2019-20Regular SeasonRound 23
February 05, 2020 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 LA FONTETA

Mirotic completes Barcelona's comeback in Valencia

In an intense showdown that came down to the final play, FC Barcelona registered its fourth consecutive win in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season by edging Valencia Basket 76-77 at La Fonteta on Wednesday. Barcelona improved to 17-6 in the standings while Valencia dropped to 11-12. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 26 points, including the go-ahead layup with 3.4 seconds left. Fernando San Emeterio paced Valencia with 17 points, Bojan Dubljevic added 14 while Joan Sastre had 10 for the hosts. Valencia led 43-37 at halftime and behind a pair of San Emeterio three-pointers soon after the break stretched the margin to 58-42 margin. It was 68-53 early in the fourth quarter when Thomas Heurtel led an 0-11 run that brought the visitors back. A late Alex Abrines three-pointer and an up-and-under layup by Mirotic allowed Barcelona to win the game.

Dubljevic got Valencia going with a triple from the top of the key and a tip-in. Mirotic stepped up with a driving layup, but Sastre did better with a three-pointer for an 8-2 lead. Mirotic kept pushing Barcelona but Dubljevic and San Emeterio took over with consecutive three-point plays for a 14-8 score. After Ante Tomic dunked, San Emeterio and Mirotic traded bombs from downtown. Adam Hanga hit a floater that made it 17-15. A red-hot San Emeterio scored around the basket and Mike Tobey ignited the crowd with an alley-oop slam for a 21-15 Valencia lead, which Victor Claver cut to 21-18 after 10 minutes. Colom and Doornekamp struck from beyond the arc in an 8-0 run which Alberto Abalde capped with a driving layup that made it a double-digit game. Tomic hit a jump hook and Pierre Oriola bettered Tobey's layup with a triple to give Barcelona hope at 31-23. Vives joined the three-point shootout and Abalde nailed a stop-and-pop jumper, but Mirotic and Hanga brought the visitors even closer, 36-31. Mirotic and Abrines each dunked and Brandon Davies scored down low, but Colom and Sastre kept Valencia in charge, 43-37, at halftime.

San Emeterio sank his second three-pointer immediately after the break and Louis Labeyrie dunked as Valencia restored a double-digit margin, 48-37. Dubljevic capped a 12-0 run with a jump hook. Claver rescued Barcelona with a jumper and a bomb from downtown. Vives scored in penetration and San Emeterio struck twice from beyond the arc to boost the hosts' lead to 58-42. Hanga took over with a high-flying driving layup, igniting a 0-9 run that Mirotic capped with a three-point play for a 58-51 score. Maurice Ndour stepped up with a reverse layup and Tobey added a triple in an 8-0 run in which Abalde gave Valencia a 66-53 margin after 30 minutes. Tobey scored around the basket early in the fourth quarter, but Abrines and Heurtel brought Barcelona within 68-58 with 7 minutes left. Heurtel struck twice from downtown off a Valencia timeout to cap an 0-11 run and bring his team back in the game, 68-64. Dubljevic rescued the hosts with a layup, but Mirotic answered from beyond the arc and added a put-back layup to make it 70-69 with 3 minutes left. Sastre had 4 quick points, but Davies kept Barcelona within 74-72. Dubljevic hit 2-of-6 free throws and Abrines sank a triple that turned the game into a thriller, 76-75, with 44.9 seconds to go. Colom missed a floater and Mirotic gave Barcelona the lead with an up-and-under layup with 3.4 seconds left. San Emeterio missed from beyond midcourt at the buzzer.

Pivotal performer

One again, Nikola Mirotic was the difference-maker in the game; no other Barcelona player scored in double figures. Mirotic did everything right, finishing the game with 26 points on 5-of-6 two-point shooting, 3-of-6 three-pointers and 7-of-8 free throws, plus 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 8 fouls drawn for a PIR of 32.

Game-changing moment

Bojan Dubljevic gave Valencia a 76-72 lead in the next-to-last minute. In need of a quick score, Malcolm Delaney found Alex Abrines for a critical three-pointer. Quino Colom missed at the other end and even though Valencia had one foul to give, Barcelona managed to find Nikola Mirotic in the low post; his up-and-under move allowed him to score and draw a foul. He missed the free throw attempt on purpose to run the game clock down, too.

Stellar stat

Bojan Dubljevic pulled down 13 rebounds, a new career-high. His previous personal best was 12 rebounds against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul earlier this season. It was his fourth double-double this season and the fifth in his EuroLeague career.

Did you notice?

Barcelona had a lower team PIR than Valencia, which is unusual for the winning team. Valencia had a team PIR of 87, limiting Barcelona to just 79. Valencia won in all the hustle stats: 7-4 in steals, 2-0 in blocks and 14-9 in offensive boards but in the end, Barcelona won the game.

Next game

Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on Friday, February 7. Zvezda travels to Germany to face FC Bayern Munich. Barcelona hosts AX Armani Exchange Milan.

Nikola Mirotic - FC Barcelona - EB19
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Attendance: 7840
By Quarter1234
Valencia Basket21222310
FC Barcelona18191624
End of Quarter1234
Valencia Basket21436676
FC Barcelona18375377
Valencia Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 COLOM, QUINO 19:08 7 1/2 1/6 2/2   1 1 1   2     1 5 5
2 MARINKOVIC, VANJA 0:04                              
5 NDOUR, MAURICE 17:30 2 1/3 0/1   2   2 1 3   1   5   1
6 ABALDE, ALBERTO 18:21 7 2/4 0/1 3/5 1   1 3   1     3 4 6
7 LABEYRIE, LOUIS 19:13 2 1/1 0/3   2 2 4           3 1 1
10 TOBEY, MIKE 15:32 9 3/4 1/4   1 3 4 1 1       1   10
12 MOTUM, BROCK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 DUBLJEVIC, BOJAN 24:28 14 4/6 1/5 3/9 5 8 13 3   3     1 6 20
16 VIVES, GUILLEM 20:45 5 1/1 1/4     1 1 3 1 3     4    
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 26:15 17 2/3 4/7 1/2   2 2 3           5 22
30 SASTRE, JOAN 24:43 10 1/3 2/3 2/2   2 2 2 2 1       1 13
42 DOORNEKAMP, AARON 14:01 3 0/1 1/3   1 2 3       1     2 6
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 76 16/28 11/37 11/20 14 23 37 17 7 11 2 0 18 24 87
        57.1% 29.7% 55%
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 15:02 5 2/4   1/2   2 2 1   4     3 1 -1
5 RIBAS, PAU 9:08 2 0/1 0/2 2/2 1   1 1         2 1  
8 HANGA, ADAM 26:34 9 2/4 1/1 2/2 1   1 6 1 3     2 2 12
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 4:14   0/3               1   1 2   -7
13 HEURTEL, THOMAS 16:43 8 1/2 2/5   1 3 4 5 1     1 4   9
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 15:20 3 0/1 1/2     5 5           2 1 5
21 ABRINES, ALEX 19:13 8 1/3 2/3     4 4 1 1       4   7
23 DELANEY, MALCOLM 26:09 4 1/3 0/3 2/3 1 2 3 4         1 3 7
24 KURIC, KYLE 1:44                         1   -1
30 CLAVER, VICTOR 20:26 8 1/1 2/5   2 3 5               10
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 28:51 26 5/6 3/6 7/8 1 3 4 2 1 2     2 8 32
44 TOMIC, ANTE 16:36 4 2/4       2 2     2     1 2 3
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 77 15/32 11/27 14/17 9 26 35 20 4 13 0 2 24 18 79
        46.9% 40.7% 82.4%

Head Coaches

Valencia Basket
"We are very satisfied for the game, for the way we played, our mentality and effort, but we are not happy because we lost. Some details, especially in the fourth quarter, gave Barcelona the opportunity to win this game in which we were doing well, especially in details like rebounds and turnovers. Barcelona knew how to change the game and I repeat, we are satisfied with our game and I think Valencia Basket has to be satisfied to keep living these games in the EuroLeague. We have to keep working and find the way to play better down the stretch. We lost with a big basket and are losing close games due to players able to create their own shots. We don't have this ability and have to build those shots. We were doing details the right way all game long and we had prepared, but suddenly, they get confidence and in a game in which they didn't find their game, they found three-point shots and started to do things well. A talented team like Barcelona can find those shots. We have to work harder and make the most out of the chances we have. Barcelona has rallied in games before this season, they have this ability. My biggest regret is losing a game that we could have won with any of the free throws we missed. Once again, due to details, our opponent found its game in the fourth quarter, in which we only had 10 points."
FC Barcelona
"It was the game we expected. It was a close game, always against Valencia. We didn't start the game how we wanted. We didn't control their three-point shots - they scored 5 three-point shots in the first quarter, and 8 offensive rebounds. Everything that we don't like to see, especially at the start of the game. Valencia is a team that plays in transition, looking for three-point shots, long shots, long rebounds. They were very aggressive on offensive rebounds and we didn't control that. Always, you talk about defense, offense and rebounds, but nobody talks about boxing-out rebounds. When we understood that if we wanted to have a chance to win the game, we must improve our box-out and rebounding. In close games like this, in the fourth quarter, without controlling the rebounds, it is not possible to win the game. You can talk about decisions on offense, on defense, everything, but you don't have the players that are ready to go to offensive rebounds, to finish the defense with offensive rebounds, you cannot play today. It is not possible. Like I said before, in the end, we understood that it is important to box-out your direct opponent, and controlling the defensive rebounds increased our confidence and we scored some points. Everybody knows that it is no problem for us to score points, we have many talented players that can take decisions, to take some three-point shots. To me, it was very important the three-pointers that Alex [Abrines] made. He played excellent defense and I am happy he believed in his shot and looked for him. I think the last decision to find Mirotic in the low post was very smart, but without Alex's three-point shots, I don't know if we would come in the situation to have the chance to win the game. Congratulations to my players for the last quarter. Everything else, we must discuss and find solutions not to talk to referees and to invest energy in box-out and rebounds."


FC Barcelona
"It is not easy but listen, I am very proud of our team and the way we competed at the end, even when we didn't have our best day. We stuck together, played good defense and offensively, we had a fine fourth quarter and this is our team. We demostrated tonight what we are capable of, so I am very happy. Every game for us is very important, especially now, in the second half of the season and before the Copa del Rey as well. We need confidence. We need to be there at the top, and that is what we are doing. Even having a lot of injuries this season, this team is showing a lot of good things and also, this is a process, but we are working hard. We are doing a good job and I am very happy."
FC Barcelona
"Always against Valencia, we have a game like this, a tied game. We expected that it was going to be a tough game, obviously, but not as tough as it turned out. Especially in the third quarter, we came out really soft and tried to change our defense, but it didn't work. It shows a lot of character that, in the end, the team fought through that moment, came back to the game and finally, we got a very,very important win that gave us second place in the standings. We have Niko Mirotic, fortunately, so he made the last shot. Like I said, we showed our character even down 16, we can come back to the game and won against a very good team, in Valencia, way. It is a double round this week, so it was a good start of the week. Now we have one more day to rest a little bit, and we are going to be prepared for the next game against Milan."
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