By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Leading from start to finish FC Barcelona held on down the stretch and beat Joventut, 83-77, to earn a 2-1 lead in the all-Catalonia best-of-five series of the Liga Endesa Semifinals.
Nikola Mirotic generated 18 points, half of them in the last quarter of Wednesday’s Game 3. His tally additionally included seven rebounds and two assists.
Former Colorado standout Cory Higgins had 13 points and Argentine point guard Nicolas Laprovittola threw in ten more points. Brandon Davies and Nigel Hayes-Davis added nine points each.
Experienced Croatian center Ante Tomic scored a game-high 21 points in the latest solid display versus his former team. Kentucky alumnus Derek Willis followed with 17 points in the losing home effort for Carles Duran’s side.
After dropping Game 2 last Sunday, the team guided by Sarunas Jasikevicius prevailing in Pavello Olimpic de Badalona recovered the home-court advantage. Barca’s postseason track record against the already features ten triumphs in 13 meetings with the Catalonia rival. Now up 2-1, it is on the verge of adding yet another triumph with the opportunity to close out the series in Game 4 Friday. Game 5, if necessary, will return the series to Palau Blaugrana.
Real Madrid awaits the winner of the best-of-five series. Up next and as the second seed of the Playoffs bracket, Los Blancos will either attempt to overcome the home-court advantage of archrival Barca or themselves enjoy the home-court advantage in a potential collision with Joventut in the Finals best-of-five series.
Photo Credit: Barca Basket Twitter