with a pair of free throws, but another three by Laprovittola extended the margin to 9. Chris Jones and Okobo helped ASVEL climb within 13-9. Mirotic and Davies, who went coast to coast after a Mirotic block, gave the hosts some breathing room. Fall made an impact off the ASVEL bench with 4 points before he was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul on Davies. After the resulting free throws and a Cory Higgins triple, the margin was double figures. Fall scored on consecutive possessions to keep ASVEL within striking distance. A jumper by Rokas Jokubaitis made it 28-17 after 10 minutes.
ASVEL committed 4 turnovers in the first 3 minutes of the second quarter and after a Jokubaitis steal and layup made it 32-19, the visitors called timeout. Little changed, though, with a turnover on the ensuing possession before Nigel Hayes-Davis netted free throws. Dante Exum’s basket-plus-foul further extended the Barcelona lead. Marcos Knight and Kostas Antetokounmpo kept ASVEL fighting. An Okobo three with 4 minutes left in the half was the visitors’ first triple of the night. His second three whittled the margin to 40-28. Mirotic and Kyle Kuric boosted the Barcelona lead to 45-30 at halftime.
The points were flowing freely from both sides to start the second half. A three by Mirotic and a hook shot by Davies made it 54-35. Fall dunked for ASVEL, but Laprovittola heated up with 7 quick points to take the margin into the 20s. Barcelona had no answer for Fall, who blocked a shot and grabbed an offensive rebound, but Laprovittola’s hot shooting kept the lead rolling to 68-45. Dylan Osetkowski and Okobo trimmed the deficit to 68-50 through three quarters.
Davies and Antetokounmpo traded shots early in the fourth quarter. A three by Okobo, his third of the game, made it 74-57. Dante Exum heated up with a layup, a triple and free throws. A jumper by Higgins made it 84-59 with 5 minutes to play. ASVEL continued to battle and scored the final 12 points of the game, but the outcome was already in the bag.
Milestone met by Mirotic
FC Barcelona star Nikola Mirotic became the 20th player in competition history to compile 3,000 performance index rating points in his career during his team’s Round 23 victory over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. The power forward played his first EuroLeague game since returning from COVID-19 and looked sharp with 16 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes. He had a PIR of 20, which gave him 3,001 for his career. Mirotic’s per-game average of 16.8 is second among the top 40 players all-time in accumulated PIR. Only Nando De Colo of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul with 17.7 per game is better. Mirotic can next target a spot among the top 20 on the career scoring list. He is 24th with 2,464 points and needs 60 more to catch Jaka Lakovic for 20th place.
Fall is at his best for ASVEL
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne struggled at times against FC Barcelona, but not when Youssoupha Fall was on the floor. The center had his best game in an ASVEL uniform with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 7 rebounds for a PIR of 29. He tied his career-high in scoring and was 1 off his personal best in PIR. Fall did all of that in just 20:29 minutes. He was ASVEL’s best weapon after coming off the bench early with 8 of ASVEL’s 17 points in the first quarter. Before this game, Fall’s season-high in scoring was 14 and his best in PIR was 20.
By the numbers: Barca shoots, rebounds better
The numbers back up the dominance FC Barcelona displayed in beating LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Thursday in Round 23. The hosts shot better, particularly from long range, making 9 of 25 threes (36.0%) compared to ASVEL’s 3-for-19 shooting (15.8%). Only Elie Okobo made threes for ASVEL. His teammates combined to shoot 0 for 12 from behind the arc.
Barcelona outrebounded ASVEL 37-29 and allowed only 6 offensive boards – of which 4 were in the fourth quarter, long after the outcome was clear. The hosts also scored 18 points off of AVSEL’s 12 turnovers. Even though Barcelona finished with more turnovers (14), ASVEL only generated 13 points from them.
Thursday, January 27, 2022