Zalgiris takes a loss on the road in Barcelona 30
FC Barcelona gave visiting Zalgiris Kaunas no chance in earning a 93-74 win at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday night. The hosts avenged their 73-72 loss of Round 4 against the same Zalgiris to get their fifth victory in a row and improve to 18-8.
Zalgiris stayed close after 10 minutes and managed to reach halftime trailing by just 10, but the visitors were totally deactivated after the break as Barcelona used a 20-6 run to established a 74-48 margin late in the third period. With its fourth straight road loss, Zalgiris slipped to 13-13.
Nikola Mirotic led all scorers with 28 points in just 26 minutes, going for 6-for-7 in two.pointers and 3-for-6 from behind the arc. Tomas Satoransky tallied 12 points and 5 assists, while Sertac Sanli scored 10 for the winners.
Ignas Brazdeikis was Zalgiris’ top contributor with 15 points, followed by Laurynas Birutis, who scored 12 points and grabbed 4 boards.
Mirotic and Jan Vesely were the weapons for Barcelona in the early going, as no one else on the home team scored in the first quarter. The former went for 12 points, including a couple of three-pointers, as the latter contributed 7 that granted the hosts a slight 19-17 edge after 10 minutes.
With Mirotic resting on the bench, Barcelona managed to find some extra sources of scoring, and successive three-point plays by Alex Abrines, Sanli and Mike Tobey opened a 28-20 advantage. Zalgiris tried to stop it with a timeout but found no success. Barcelona kept scoring steadily and the visitors were only getting points from the foul line. Thanks to that, the difference went no further than 10 points, 46-36, at halftime.
The situation got much better for the home team when the game resumed. Nicolas Laprovittola opened fire with a three-pointer as a sign of things to come. The hosts started scoring on each possession, going for a 20-6 run that extended the margin to 74-48 late in the third quarter and to 77-54 entering the last one.
With the outcome in no doubt, Zalgiris tried to show some pride and kept fighting to try to reduce the disadvantage to more reasonable figures, but without success. On the other side, Barcelona used the game to grant some minutes to players like Kyle Kuric, who had not scored in the Euroleague since Round 19.