2021-22Regular SeasonRound 5
October 22, 2021 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 PALAU BLAUGRANA

Barcelona thrashes Zenit, 84-58, in playoffs replay

FC Barcelona recorded its fifth without a loss this season by downing Zenit St Petersburg 84-58 on a very special night at Palau Blaugrana. Barcelona celebrated a belated 10th anniversary of its last Turkish Airlines EuroLeague title, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and pleased over 4,500 fans with a no-doubt-about-it victory. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 20 points while Brandon Davies and Sertac Sanli each added 11. Dmitry Kulagin, Jordan Loyd and Billy Baron led Zenit with 8 points apiece. Mirotic and Kyle Kuric allowed Barcelona to shake off a slow start and get a 20-19 edge after 10 minutes. Nigel Hayes-Davis, Brandon Davies and Cory Higgins took over in the second quarter, helping the hosts boost their margin to 44-27 at halftime. Mirotic opened the second half with 8 unanswered points to break the game wide open, 52-27, and even when Zenit kept trying, Barcelona sealed the outcome way before the final buzzer

Arturas Gudaitis got Zenit going with a dunk, Loyd added a jumper and Kulagin followed a triple with a driving basket for an early 4-9 lead. Nick Calathes stepped up for Barca with a backdoor layup and fed Mirotic for a triple that tied it, 9-9. Mateusz Ponitka and Andrey Zubkov each scored around the basket but Kuric struck from downtown to keep Barcelona within 12-14. Mirotic banked in a close shot and soon added a three-point play that put the hosts closer, 18-17. Baron downed a jumper but Kuric dunked to restore a 20-19 Barcelona lead after 10 minutes.

Hayes-Davis took over with a reverse layup early in the second quarter. Davies hit a jump hook and Kuric buried a three-pointer in transition to make Zenit call timeout at 27-21. Hayes-Davis kept pacing the hosts with a power layup that Nico Laprovittola followed with a triple to make it a double-digit game, 32-21. Davies impressed with an up-and-under layup and Hayes-Davis capped a 14-0 run with a jumper. Gudaitis tried to change things for Zenit but Sanli dunked and Higgins sank back-to-back jumpers to break the game open, 42-23. Kulagin and Jordan Mickey brought Zenit a bit closer, 44-27, at halftime.

Mirotic kept leading Barcelona after the break and quickly made it a 25-point game, 52-27, with back-to-back bombs from beyond the arc. Jordan Mickey tried to change things with a put-back dunk and Gudaitis scored again, as Zenit improved its defense. Davies stepped up with a wild dunk and Mirotic added a three-pointer that restored a 56-31 Barcelona margin. Davies dunked again and matched Alex Poythress's slam with a jump hook. Rolands Smits and Rokas Jokubaitis found their first points to keep Barcelona way ahead, 66-41, after 30 minutes.

Igor Volkhin stepped up with a three-point play early in the fourth quarter that Smits matched with a bomb from downtown. Jokubaitis took over with a driving layup but Poythress and Baron brought Zenit a bit closer, 73-51, with 6 minutes left. Jokubaitis hit a jumper and by the time Sanli banked in a close shot, everything was said and done already, as Barcelona had cruised to a well-deserved win on a very special night for the club.

Mirotic amazed in just 15 minutes

It took FC Barcelona superstar Nikola Mirotic just 15 minutes and 27 seconds to have one of his best games of the season. Despite seeing limited playing time, Mirotic finished the game with 20 points on 4-for-5 two-point, 3-for-4 three-point and 3-for-3 free-throw shooting. He added 4 rebounds, an assist, 2 steals and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 28. Mirotic already had a PIR of 16 at the end of the first quarter, scoring 10 points in that period. He sat out in the second and fourth quarters, but scored 8 unanswered points at the start of the second half to boost Barcelona's lead to 52-27.

Zenit's Kulagin is getting back on track

It was a rough 2020-21 season for Dmitry Kulagin, who couldn't play due to injury. Kulagin, whose brother Misha also plays professional basketball, played the 2016 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four with CSKA Moscow, helping his former team lift the trophy. He then had a solid three-year stint with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, being chosen to the 2017-18 All-EuroCup Second Team. Slowly but steadily, Kulagin has fought back through adversity and is back on the floor, contributing for Zenit. On Friday, he had 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in a team-high 25 minutes, a good sign going forward.

Barcelona shot better than Zenit, forced turnovers

FC Barcelona cruised to an 84-58 home victory against Zenit St Petersburg, in a rematch of last season's playoffs series. In one of the biggest keys to the game, Barcelona managed to keep Zenit to low shooting percentages. Zenit hit just 47.5% of its shots inside the arc and 20% from downtown. On the other hand, Barcelona shot the ball much better (58.7% 2FG, 42.1% 3FG). The hosts managed to limit turnovers to just 9 and managed to force Zenit to pick up as many as 17. The guests had 12 turnovers before halftime and Barcelona only had 2, which explains the 17-point difference, 44-27, at the break.

Nikola Mirotic - FC Barcelona - EB21
Friday, October 22, 2021
Attendance: 4481
By Quarter1234
FC Barcelona20242218
Zenit St Petersburg1981417
End of Quarter1234
FC Barcelona20446684
Zenit St Petersburg19274158
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 14:17 11 5/7 0/1 1/2 2   2 2 1 2     1 1 10
5 SANLI, SERTAC 18:23 11 4/8 1/2   3 1 4     1   1 4   4
8 MARTINEZ, SERGI 12:43   0/1   0/1   2 2 2         1   1
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 22:10 7 1/2 1/1 2/2   4 4   1 1     2 1 9
14 HAYES-DAVIS, NIGEL 16:44 6 3/3 0/1   1   1 2         2 2 8
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 3:48           1 1               1
20 LAPROVITTOLA, NICOLAS 18:35 8 1/1 2/4   1 2 3   2       4 3 10
22 HIGGINS, CORY 17:43 4 2/8 0/2     3 3 1 1   1   1   1
24 KURIC, KYLE 16:28 7 2/3 1/1   1   1   1       1 3 10
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 25:23 6 3/5 0/1   1 4 5 3   2     4 1 6
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 15:27 20 4/5 3/4 3/3 1 3 4 1 2         3 28
99 CALATHES, NICK 18:19 4 2/3 0/2     1 1 4 1 2     2 3 6
Team           1 1 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 84 27/46 8/19 6/8 11 22 33 15 9 9 1 1 22 17 95
        58.7% 42.1% 75%
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
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 LOYD, JORDAN 20:54 8 3/5 0/1 2/2   3 3 2 3 4     3 1 7
7 KARASEV, SERGEY 1:35   0/1             1            
8 VOLKHIN, IGOR 12:34 3 1/3 0/1 1/1 1   1   1       1 1 2
9 KULAGIN, DMITRY 24:57 8 2/5 1/2 1/3   2 2 2   1   1 3 4 5
12 BARON, BILLY 18:45 8 2/2 0/3 4/6       1   1       5 8
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 1:04                              
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 17:28 2 1/5     1 2 3 1 1 1     1   1
22 POYTHRESS, ALEX 22:54 6 3/5     3 2 5     1     1   7
25 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 25:08 8 2/4 1/3 1/2 3 3 6 1   4     1 6 11
33 FRANKAMP, CONNER 14:42 5 1/2   3/4   1 1     1     3 2 2
55 MICKEY, JORDAN 22:53 4 1/3   2/2 1 3 4 1 1 2     3 1 4
77 GUDAITIS, ARTURAS 17:06 6 3/5       2 2 1   1 1   2 2 7
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 58 19/40 2/10 14/20 10 20 30 9 7 17 1 1 18 22 56
        47.5% 20% 70%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI

Head Coaches

FC Barcelona

"For some periods of the game, we played great basketball, and we have to build on that. Everybody played and it is not easy against Zenit. They are always well prepared and always know exactly what they are doing. We have to be very proud and move on. At this point, the most important for me is the fact that we played today and last week – yes, we beat Olympiacos; yes, we beat Monaco – but we could have lost those two games, and we were aware of that. So we took some time off and had three or four days to work very well. And today, it was an excellent performance by us."

"Well, we have to be very happy with the game. I think we played very solid for 40 minutes against a rival that is excellent, that is always really prepared, and we played better than last week in Monaco and at home against Olympiacos, even than the game in Sevilla against Betis: we played better. It was good that we had a little bit of time to relax and good time to work a little bit and prepare. Now, off to another three games in five days. The schedule is what it is. Palau Blaugrana is different for the players, for the rivals (with so many fans). It gives us extra energy. We are inviting people to go back to normal, to come back to Palau. It is not easy, we are seeing the same in Camp Nou, but we are inviting people back. Unfortunately, we cannot pay the people's tickets but we are inviting them to come. Sertac Sanli has been unlucky but is also very patient. He is back to the team, learning our systems and tactics really fast. So far, he couldn't show much but this is a good step for him and he should be happy. We have to improve and there is no time to celebrate."

Zenit St Petersburg
"There was nothing to do after the second quarter. We lost the control the game, completely, and when Barcelona breaks the game like tonight, it is very difficult to play after that. They started to play with confidence and even if you fight, even if you try, their quality is amazing and they destroyed us. Our mistake was the second quarter: we disappeared, and after that it was impossible to be back."


FC Barcelona
"Our mindset tonight was defense. We knew it was going to be difficult and that we had to play good defense. We know this team really well because we played against them in the playoffs last season. I think everything came from our defense, because after that, our offense was terrific. We started running, making shots – it was a really good game. We needed it and, like I said after the last game, each game matters a lot. So, step by step we have to improve as a team. I am always trying to do my best. Sometimes I have a good game, sometimes not that well, but always positive, always working hard, always trying to do the best for the team, and always thankful to my teammates, coaching staff. I had some good looks and made shots, but it is always about the team. The team is playing well and I am part of that."
FC Barcelona
"I think we made a good effort, good work for 40 minutes. OK, we made the difference in the second quarter but everybody played with very good intensity, with very good pace, and everybody enjoyed the game. Barcelona is a very good team, all the players are talented, and I think this is going easy, my adaptation. During the days, during the practices, I am feeling better and better, and that's it. We have to enjoy the games, we have to enjoy playing together, and I am here to help the team."
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