2019-20Regular SeasonRound 25
February 21, 2020 CET: 20:30
Local time: 21:30 OAKA

Barca battles back to overcome Panathinaikos

FC Barcelona struck a big blow to Panathinaikos OPAP Athens’ hopes of climbing into the top four with a powerful 81-92 comeback victory at the OAKA. Panathinaikos started strong and never trailed in the first half, leading 45-38 at the break, and was briefly up by double digits in the third quarter. But Barcelona rallied towards the end of the third, took its first lead early in the fourth and didn’t look back from that moment. Nikola Mirotic led the winners with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Cory Higgins added 17 points, Malcolm Delaney scored 15 and Alex Abrines netted 13 for the Spanish side. Nick Calathes recorded a double-double of 10 points and 11 assists, while Georgios Papagiannis led the home team’s scoring with 14 points. Jimmer Fredette netted 13 points and Ioannis Papapetrou scored 12 in defeat. The home team drops to 14-11 while Barcelona stays in second place at 19-6.

Papagiannis made an instant impact, scoring twice from close range and blocking two shots as the hosts went 6-2 ahead. Free throws kept Barcelona close but Papagiannis hooked up with Calathes for an alley-oop slam and Fredette struck from deep for a 16-11 lead. Higgins and Ian Vougioukas both scored 4 quick points, before a three-point play on a fastbreak from Higgins tied it at 20-20. Nikos Pappas and DeShaun Thomas struck from deep either side of the first quarter buzzer, but 5 fast points from Abrines kept it close. Calathes found Papapetrou and Thomas under the basket to keep Panathinaikos in front, and a layup plus one from Papapetrou made it 35-27. A trio of baskets from Ante Tomic got Barcelona moving, but Papapetrou struck from the corner and added a mid-range shot to secure a 45-38 half-time lead. Papagiannis netted twice inside early in the second half, and although Mirotic and Adam Hanga both scored from deep that was the signal for Ben Bentil to take over with a huge slam over Tomic and a three-point strike for a 59-48 lead. Mirotic scored twice and Higgins completed a 0-7 run with a triple. A steal and score from Calathes restarted Panathinakos, and Tyrese Rice’s free throws briefly made it a double-digit game before Abrines struck from deep, Brandon Davies nailed a fastbreak slam, Delaney added a triple and Abrines beat the third quarter buzzer to make it 69-67 after three quarters. Davies tied the game from mid-range and then gave Barcelona its first lead from the foul line, but Papagiannis threw down a slam and Papapetrou laid up to send Panathinaikos back ahead. Three-pointers from Delaney and Abrines forced another lead change, 74-76, and a Davies slam followed by free throws from Delaney and Mirotic made it 76-82 with less than three minutes left. Higgins and Mirotic stretched the lead to double-digits by netting from deep, and that sealed the deal.


Greens come out firing

Panathinaikos defended with great physicality in the early stages, making plenty of contact close to the basket and not allowing Barcelona any uncontested shots. As a result, the visiting team scored 9 of its first 13 points from the foul line, only making 3 of 12 two pointers and nothing from long-range in the process.

Mirotic heats up to make milestone

Setting the trend for his team, Barcelona’s star man Nikola Mirotic made a slow start, scoring only 4 points in the first half and making just 1 of his first 8 field goal attempts. He was a different proposition after the interval, though, and surpassed the milestone of 1,500 career points in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague as he finished with a game-high 20 points.

Visitors find offense…eventually

After being held to just 38 points in the first half, Barcelona was much improved after the interval and tallied 54 points in the final two quarters. That was largely explained by much improved three-point shooting, with Barca making 2 of 12 from long-range in the first half but 9 of 17 in the second.

Next round

Barcelona stays on the road with a testing trip to CSKA Moscow in Round 25, while Panathinaikos faces another Spanish giant with a road game at Real Madrid on Monday.

Cory Higgins - FC Barcelona - EB19
Friday, February 21, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI; JAVOR, DAMIR; MOGULKOC, EMIN
Attendance: 11003
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens23222412
FC Barcelona20182925
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens23456981
FC Barcelona20386792
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, DESHAUN 23:34 9 3/5 1/3   1 1 2   1 1       1 8
5 RICE, TYRESE 10:53 4 0/1 0/2 4/4   1 1 3   2     1 3 5
6 PAPAGIANNIS, GEORGIOS 31:29 14 7/9     3 5 8   1 2 3   2 1 21
8 RAUTINS, ANDY 1:17                              
10 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 26:03 12 4/6 1/4 1/1 1 1 2   1 1     2 2 9
11 PAPPAS, NIKOS 9:32 3 0/1 1/3     1 1   1 2       1 1
15 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 6:45 6 2/2   2/2 1 2 3 1     2   3 2 11
24 JOHNSON, WESLEY 12:40 1 0/1 0/3 1/2 1   1   1       3 1 -4
32 FREDETTE, JIMMER 30:16 13 3/4 2/6 1/1   4 4 3 1 1       1 16
33 CALATHES, NICK 29:19 10 3/6 0/3 4/6   7 7 11 1 4     4 4 17
44 MITOGLOU, KONSTANTINOS 1:57                 1 1     2   -2
50 BENTIL, BENJAMIN 16:15 9 2/2 1/4 2/2   2 2 1   1     4 2 6
Team           1 5 6               6
Totals 200:00 81 24/37 6/28 15/18 8 29 37 19 8 15 5 0 21 18 94
        64.9% 21.4% 83.3%
Head coach: PITINO, RICK
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 19:34 7 3/7   1/3 1 4 5 2 2 2   2 3 2 5
5 RIBAS, PAU DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 HANGA, ADAM 14:14 5 0/3 1/2 2/2   5 5 3   1   1 2 1 6
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 15:29   0/1 0/1     2 2 1 1       1   1
21 ABRINES, ALEX 21:35 13 2/2 3/5   3 1 4 2 1 1     2   15
22 HIGGINS, CORY 28:09 17 4/8 2/5 3/3   2 2 4   2   2 1 3 14
23 DELANEY, MALCOLM 25:46 15 1/3 3/8 4/4   4 4 6   2     3 5 18
24 KURIC, KYLE 11:51 2 1/2 0/3   2   2 1 1 1     1 1 1
30 CLAVER, VICTOR 18:25 4 1/3   2/2       3 1       1 3 8
31 BOLMARO, LEANDRO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 26:59 20 3/8 2/5 8/10 4 5 9   1       2 5 23
44 TOMIC, ANTE 17:58 9 4/6   1/2 1 4 5 2   2     2 1 10
Team           4 1 5               5
Totals 200:00 92 19/43 11/29 21/26 15 28 43 24 7 11 0 5 18 21 106
        44.2% 37.9% 80.8%
Head coach: PESIC, SVETISLAV

Head Coaches

PESIC, SVETISLAV
FC Barcelona
“The most important thing was to eliminate transition points for Panathinaikos. Secondly our winning mentality that we showed in the moments we didn’t make our shots. 15 offensive rebounds gave us confidence for three-point shots, which we improved. We have the quality of player to make three-point shots and I’m proud of the players because they showed character. Sometimes it’s not important to win the game but how you win the game.”

Players

BENTIL, BENJAMIN
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
“It came down to the glass, boxing out and rebounding. We didn’t do a good job of that and they made us pay. That’s why we lost. We had to be tougher, knowing the game was on the line. We have to be mentally and physically tougher, execute the game plan and most importantly rebound the ball.”
MIROTIC, NIKOLA
FC Barcelona
“We knew our mistakes in the first half and in the second half we started to rebound and play good defense. Offensively we were trying to push the ball and score easy buckets, and finally we started soring making threes. The team effort was the key tonight. We battled back and won a huge game. This gives us huge confidence. The last time we won here was five years ago, so it’s very difficult but I’m happy about the team effort. The way we competed, we didn’t give up when we were 10 or 12 down, we just carried on playing and that’s how we can grow as a team. From this point we have to build, play with more confidence and know that we’re capable of turning the game even if we’re not scoring.”
DELANEY, MALCOLM
FC Barcelona
“The first half we had a lot of open looks we didn’t make. They came out and played aggressive, it was a big game for them, and it took us a little time but in the second half we showed character. Everybody is fighting for those top eight spots, we’re fighting for the top four and every game matters for us, especially playing on the road.”