By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The best defense of the Top 16 worked its miracles again. This time, Lokobasket received only 8 points in the last quarter against Barcelona, winning the game 66 – 61 and making it 1-0 in the series. This was the first Euroleague playoffs victory in the history of the Russian club.
While it was a far from an ideal offensive night for Giorgos Bartzokas’ players, Anthony Randolph supplied some much needed baskets, finishing the game with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. He was the best player of his team, while Malcolm Delaney also delivered the goods, scoring 11 points and dishing 7 assists. But his most valuable move didn’t arrive from a basket or from a pass to his teammates…
With ten seconds to go for the end of the game and the score being 64 – 61, Barcelona almost stole a ball and had the chance for an easy basket. Yet Delaney made a self – sacrificing dive in order to save the possession for his team. Dontaye Draper received the ball from him and saw Ryan Broekhoff all alone on the other side of the court. The Australian swingman dunked the ball and sealed the victorious outcome for his team.
Barcelona’s weapons were completely shut down in the final period, where the Spaniards didn’t even score in double – digit numbers. After a nervous beginning, for both teams, Barcelona had managed to gain an upper hand in the game thanks to the effective action that the frontline duo of Ante Tomic and Samardo Samuels put on court in the second period. Lokomotiv suffered some huge struggles in its shooting efforts throughout the first half, which ended 27 – 33.
The offensive rhythm of both teams was greatly improved after their return of the locker rooms, with Delaney getting energized for Loko, while Alex Abrines and Pau Ribas kept their team in front of the score from mid or long range, albeit with difficulty. The latter was also Barcelona’s first scorer with 13 points, but he and his teammates didn’t score at all in the last four minutes of the game. Meanwhile, the Russians dropped 8 unanswered points which proved to be more than enough.