Barcelona sinks Maccabi, extends winning streak
FC Barcelona Lassa won its third consecutive game in beating visiting Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 74-58 on Thursday night at Palau Blaugrana. Barcelona ran away to a big lead with a 25-7 third quarter, and went on to improve to 3-2 record on the season, while Maccabi dropped to 1-4. Victor Claver had 14 points and 7 rebounds in victory, Kyle Kuric scored 10 of his 13 points in a key third-quarter stretch, and Ante Tomic finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds on the night he set the all-time record for two-point shots made in the competition. Angelo Caloiaro had 11 points in defeat, and Johnny O'Bryant scored all of his 10 points in the first half for Maccabi.
Two teams struggled to find their offensive rhythm early, but feasted on offensive boards. One such second-chance triple by Chris Singleton put Barcelona up 9-7. O'Bryant answered for Maccabi, but a transition triple from Claver capped a 7-0 run that helped the hosts take an 18-12 lead after 10 minutes. A three from Kuric and a put-back from Tomic helped Barcelona hold the lead, but big man O'Bryant hit a pair of triples and added a driving layup to put Maccabi in front 28-31. However, Tomic made a basket to break the EuroLeague all-time record for two-point shots made and Claver scored twice from close range to give Barcelona a 34-33 halftime lead. After the break, it was all Barcelona. The hosts allowed only one field goal in the first five minutes of the quarter, while Tomic, Singleton, Kuric and Kevin Pangos fueled a run that opened a 48-35 lead. Caloiaro snapped the run with a three-pointer, but Claver hit a triple for Barcelona before Kuric hit back-to-back shots from downtown, opening a 59-40 lead at the end of the third quarter. Thomas Heurtel hit a pair of floaters to make it 67-44 in the fourth quarter. The visitors cut into the deficit with triples from Michael Roll, John DiBartolomeo and Caloiaro, but never managed to come closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Barcelona had 10 offensive rebounds in the first 13 minutes of the game, but could not capitalize on those. The hosts pulled away, however, in the third quarter when they locked down defensively and forced Maccabi into attempting tough shots. That led to some transition baskets and a 14-2 run that broke the game open.
Barcelona center Ante Tomic moved into the first place on the all-time chart for two-point shots made in the EuroLeague. Entering the game, Tomic needed 3 two-point shots to catch Mike Batiste who led the all-time standings with 949 shots made inside the arc. Tomic went on to make 4 two-point shots in the first half, breaking the record. He finished the game with 952 two-point baskets.
Making his way back
Adam Hanga returned to action and made his first EuroLeague appearance this season after being sidelined due to a knee surgery he underwent during the summer. The former EuroLeague Best Defender played 10 minutes and finished with 2 points, 3 rebounds and 3 drawn fouls. Hanga is expected to give Barcelona's rotation a big boost once he gets back to full speed.
Did you catch?
The EuroLeague's career scoring king, Juan Carlos Navarro retired over the summer after 21 professional seasons, 20 with Barcelona. In a special ceremony before the tip-off, Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, presented Navarro with an award as a tribute to his career, and also a framed copy of his first-ever scoresheet as a EuroLeague player.
In Round 6, Maccabi will host reigning champion Real Madrid on Tuesday, while Barcelona travels to faces Khimki Moscow Region a day later.
Thursday, November 1, 2018