Zalgiris gives tremendous fight in Barcelona 41
FC Barcelona continued its winning ways with a hard-fought 78-72 win over visiting Zalgiris Kaunas at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday night.
With a win in this intense battle, Barcelona improved to 12-9 to take sole possession of fifth place in the standings. Adam Hanga had the clutch play late in the game and finished the game with 14 points to lead Barcelona. Kevin Seraphin added 12 points plus 6 rebounds in victory.
Arturas Milaknis netted 17 points on 5-for-8 three-point shooting, Nate Wolters contributed 15 points and 7 assists and Aaron White collected 10 points and 8 rebounds for Zalgiris which dropped to 8-14.
The teams traded blows early on, with Ante Tomic scoring Barcelona’s first 6 points, but two dunks from White and a triple from Milaknis made it 4-9. Kevin Pangos and Chris Singleton had back-to-back threes, but Edgaras Ulanovas scored from downtown to keep Zalgiris in front, 15-16. Three-point plays from Tomic and Seraphin helped the hosts to 23-20 after 10 minutes.
Milaknis tied it at 25-25 with a triple, but the visitors could not go back in front. Pierre Oriola scored twice inside and after Ulanovas hit from downtown for Zalgiris, Thomas Huertel answered with one long dagger for the hosts, 34-30. Oriola’s triple ignited an 11-2 run that also featured a dunk from Victor Claver and another basket from Tomic that got Barcelona to 45-38 at halftime.
Kyle Kuric’s triple opened the only double-digit margin of the night, 48-38, but that also turned out to be the hosts’ only field goal in the first 6 minutes of the third quarter. Wolters hit one triple, and Milaknis hit twice more from downtown to cut it to 54-51. Hanga ended Barcelona’s field goal drought and Heurtel hit a triple, but Milaknis hit his fifth three-pointer and White went up and high twice to give the visitors a 60-62 lead after three quarters.
Oriola gave Barcelona spark in the fourth, with a triple on one end and a blocked shot on the other. Seraphin had a pair of baskets, including a fastbreak dunk that made it 69-64. Thomas Walkup fought for a put-back, but Seraphin beat the shot-clock inside to keep the margin at 5 points before Hanga came up with a big hustle play, scrambling and sliding for a steal and then taking the ball through traffic to make it 75-68 with 1:10 to go, a lead Barcelona did not let slip away.