Abrines, Pleiss lead Barcelona to victory in Milan
FC Barcelona went on the road and took care of business, hitting 11 three-pointers in downing EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 63-78 on Thursday night. Barcelona improved to 2-0 for a share of first place in Group C, while EA7 Milan dropped to 0-2. Barcelona got hot midway through the first quarter, going on to hit 8 of 12 three-point attempts in the first half. DeShaun Thomas hit three early on, then Alex Abines nailed a pair from downtown in the second, and Tibor Pleiss made his presence felt inside, as Barcelona put together a 1-15 spurt that opened up a 22-40 lead. The visitors took a 32-45 advantage into halftime, and never looked back as the hosts did not come closer than 8 points the rest of the way. Abrines finished with 21 points, hitting 5 of 5 three-point shots, while Pleiss scored 16 on a perfect night - 5 of 5 for two-points, 1-for-1 three-pointers, and 3 of 3 foul shots – and grabbed 6 boards. Thomas finished with 12 points in victory, while Tomas Satoransky made his debut with 5 points plus 6 assists. Milan dominated the offensive glass with 19 offensive rebounds, as Daniel Hackett scored 15 points, and Alessandro Gentile had 11 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. Samardo Samuels also scored 11 with 7 rebounds, while Linas Kleiza added 10 points in defeat.
Barcelona grabs lead with 5 of 6 from downtown
The defenses got the best of the offenses early on. Gentile scored inside for the hosts, and Thomas hit a three-pointer for Barcelona for the only baskets in the opening theee minutes. Samuels scored a layup-plus foul, and Gentile drove for a layup on a fast break to make it 7-3. Brad Oleson replied by banking in a runner, before Hackett hit a triple and Gentile fed Samuels for an easy dunk, 12-6. Thomas answered with another triple, and after Hackett's driving layup, a third triple from Thomas made it 14-12. Gentile countered from close range, before Oleson connected on a long jumper. After a Milan timeout, Barcelona finished the quarter with back-to-back triples from Abrines and Justin Doellman for a 17-20 lead after 10 minutes.
Barcelona goes in front by 18 behind Abrines
Pleiss opened the scoring in the second quarter with an easy layup, and after Kleiza nailed a turnaround jumper, Abrines knocked down Barcelona's sixth triple for a 19-25 lead. Marshon Brooks drove for a runner, but Satoransky answered with his first career Euroleague basket. Abrines followed with another triple, and Mario Hezonja drove for a layup to open up a 21-32 margin. After a Milan timeout, Barcelona continued its run with a basket-plus-free throw from Pleiss, and the big man added a pair of free throws to the tally. Kleiza split free throws to end Milan’s drought, but Bostjan Nachbar nailed a long fadeaway jumper to cap 1-15 Barcelona charge that made it 22-40. Shawn James snapped the run with a put-back, and after Kleiza scored off a spin move inside, David Moss nailed a corner three-pointer to cut the deficit to 29-40. The visitors were held scoreless for 3 minutes, but Marcelinho Huertas hit a three and then dished a behind-the-back pass for a Doellman fastbreak layup and a 29-45 advantage. At the other end, Hackett finished the half with a driving layup-plus-foul that made it 32-45.
Barcelona stays ahead
Ante Tomic started the second half by dishing to Oleson for a reverse layup, but on the other end Nicolo Melli raced for a fastbreak dunk and Samuels muscled his way inside for a layup. The hosts worked hard on the offensive glass, which helped them cut it to 39-47, and kept Barcelona to only one field goal for almost six minutes, which allowed Milan to stay in the game. Thomas snapped the visitors’ drought with a difficult basket-plus-foul from close range, and Pleiss worked his way for a layup that made it 40-54. After a basket from Hackett, Abrines nailed a long pull-up jump shot, and Samuels answered with a layup-plus-foul to get to 45-56. But Abrines was unstoppable, driving the lane for a runner, and after Hackett hit a mid-range jumper, Abrines nailed a triple – his fourth in as many attempts. Pleiss finished the quarter with an easy short-range shot, giving Barcelona a 50-63 cushion after three quarters.
The visitors close it out
Abrines continued where he left of, hitting his fifth three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter for a 16-point margin. Hackett scored on a short jumper, but Nachbar made a dunk on an assist by big man Tomic, extending the difference to 52-68. James made a tip-in as one of the final attempts to rally Milan, and after Tomic scored a layup, Kleiza connected on a baseline floater and a corner triple, followed by James who scored from close range to make it 61-70. After a Barcelona timeout, however, Doellman nailed a jumper to snap a 9-2 run, and Pleiss hit a long jumper for a 61-74 score, putting the game out of the hosts’ reach. James scored inside, but Pleiss knocked down a three-pointer to close it out.
Thursday, October 23, 2014