By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikola Mirotic was as great as ever with 28 points and nine rebounds, his supporting cast was shooting the lights out, and Barcelona got the impressive 102-94 road win against Khimki Moscow Region.
The game turned out to be a shoot-out with the guests getting a 10-0 start in the game and never looking back. At half time they had a 61-48 lead, they pushed it to 18 points (75-57) in the third quarter, and the hosts never get into a striking distance until the closing minutes.
After two big threes by Sergey Karasev, Khimki cut the lead to three (97-94) with 73 seconds left in the game. Mirotic scored for the 99-94, Jeremy Evans missed a three, and Malcolm Delaney sealed the deal with a three (102-94).
In total, Delaney had 17 points and nine assists, Ante Tomic added 15 points; three more players scored in double-digits and Barcelona finished the game by shooting with 55% on the field and 12/22 threes.
“We bounced back, we showed some character tonight, and we just need to keep working hard”, said Mirotic. “This is a long season, but this season we have been playing very good away from home, and we have to keep doing the same thing. I started by missing my first four shots, but the idea for me has always been to be aggressive. That is what I have been trying the whole season”.
Alexey Shved scored 23 points but wasn’t a factor in the game. Evans added 16 points, Karasev and Devin Booker finished with 14 points, however, the big issue for Khimki was the defense. Barcelona jumped to a 9-3 record, while the hosts dropped to 6-6.
“We started to celebrate before the game was over”
“To be honest, I prefer more closed games, because you have seen what happened in the last two minutes”, said Barcelona coach Svetislav Pesic just after the final buzzer. “We thought we would win the game because we led by 11 or 12 points, then Karasev hit two triples in a row, and then we are in a problem. It means we cannot celebrate before the game is finished.”
“We complicated our lives with turnovers and bad defense in the last two minutes, however, the most important thing is that we won”, added Tomic.
Photo credit: EuroLeague