2011-12PlayoffsGame 1
March 20, 2012 CET: 19:00
Local time: 19:00 PALAU BLAUGRANA

FC Barcelona Regal held off Unics Kazan 78-66

FC Barcelona Regal took the first step to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four by downing Unics Kazan 78-66 at home in Game 1 of the playoffs on Tuesday. Barcelona now has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five playoffs series and hosts Game 2 on Thursday. Pete Mickeal scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to pace the 2010 champs. Erazem Lorbek added 15 points, Juan Carlos Navarro scored 13, Boni Ndong 12 and Marcelinho Huertas dished 10 assists for the winners. Nathan Jawai led Barcelona with 15points, Henry Domercant added 12 and Valdimir Veremeenko tallied 11 points and 9 rebounds in defeat. Ndong shined early in the game and got some help from Navarro and Huertas to give Barcelona a 22-14 lead after 10 minutes. A fast break layup by Victor Sada allowed Barcelona to get its biggest margin of the night, 28-14. Kelly McCarty and Lynn Greer tried to change things for Unics, but Barcelona still kept a 45-33 lead at halftime. Terrell Lyday and Jawai fueled Unics's comeback early in the fourth quarter and a jumper by Domercant brought the guetss within 62-59. However Navarro, Mickeal and Lorbek shined in crunch time to lead Barcelona to a well-deserved and very critical home win.

Ndong got Barcelona going with a layup off an inbound pass and a wild alley-oop dunk, good for a 4-0 lead. Unics was held scoreless in the opening two minutes, but Veremeenko split free throws that Lorbek bettered with a three from the corner for a 7-1 Barcelona edge. Veremeenko scored with a layup that Mickeal matched at the other end. A close jumper by Ndong made Unics call timeout at 11-3. The guests adjusted their man-to-man defense while Jawai and Domercant brought their team within 11-7. Ndong banked in a close shot, which Jawai erased with an uncontested dunk. Navarro nailed a catch-and-shoot jumper and soon added free throws to restore a 17-9 Barcelona lead. Petr Samoylenko hit a one-handed jumper in the lane only to see Huertas answer from downtown for a 20-11 score. Samoylenko and Domercant made free throws before Huertas hit a mid-range shot to give Barcelona a 22-14 lead after 10 minutes.

Unics tried McCarty and Bostjan Nachbar at the forward spots against Barcelona's second unit. Xavi Rabaseda buried a rainbow triple, however, and a layup by C.J. Wallace made it a 12-point game. Unics could not find the way to the basket for more than three minutes during which a fast break layup by Sada capped an 8-0 Barcelona run, 28-14. Greer stepped up with an off-balance jumper - and the free throw that came with it. Sada set the crowd on fire with a three-pointer that McCarty matched with his trademark corner triple. Navarro stepped up with a 'bomba' but Veremeenko followed a close basket with a three-pointer to give Unics hope at 33-25. Rabaseda fed Lorbek for a layup-plus-foul in transition. Unics kept finding good shots. McCarty nailed a running hook and free throws by Greer brought the guests a bit closer, 36-29. Mickeal downed an open triple and free throws by Navarro gave Barcelona a 12-point margin. Greer and Lorbek traded jumpers and Mickeal hit free throws, but Jawai kept Unics within 45-33 at halftime.

Barcelona struggled to score after the break. Meanwhile, Jawai followed a two-handed dunk with a layup-plus-foul to bring Unics within 45-38. Lorbek stepped up with free throws, as Unics entered the foul bonus really early in the third quarter. Barcelona made the most out of it, attacking the basket to go the foul line often. Navarro hit foul shots and a three-pointer by Mickeal boosted Barcelona's lead to 52-39. Domercant answered from downtown, but he didn't find much help. Unics managed to stay aggressive on defense and a three-pointer by McCarty made it a 7-point game. Mickeal scored in penetration and even after Jawai hit a jump hook, Lorbek beat the shot clock with a big triple for a 57-47 Barcelona margin. Jawai and Domercant made free throws, but a jump hook by Kosta Perovic gave his team a 59-50 edge. Mickeal and Lyday exchanged three-pointers to fix the score at 62-53 after three quarters.

Lyday buried a long jumper early in the fourth quarter and soon added a wild driving layup to force Barcelona to call timeout at 62-57. The hosts had been scoreless for more than three minutes and a rainbow jumper by Domercant made it a three-point game, 62-59. Navarro came off the bench and immediately delivered with a three-pointer off a screen. Lyday quickly answered from downtown but a layup by Ndong sent the crowd to their feet at 67-62. Mickeal took over with a driving basket that made Unics call timeout, 69-62, with over 4 minutes to go. Veremeenko rescued Unics with a backdoor layup that Lorbek bettered matched with a long jumper for a 71-64 Barcelona lead with 2 minutes remaining. Samoylenko missed from downtown and free throws by Mickeal sealed the outcome, 73-64. Unics kept trying but Barcelona had already cruised to a very important win that got the team a bit closer to the Final Four.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Javier Gancedo - Euroleague.net, Barcelona
Referees: JUNGEBRAND, CARL (FIN), GKONTAS, SPIROS (GRE), VYKLICKY, ROBERT (CZE)
Attendance: 5863 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
FC Barcelona Regal22231716
Unics Kazan14192013
End of Quarter1234
FC Barcelona Regal22456278
Unics Kazan14335366
FC Barcelona Regal
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
8 SADA, VICTOR 13:24 5 1/3 1/2   1 2 3           3   2
9 HUERTAS, MARCELINHO 26:36 5 1/3 1/2   1   1 10 1 3     3   8
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 31:43 13 2/4 1/7 6/6       2 1 1     3 4 8
13 PEROVIC, KOSTA 13:40 2 1/1     1 3 4 1     1   1   7
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 5:53   0/1       1 1       1       1
18 WALLACE, C.J. 13:20 2 1/2 0/1   1 3 4   1       1 2 6
20 INGLES, JOE 8:17   0/2       1 1           1   -2
21 NDONG, BONIFACE 20:27 12 6/9     1 2 3   2 1 1   3 1 12
22 RABASEDA, XAVIER 12:08 2 1/2     1 1 2 1 1           5
25 LORBEK, ERAZEM 26:40 15 3/8 2/5 3/3   5 5 2     1   1 4 18
31 EIDSON, CHUCK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 MICKEAL, PETE 27:52 22 3/9 4/4 4/4 3 4 7 2 2 2     3 3 25
Team           2 1 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 78 19/44 9/21 13/13 11 23 34 18 8 8 4 0 19 14 92
        43.2% 42.9% 100%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Unics Kazan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 LYDAY, TERRELL 22:27 10 2/5 2/4           1 2     1 2 5
7 ZAMANSKIY, IGOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 SAMOYLENKO, PETR 30:23 3 1/1 0/3 1/2   4 4 4   1     1 2 7
10 NACHBAR, BOSTJAN 3:51   0/1                     1   -2
11 PASHUTIN, ZAKHAR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 VEREMEENKO, VLADIMIR 35:08 11 3/7 1/2 2/4 4 5 9 1 1       3 2 14
13 GREER, LYNN 9:56 7 2/4   3/3   1 1 2   1     2 3 8
14 SAVRASENKO, ALEKSEY 6:34                   1         -1
15 GUBANOV, PETR 10:10   0/2       1 1 1       1 1   -2
21 McCARTY, KELLY 20:38 8 1/1 2/2     4 4 1   1     1   11
32 JAWAI, NATE 24:17 15 6/11   3/5 2 5 7 1   4   3 3 3 9
44 DOMERCANT, HENRY 36:36 12 1/7 2/5 4/4   3 3 3 1 3     1 7 13
Team           4   4     1         3
Totals 200:00 66 16/39 7/16 13/18 10 23 33 13 3 14 0 4 14 19 65
        41% 43.8% 72.2%
Head coach: PASHUTIN, EVGENY

Head Coaches

PASCUAL, XAVI
FC Barcelona Regal
"We are happy with the way we played tonight. We had a strong start and I believe we could have even taken a bigger lead than the 12 points we had. The desire to win the game caused us to make mistakes. We missed some open shots, but that 12-point lead was important. We know that Unics never gives up and waits for its moment to get back in the game. We lost our rhythm in the third quarter and were less fluid on offense. Defensive pressure and three-pointers allowed them to get within 62-59 and 65-62, but after that we managed to dominate the game until the end. Our fans helped us in such a difficult game and that was the key, so I would like to thank them for their support. Pete Mickeal had an outstanding game, playing really well at both ends, taking advantage of pick-and-roll and low post situations."
PASHUTIN, EVGENY
Unics Kazan
"We were not able to stop Barcelona in the first half, in which they scored 45 points. We struggled against Juan Carlos Navarro, his dribbles, playing style and passes. We improved our defense after the break and managed to get within 3 points, but we were limited to just 13 points in the fourth quarter. They raised their defensive level and managed to keep a safe lead late in the game. We were not able to control our offense and missed open shots. Barcelona punished us for that. Congratulations to Barcelona, but we must be ready for the next game. Nathan Jawai was tired in the fourth quarter, but Petr Gubanov did a good job. When we were down by 8 with four minutes left, we had two good defenses so that Lyday and Domercant could hit some shots, but they didn't go in. We played well but could not get closer in the final minutes."

Players

MICKEAL, PETE
FC Barcelona Regal
"We have waited for a game like this for a year. It is just one game and we have another one coming up in two days before we go to Kazan. Defense and rebounds are the most important thing. Unics is a very good team, but we managed to stay calm on offense and play good defense. Game 1 is very important, but so is Game 2 - we lost Game 2 against Panathinaikos last season. I expected it to be a tougher game. Unics is a good team with four very good American players."
LORBEK, ERAZEM
FC Barcelona Regal
"I think that we played really well tonight and we have to be happy about it. The most important thing is that we won tonight and improved a bit. I believe that both teams played well and it was a difficult game just as we expected. We managed to be better in the fourth quarter, by being a bit more focused and that's what allowed us to win tonight. They managed to get closer, but we were focused right when it mattered."
DOMERCANT, HENRY
Unics Kazan
"Through the whole game, we expected to play better defense. We are a better defensive team than we showed tonight. We definitely want to keep the score a lot lower than it was tonight. We need to slow down our offense and cut the turnovers, which was a major reason why we lost this game. That gave them confidence and allowed them to break the game open. Defensively, we have to be a little bit stronger than we were tonight. We have to take care of the ball on offense, too."