2020-21Regular SeasonRound 12
December 04, 2020 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 ZALGIRIO ARENA

Barca's D lets Jasikevicius win Kaunas return

FC Barcelona used a strong defensive performance to stop host Zalgiris Kaunas 62-73 and retain exclusive hold on first place in head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius's return to his beloved former club. Brandon Davies, another prominent former Zalgiris figure, led Barcelona with 16 points off the bench and Kyle Kuric added 15 points in a reserve role as Barcelona took over the game with a 2-13 run in the fourth quarter. Nick Calathes chipped in 6 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals in the win, which pushed Barcelona to a 9-2 record. Zalgiris has now dropped six games in a row to fall to 5-7 after a 5-1 start. Rokas Jokubaitis evened his career high of 15 points to lead the way for Zalgiris while Nigel Hayes picked up 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Marius Grigonis was held to a season-low 5 points, 10.3 points below his season average.

Pierre Oriola's reverse layup plus scores by Calathes and Nikola Mirotic led to an early 0-6 Barca lead. Zalgiris missed 5 shots and committed 3 turnovers before Thomas Walkup scored the hosts' first basket off the glass after more than 4 minutes. Barca committed 4 turnovers that allowed Zalgiris to pull ahead 11-10. Davies calmed the visitors with 4 points and Rolands Smits hit a three-pointer to keep Barca ahead 14-17 after 10 minutes. Kuric's three-pointer increased the gap to 16-22 before Zalgiris got 6 points back, trimming the gap to 22-24. Kuric added 5 more points including his second triple as the advantage grew to 22-29. Jokubaitis stepped up his play, twice feeding Joffrey Lauvergne and then throwing down a dunk as the margin was down to 30-32. Davies led a 3-7 finish to the first half for a 33-39 Barca edge at the break. Cory Higgins knocked down a three-pointer in a 0-7 spurt for Barca to start the second half by moving ahead 33-46. Zalgiris needed more than 2 minutes until Lukas Lekavicius finally scored, but 5 straight points by Davies extended the gap to 42-55. Zalgiris ended the third quarter with a 6-0 run to pull within 48-55. Davies opened the fourth quarter and then Hayes hit Zalgiris's first three-pointer after the team had missed its first 11 tries from deep. Walkup followed for back-to-back triples to make it 54-57. Jokubaitis was open on the break but missed a dunk which could have made it a one-point game and Kuric punished the hosts with a three-pointer. Barcelona delivered the knockout punch with a 2-13 run that included a pair of threes from Alex Abrines to go ahead 58-73 with less than 2 minutes to play and decide the game.

Kings of thievery

Despite losing the game, Zalgiris collected 16 steals, matching the most thefts by any team in a EuroLeague game since CSKA Moscow on December 16, 2016. Since then only one team had even picked up 15 steals, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade in the 2017-18 season.

The end of a streak

The end of the second quarter saw a novelty as Zalgiris's Marius Grigonis missed a free throw for the first time this season, snapping his run of 41-for-41 going into the game.

Telling numbers

Zalgiris came into the game as the EuroLeague's top three-point shooting team at 41.1%. But this time around, the hosts missed their first 11 three-point attempts. Zalgiris ended up hitting just 2 of 18 from long range on the night, or 11.1%. Barcelona survived committing 24 turnovers thanks to making 8-of-20 (40.0%) from beyond the arc.

Next games

Zalgiris will next head on the road as it faces Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on December 11 in Round 13 action. Barcelona will head back home for its next EuroLeague game as it takes on Olympiacos Piraeus on December 8 in a Round 9 makeup game.

Brandon Davies - FC Barcelona - EB20
Friday, December 4, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: PUKL,SASA; HORDOV, TOMISLAV ; ROSSI, MICHELE
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas14191514
FC Barcelona17221618
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas14334862
FC Barcelona17395573
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 25:15 5 1/2 1/6     4 4 4 4 5   1 3 2 4
1 BLAZEVIC, MAREK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 17:25 5 2/3 0/3 1/2       1 2       1 5 7
10 HAYES, NIGEL 29:11 10 2/5 1/3 3/3 3 3 6 4 3 1       1 18
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 7:17           2 2 1   1     2 1 1
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 14:50 2   0/3 2/2   1 1   2       2 1 1
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS 5:37 2 1/1       1 1 1   2         2
24 RUBIT, AUGUSTINE 19:18 6 0/2   6/6 2 2 4   1   1   2 4 12
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 29:31 15 7/11 0/1 1/1 1   1 3 3 1   1 1 1 15
32 VASTURIA, STEVE 7:49 2 1/1       1 1     1     3   -1
40 GRIGONIS, MARIUS 25:10 5 2/3 0/2 1/2   1 1   1 4     2 4 1
77 LAUVERGNE, JOFFREY 18:37 10 3/6   4/4 2 1 3 2 1 3 1 1 2 2 10
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 62 19/34 2/18 18/20 9 16 25 16 17 19 2 3 18 21 70
        55.9% 11.1% 90%
Head coach: SCHILLER, MARTIN
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
FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 22:27 16 6/9   4/5 3 1 4 1 1 1     3 7 21
8 HANGA, ADAM 27:36 5 1/2 1/4     2 2 6 4 2 1   1 1 12
9 BOLMARO, LEANDRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 12:01 3   1/3   1 3 4     1     2   2
13 HEURTEL, THOMAS 10:45   0/1     1   1 2   1     1    
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 16:12 6 3/5     1 3 4     1 1 1 3   4
21 ABRINES, ALEX 22:50 6   2/4     1 1           2   3
22 HIGGINS, CORY 17:54 7 2/3 1/3     1 1 1 1 2     4 1 2
23 MARTINEZ, SERGI 2:32   0/1               1         -2
24 KURIC, KYLE 18:01 15 2/3 3/4 2/3   2 2   1 1 1   1 2 16
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 25:20 9 2/4 0/2 5/5 2 2 4 2   4     2 4 9
99 CALATHES, NICK 24:22 6 2/4   2/2 1 4 5 10 3 7   1 2 3 15
Team           2   2     3         -1
Totals 200:00 73 18/32 8/20 13/15 11 19 30 22 10 24 3 2 21 18 81
        56.3% 40% 86.7%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS

Head Coaches

SCHILLER, MARTIN
Zalgiris Kaunas
"We struggled to rebound the ball in the first half. The opponent also capitalized off it. We controlled that much better in the second half. That was a step up. Defensively, we played with a lot of aggression. We played with a lot of activity, which led to a lot of deflections by us and led to turnovers by the opponent, which was very positive. Offensively, we had trouble scoring the basketball. It's sometimes a little too easy to look at the numbers and see 11.1% from three-point land as the reason. It's not that easy. That 11.1% also comes from good defense by the opponent. So I don't want to go that route. But at the same time making a shot more here or there helps in keeping a game tight in crucial phases and then you don't know what happens."
JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
FC Barcelona
"The defense was good. We made mistakes on defense but there are always going to be some mistakes. Offensively, I thought we were absolutely awful. In the second half, I think we were able to control the rhythm of the game a little bit. We hit some shots. But to play this basketball, with more than 20 turnovers, it's not our level. We need to get back to it. But it was also very important to win after the two losses in a row. So, we'll take that and try to go and improve. Obviously, Marius [ Grigonis] is a focal point for Zalgiris and we had to stop him, and I think Adam [Hanga] and Alex [Abrines] really did a great job on him."

Players

WALKUP, THOMAS
Zalgiris Kaunas
"It's a really good team, a really well-coached team. They ran some good stuff. They took us out of a lot of our defensive schemes. I thought we put up a good fight. It would have helped to have made some shots tonight."
DAVIES, BRANDON
FC Barcelona
"I think we brought a good effort on the defensive end. We have a lot of respect for Zalgiris. They fight until the end. It's a great win for us, especially to get off the losing streak."
CALATHES, NICK
FC Barcelona
"Defense was key for us. In the first half we really didn't get too much going offensively. But we stayed in the game defensively, and that's what won us the game. It's a win, a win on the road against a good team, against a well-coached team that grinds it out. And it was important for us."