Hannah's free throws give Gran Canaria its first win
In a thriller that came down to the final shot, Herbalife Gran Canaria recorded its first-ever Turkish Airlines EuroLeague win by edging FC Barcelona Lassa 87-86 at home on Tuesday. Gran Canaria improved to 1-1 in the standings and Barcelona dropped to 0-2. Chris Evans led the winners with 19 points. Clevin Hannah added 14, including the go-ahead free throws down the stretch, while Kim Tillie and D.J. Strawberry each scored 13 for Gran Canaria. Former Gran Canaria star Kyle Kuric led Barcelona with 24 points, Ante Tomic added 18 while Kevin Pangos, also formerly of Gran Canaria, had 11 for the guests.
Kuric hit a couple of early triples, Tomic scored twice in the paint and 7 unanswered points by an inspired Pangos gave Barcelona its first double-digit lead, 9-19. Albert Oliver and Xavi Rabaseda brought Gran Canaria a bit closer, 18-26, at the end of the first quarter. A stop-and-pop triple by Oliver soon made it a one-point game, 25-26, after an 11-0 run. Tomic and Pau Ribas stepped up for Barcelona, giving the guests fresh air at 28-33. Gran Canaria used a 7-0 run, which Evans capped with a three-pointer to take back the lead, 35-33. A layup by Pierre Oriola tied the game at 44-44 at halftime. Three-pointers by Hannah and Eulis Baez gave Gran Canaria a 53-51 edge soon after the break. A 2-10 run that Pangos capped with free throws put Barcelona ahead, 55-61. Kevin Seraphin and Thomas Heurtel allowed the visitors to keep a 64-69 margin after 30 minutes. Tomic and Kuric took over early in the fourth quarter, but a three-point play by Strawberry gave Gran Canaria hope at 75-79. A big dunk by Evans made it 81-82. Tomic and Tillie traded baskets and a layup by Evans gave Gran Canaria an 85-84 edge with over a minute to go. Kuric hit a free throw, Singleton split attempts and Hannah drew a foul with 3.6 seconds left. He made both attempts and Pangos missed a five-meter shot at the buzzer.
Not only did he lead his team in scoring, but Evans gave Gran Canaria the spark it needed in the fourth quarter. He had 10 of his 19 points in the final seven minutes, allowing Gran Canaria to keep its chances alive until the final seconds.
With Barcelona up 77-82, an 8-2 run in which Evans had 6 points allowed Gran Canaria to take the lead, 85-84. It was the hosts' first lead since early in the third quarter. Gran Canaria, pushed by a great crowd, never stopped believing and got its reward down the stretch.
Kim Tillie had 13 points; that was the most he has scored in the EuroLeague since March 2017. Tillie has scored 22 points in two games. He totaled 38 in 10 games with Olympiacos Piraeus in an injury-plagued 2017-18 season.
Did you notice?
It took Gran Canaria's Luke Fischer just one minute and 51 seconds to foul out in this game. That is an all-time record - before him, Vyacheslav Shushakov of Ural Great had fouled out in three minutes and 26 seconds against Efes Pilsen on April 4, 2002.
Both teams play against on Thursday; Gran Canaria visits Panathinaikos OPAP Athens at 20:00 CET. An hour later, Barcelona welcomes FC Bayern Munich.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018