FC Barcelona Regal spurned Galatasaray Medical Park 66-70
FC Barcelona Regal remained unbeaten after surviving a fourth -quarter comeback from Galatasaray Medical Park to record a 66-70 road win on Thursday night. Barca reached the midway point of the regular season with a perfect record in Group D thanks to a 14-point effort from Erazem Lorbek. Former MVP Juan Carlos Navarro added 12 in his quest to become the all-time leading scorer in the competition. He now needs 14 points to achieve that distinction. The visitors dominated in the second quarter to lead 29-44 at halftime and increased the advantage to 20 in the third quarter. But Galatasaray roared in the fourth quarter as Barca missed shot after shot and eventually the hosts clawed their way back within 2 with 10 seconds left. However a missed foul shot coupled with a line violation gave Barcelona the ball back and Marcelinho Huertas iced the game from the line. Luksa Andric scored 17 for Galatasaray, which dropped to 2-3 in the standings.
Darius Songaila got the hosts on the boars first, but Barca responded with 6 quick points, the last coming on a Fan Vazquez slam. Baskets inside and out from Josh Shipp kept the hosts close until Tutku Acik drove the lane and set up Andric to even the score at 9-9. Navarro came right back with a tough three-pointer, though Andric scored, was fouled, and after the resulting free throw was missed, but nullified from a Barcelona player’s early entry to the lane, Andric put his team ahead 14-13 with a new free throw. The back and forth continued as Chuck Eidson connected from downtown, but Acik drove to even the score. Victor Sada nailed another Barcelona three-pointer and Ender Arlsan matched him to leave it at 19-19 after 10 minutes.
Barca grabbed control at the start of the second quarter with a pair of Mickeal buckets sandwiching a Boni Ndong score. Barcelona’s defense silenced the Galatasaray attack for over four minutes. C.J. Wallace drained a three-pointer to cap a 0-11 run for the visitors for a 19-30 lead. Shipp finally ended the Galatasaray drought with a jumper and then a high-flying cut to the basket. Jamon Lucas added 2 from the line before Wallace silenced the crowd with a triple from the elbow. And son Mickeal rose to grab a Kosta Perovic miss and slam it home for a 27-37 Barcelona cushion. Marcelinho Huertas helped Barca finish the half in style with an alley-oop pass to Vazquez that was perfectly on target before dishing to Lorbek to cap the first half at 29-44.
Galatasaray came out for the second half within energy and Furkan Aldemir inside and Preston Shumpert from behind the arc got their first points. But Lorbek and Navarro also connected from downtown. Lorbek remained a favorite target for the visitors and scored again before passing to Mickeal to up the lead to 36-56. With their backs to the wall, Galatasaray fought back. Shumpert scored before finding Andric for a basket-plus-foul. An Arslan steal resulted in a basket for Lucas. Before things got out of control, Navarro and Lorbek protected the Barca lead, however an Arslan triple at the end of the quarter gave the hosts a fighting chance at 48-61.
A pair of Aldemir free throws brought Galatasaray within 9 early in the fourth quarter. Wallace struck back from downtown and the Barcelona defense managed to prevent Galatasaray from getting much closer, although the visitors themselves were struggling to generate points. Aldemir free throws and a Lucas drive made it 56-64 midway through the fourth quarter. It seemed there was a lock on the Barcelona basket as despite several offensive rebounds and some good looks, its best shooters were unable to get the ball through the hole. Andric cut the gap to 6 with more than three minutes to go. And then a perfect pass from Andric to Jaka Lakovic put the deficit at 4. Navarro settled the visitors down with 2 from the line, but after a timeout, Shumpert’s finger roll put the pressure back on Barcelona. Lorbek banged in a contested jumper with 1:07 left that silenced the crowd. The Galatasaray fans could sign again after Andric scored and was fouled. His free throw made it a one-possession game, 65-68. The defense forced Navarro into a turnover and Galatasaray had the ball with 22 seconds left and needing a triple to tie the score. Lorbek sent Lakovic to the line with 10 seconds remaining. He made the first, but intentionally missed the second, however Andric was called for a line violation and Barca got the ball back. Huertas was quickly sent to the line and made 2 free throws to essentially ice the win.
Thursday, November 17, 2011