2020-21PlayoffsGame 4
April 30, 2021 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 SIBUR ARENA

Zenit overwhelms Barcelona to tie series

Zenit St Petersburg tied its playoffs series with FC Barcelona with a dominant 74-61 home victory on Friday night. Zenit, which was in front all the way, raced into a double-digit lead with an explosive start, and held a 36-26 half-time advantage after a low-scoring second quarter. Zenit further stretched the lead after the break, taking the margin past 20 points early in the fourth quarter, and Barca never got the deficit down to single digits. Kevin Pangos was the chief inspiration for the home team, combining 20 points and 8 assists. Alex Poythress added 12 points, while Austin Hollins and Tarik Black both scored 11. Nick Calathes led Barcelona with a season-high 19 points, and Cory Higgins added 13. The decider will take place at Palau Blaugrana on Tuesday.

Zenit had a fast start through Black in penetration and Hollins from deep, before a Calathes three-pointer got Barca on the scoreboard. A three-point play and a powerful dunk from Poythress kept the hosts ahead, despite a pair of baskets from Higgins. Poythress unleashed another slam followed by a jumper to give Zenit a double-digit lead, and Pangos added a floater to make it 23-9. Nikola Mirotic stopped a 8-0 run from close-range, before KC Rivers and Leandro Bolmaro traded inside scores to make it 25-13 after ten minutes. Billy Baron extended the lead early in the second, and Rivers kept the advantage in double figures, 30-17, with a three-pointer as defenses dominated. Mirotic answered with his own threeball, before Will Thomas and Kyle Kuric scored underneath the basket. Calathes pulled it back to 32-24, before driving layups from Baron and Calathes made it 36-26 at the break.

Hollins from deep and Pangos with a floater stretched the lead to 41-26 after the interval, and a layup from Calathes was bettered by a three-point play from Pangos, who soon scored again in penetration for a 46-30 lead. Calathes boosted Barca with a corner three and Bolmaro hit from mid-range, but Black made a three-point play and Pangos added a triple to keep Zenit in control, 53-36. A turnaround jumper from the red-hot Pangos and a putback-and-one from Black made it 58-38 at the end of the third. Black and Rivers kept Zenit totally in charge early in the fourth. Calathes and Rolands Smits both scored twice to pull Barca back to 63-51, with 5 minutes left, but Poythress from close range and Pangos with a long two settled Zenit, 69-53 with 3 minutes to go. A couple of baskets from Kuric gave Barca a glimmer of hope, but a triple from Billy Baron secured the win.

Poythress shines off the bench

With Arturas Gudaitis and Mateusz Ponitka already out, Zenit appeared to have early problems in the big man position when Tarik Black picked up two quick fouls. But that proved to be a blessing in disguise as Alex Poythress came off the bench to make a huge instant impression, scoring 9 points in 4 minutes to power his team into a double-digit lead.

Zenit dominates the boards

Poythress was one of the reasons Zenit totally dominated the boards, with the home team winning the rebounding battle 40-26. Will Thomas led the way with 9 rebounds, supported by Black (6) and Poythress (5). Nikola Mirotic topped Barca’s rebounding with 6 and Nick Calathes grabbed 5, but no other Barca player had more than 2 boards.

Mirotic struggles again

Although he competed well under the boards, the game saw Mirotic continue to struggle in the scoring department as he netted just 7 points on 2-of-11 field goal shooting. Barca’s leading scorer during the regular season with 16.9 points per game, Mirotic has averaged just 9.0 points in the playoffs.

Barca squashed beyond the arc

Discounting Calathes, who made 3 of his 7 three-point attempts, Barca went 1-of-12 from long-range, with Zenit’s swarming defense preventing the visitors from getting good looks outside the arc.

Next game

Game 5 will take place back in Barcelona on Tuesday evening, 9pm CET to decide which team advances to the Final Four.

Kevin Pangos - Zenit St Petersburg - EB20
Friday, April 30, 2021
Attendance: 4626
By Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg25112216
FC Barcelona13131223
End of Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg25365874
FC Barcelona13263861
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 RIVERS, KC 21:26 7 2/3 1/2   1   1           3   3
3 ZAKHAROV, DENIS 0:13     0/1                       -1
4 PANGOS, KEVIN 32:37 22 7/12 1/3 5/5   2 2 8 1 2   2 3 4 23
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 10:41   0/1       4 4     1   1 2   -1
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 28:34 11 0/1 2/4 5/5 2 2 4 1   2       3 14
10 THOMAS, WILL 29:28 4 2/3 0/2   2 7 9 1   1       1 11
12 BARON, BILLY 23:18 7 2/5 1/6     4 4   1 1   1 2 4 4
13 KHVOSTOV, DMITRY 3:11       0/2                 1 2 -1
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 0:42                              
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 14:33   0/2 0/1     3 3 2   2     2 1 -1
22 POYTHRESS, ALEX 19:46 12 5/8   2/3   5 5         1 3 3 12
28 BLACK, TARIK 15:31 11 3/3   5/6 3 3 6   1 1     4 4 16
Team             2 2     2          
Totals 200:00 74 21/38 5/19 17/21 8 32 40 12 3 12 0 5 20 22 79
        55.3% 26.3% 81%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI
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 25:18 1 0/6   1/2   1 1 2         1 4  
8 HANGA, ADAM 9:16 2 1/1 0/1     1 1 1           1 4
9 BOLMARO, LEANDRO 17:36 4 2/4 0/1     1 1 1     1   2   2
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 16:02 6 3/3     1 1 2       1   4 1 6
16 GASOL, PAU 2:12   0/1     1   1                
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 4:58 1     1/2           1 1   1 1  
21 ABRINES, ALEX 11:59   0/2 0/1     1 1       1   4   -5
22 HIGGINS, CORY 29:39 13 3/6 0/4 7/8   2 2 4 2 1 1   1 7 19
23 MARTINEZ, SERGI 1:25           1 1               1
24 KURIC, KYLE 24:51 8 4/4 0/1   1   1 1 1 1     4 3 8
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 29:32 7 1/7 1/4 2/2 1 5 6 1 3       2 2 8
99 CALATHES, NICK 27:12 19 5/6 3/7   1 4 5 2 1 3     3 1 17
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 61 19/40 4/19 11/14 6 20 26 12 7 6 5 0 22 20 64
        47.5% 21.1% 78.6%

Head Coaches

Zenit St Petersburg

“This is playoff time, every game is different. Today everything was fantastic, our players did an amazing job. They followed the plan excellent, and we had the control almost all the game. We controlled the defensive rebounds, Barcelona only took 6 offensive rebounds, and despite the fact that we had 12 turnovers more or less we had control of the game. We did an amazing job and I have to say congratulations to all the fans who were here today and to my players especially. I believe we are fighters, we have this motivation every time, and we know in Barcelona we will play a serious game, nothing else. It is almost impossible to beat Barcelona three times but we are going there to try. We will try to control the rhythm of the game, to be inside the game. We’ll see.”

“I’m extremely happy for all the fans who came tonight because this is our job, we are playing for them. Winning this game was very special because we can share it with them. I’m very happy to be here. I am trying to win something difficult, something new, and I feel like a Russian citizen. I’m extremely happy, I want to be here and I want to build something great here. But now we have to enjoy the moment, we’ll have time for the future later.”

FC Barcelona
“Congratulations to Xavi and Zenit. They were clearly the only team that came to fight from the first moment. They were clearly the team that was giving the right way of physicality, and they obviously deserved to win. I have to take responsibility as a coach for nor preparing my team in the right way. I tried to do the job in the best way possible in preparing my team for how Zenit would come out. It’s a team with great character, with very good people, that has a great fighting spirit, and they will not give a pass for free. Nothing in life is for free and it’s more than obvious that as a coach I didn’t do my job. That is my responsibility and I will try to get through to my guys a little bit better for the deciding game in Barcelona. To lose the first quarter like this, making only three fouls, is very painful for me as a coach. To lose the rebounding battle by 14 is very painful for me as a coach. And I will try to prepare my team better for Game 5. Qualification for the Final Four requires fighting your ass off, until you cannot stand on your two feet anymore. I’m not doing my job too good if my players are not fighting their asses off.”


Zenit St Petersburg
“I think we played great defense, we didn’t give them anything easy. When we’re hustling around and helping each other like that it’s hard to score on us, so I think that was huge. We gotta rest up, look at what we can improve, come back and play the way we did today or even better. It’s the fifth game, it’s gonna be hard to close it out, so we’ve got to be ready.”
Zenit St Petersburg
“The most important thing was defensive rebounding. If you play good defense, communicate with each other, get stops, and rebound the ball so they only get one opportunity to shoot, you’re in a good position to win and that’s what happened to win. Unbelievable support [from the fans], and we pray you all continue to support us, continue to push us forward. We need you, you are part of the Zenit Basketball Club family and we appreciate you so much.”
No results found.