By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Barca had full control of Game 3 against Bayern Munich and sealed a 75-66 road win for a 2-1 lead in the Euroleague quarterfinals.
The Spaniards were up 49-31 already by halftime and the balance of strengths on the court was clearly in Barca’s favor, leaving the impression that the game was already over after 20 minutes.
Bayern did put on a comeback effort (61-51) after the break but they couldn’t even cut the gap to single digits as Barca, led by Nikola Mirotic, managed to cruise to the win.
Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius was very happy with the first half but not with the second part of the game.
“I thought we were very solid. The first half was the definition of solidness – 1 turnover, very good decisions. Third quarter, we were typical Barca – coming out, losing concentration. But overall we have to be very happy, this is a very solid team. We found very good options on the seal. I thought our big guys created inside the post and understood when they had to finish it. I thought we played really simple basketball, and this is the most important thing at this level: how to play simple.”
Mirotic finished with game-high 25 points while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing three assists for 31 PIR. He shot 6-7 from two, 2-4 from three, and was perfect from the free-throw line (7-7).
“I always say it’s about my teammates. It was a team effort. The key was at the beginning of the game, our physicality. Our defense, especially the first half, we didn’t allow them to play the same way they played the second game in Barcelona. It was a great game by our team, but the job is not finished yet. We know it won’t be easy but we’ll try to finish it on Friday,” Mirotic said, staying humble and on point.
Rolands Smits added 12 points for the winning side and was crucial in the first-half push that set Barca up for the victory, while Nick Calathes added eight points and assists. On Bayern’s side, Vladimir Lucic scored 17 and Augustine Rubit eight points.
Both Rubit and Lucic were leading Bayern’s effort which could be seen on the boards. In fact, the German squad grabbed as many as 15 offensive rebounds, however, they just couldn’t use the second chances to the full potential. Especially so from deep as they made just 4 out of 24 attempts (16.7%).
Andrea Trinchieri had exactly the sentiment with his game analysis.
“The mountain to climb became like Everest, but I appreciate a lot the second half. We fought, we came back, we had the momentum and a chance with a corner three from Lucic, but we couldn’t make that shot and in the end, they deserved to win. I’m not desperate, I’m not overwhelmed, it’s exactly how I expected the game. I hoped for a better first half, but it didn’t happen. We didn’t make enough threes; when you make 4 of 24 against a team that has more size, it’s almost impossible. But we fought and outrebounded Barca, and we’re still in the series.”
Barca recovered from losing the home-court advantage but they will have to face Bayern one more time in Germany for Game 4 on April 29th.