Barca battered Unics Kazan 65-93
FC Barcelona Regal stayed undefeated in difficult Group D by thrashing reigning Eurocup champion Unics 65-93 in Kazan, Russia on Thursday. FCB Regal ties with Montepaschi Siena atop this group's standings, each with a 3-0 record. Unics dropped to 1-2 and registered its second consecutive loss. Erazem Lorbek paced the winners with 24 points on 9-of-11 two-pointers and 2-of-2 triples. Juan Carlos Navarro added 19, Pete Mickeal had 16 while Marcelinho Huertas got 10 and 8 assists for Barcelona. Terrell Lyday led Unics with 14 points. Vladimir Veremeenko added 11 while Kelly McCarty had 10 for the hosts. Lorbek downed back-to-back three-pointers in a 0-11 run that allowed his team to get a 9-19 lead late in the first quarter. An outstanding McCarty singlehandedly brought Unics as close as 30-32 but a timeout by head coach Xavi Pascual changed the game's momentum. Huertas and Navarro fueled an 1-14 run that made Barcelona get a 32-44 lead at halftime. Navarro took over after the break and got some help from Boni Ndong and Chuck Eidson to make it a 21-point game, 48-69, after three quarter. Nothing changed from that moment, as Barcelona kept full control of the game until the final buzzer and cruised to a well-deserved road win.
Nathan Jawai got Unics going with a wild put-back dunk that Lorbek matched with an easy layup in transition. Jawai set the crowd on fire with a huge reverse dunk - and the free throw that came with it, as Unics tried to play up-tempo in the early going. Huertas hit a running jumper, as Barcelona adjusted its defense to stop Jawai. Lorbek shined with a smooth move in the low post and matched Henry Domercant's layup with an easy basket to give Barcelona a 7-8 lead. McCarty nailed an off-balance jumper but a free throw by Kosta Perovic and a 'bomba' by Navarro restored a 9-11 Barcelona edge. Unics struggled to score now and a red hot Lorbek struck twice from downtown to boost the guests' margin to 9-17. Navarro sank another floating jumper to force Unics to call timeout at 9-19. Veremeenko hit free throws and a three-pointer by Domercant brought Unics back to life, 14-19. Mickeal scored around the basket and a floating shot by Huertas gave Barcelona a 14-23 margin after 10 minutes.
Ndong split free throws early in the second quarter but a driving basket by Veremeenko tried to get the crowd involved at 16-24. Mickeal and Aleksey Savrasenko scored around the basket, as Unics improved its defense and stopped allowing open shots. McCarty sank free throws on the guests' fifth team foul and added his trademark turnaround jumper to get Unics within 22-26. Barcelona could not get Navarro involved and McCarty got Unics even closer, 24-26. Lorbek rescued Barcelona with a turnaround jumper off a timeout and a circus shot by Huertas gave his team some fresh air, 24-30. Lynn Greer shined with a wild driving layup that Navarro matched with a step-back jumper. McCarty kept pacing Unics with a jump hook and free throws by Greer made it a two-point game, 30-32. Huertas stepped up with a backdoor layup and Navarro added free throws for a 31-37 score. Navarro nailed a seven-meter bomb and Perovic dunked it to make Barcelona restore a double-digit lead, 31-42. Huertas took over with a fast break layup and a free throw by Domercant fixed the halftime score at 32-44.
Jawai took over with a put-back dunk right after the break and a huge block on Lorbek. Navarro provided a highlight with an off-balance jumper and fed Victor Sada for a fast break layup. Lyday shined with a three-point play and Greer scored in transition but back-to-back baskets by Lorbek kept Barcelona way ahead, 39-52. Eidson took over with a layup-plus-foul that broke the game open, 39-55. Unics called timeout but kept finding troubles to circulate the ball. Navarro beat the shot clock with a wild three-pointer off the dribble. Lyday answered with a long jumper but free throws by Eidson and another bomb from downtown by an unstoppable Navarro made it a 22-point game, 41-63. Ndong scored down low and even when Domercant answered with a jumper, it only managed to get Unics within 43-65. Ndong silenced the crowd with an alleyoop dunk but Mike Wilkinson and Veremeenko answered from a 48-67 score. A layup by Joe Ingles restored a 48-69 Barcelona lead after 30 minutes.
Mickeal scored around the basket early in the fourth quarter, as Unics tried to play with shorter possessions in search of a comeback. Unics kept struggling to score, however, until Lyday stepped up with a fast break layup. Wilkinson soon added a follow-up layup that made Barcelona call timeout at 52-70. Lorbek sank a fallaway jumper and a fast break layup by Ingles sealed the outcome, 52-75. Lorbek banked in a short shot off an Unics timeout and Huertas fed Mickeal for a jumper, good for a 52-79 score. Lyday hit a tough shot, Wilkinson picked up a loose ball to put it in and Veremeenko dunked it but Ingles and Fran Vazquez answered in the other end for a 25-point Barcelona lead, 58-83. By the time Lorbek hit a jump hook, everything was said and done already, as Barcelona had confirmed its power with a no-doubt-about-it road win. Meanwhile, Unics will need to bounce back right away to stay in the fight to make it to the Top 16.
Thursday, November 3, 2011