Shane Larkin's 37 points against FC Barcelona Lassa matched the second-most in any game in the last 12 years. Larkin came off the bench and made the difference in a very important game for his team, Anadolu Efes Istanbul. A game that would have consequences in the near future. Larkin beat his previous career-high scoring night by 15 points.
When did it happen?
Anadolu Efes Istanbul defeated Barcelona 92-70 at home in Regular Season Round 25, on March 8, 2019. It was a critical game for both teams in the fight for fourth place, which Efes eventually took. When both teams met again in the playoffs, Efes had the home-court advantage and made the most out of it in do-or-die Game 5, reaching the Final Four for the first time in almost two decades.
Did you know?
Larkin had those 37 points coming off the bench. It is one of the best scoring nights by any EuroLeague player - the all-time record is 41, shared by Bobby Brown, Alphonso Ford, Kaspars Kambala and Carlton Myers - but also tied an Euroleague record for most points for a bench player. Andres Nocioni of Baskonia also had 37 points off the bench in a game against the same opponent, Barcelona, at Palau Blaugrana on April 10, 2014.
He missed just three shots that night, hitting 6-of-7 inside the arc, 6-of-8 from downtown and 7-of-7 from the foul line. A near-perfect shooting night! Only one player was able to reach that mark or more with less missed shots - Saulius Stombergas of Tau Ceramica hit 4-of-4 two-pointers, 9-of-9 three-pointers and 4-of-5 free throws in Game 1 of the 2001 EuroLeague semifinals against AEK Athens - 39 points, one missed shot.
Place in history
Larkin went on to score 30 points against Barcelona in the playoffs. Only one other player in EuroLeague history had 30 points or more twice against the same team. It was Charles Smith of Scavolini Pesaro, who had 32 points against Maccabi in the Regular Season, and scored 32 again in Game 2 of the playoffs. Larkin had another 30-point performance in a critical moment - against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul in the EuroLeague semifinals.
What happened next
Larkin was the EuroLeague top scorer in the playoffs (19.6 ppg.), allowing Efes to go past the playoffs in a European competition for the first time since 2001. Once in the Final Four, Larkin scored 30 against Fenerbahce and 29 against CSKA Moscow in the Championship Game. That's 59 points in a single Final Four - the fifth-best mark since the format was chosen in 1988, and the best since Alexander Volkov had 61 for Panathinaikos in 1994. The bottom line is that Larkin led Efes to its best EuroLeague season - second overall.