By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Barcelona stepped up in the last five minutes of the game against Olimpia Milano and grabbed an 87-71 home win in Round 13 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Barca improved to 10-3 compared to Milano‘s 7-5 record.
Brandon Davies scored 21 points for the victors on 8-10 shooting while Nikola Mirotic added 19 and Cory Higgins 16 points.
Mirotic also grabbed ten rebounds while Nick Calathes scored five points but dished 14 assists to his teammates which is a club record.
Malcolm Delaney scored game-high 23 points for Milano followed by Shavon Shields 12 and Vladimir Micov’s 11 points. Kyle Hines added ten and became only the third player in the competition history to make 1,000 two-pointers.
— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) December 11, 2020
Barcelona was off to a great start, scoring the first 11 points of the game but they didn’t hold the advantage for too long as the away team slowly got back up. In fact, Milano was the one to lead at halftime (43-39) thanks to Delaney’s 13 points.
Both teams put on a lot of grit on defense and played a slow pace on offense, trying to find the best shots possible. As a result, neither side could gain a significant advantage until crunch time.
Milano had an upper hand (69-64) until midway through the final period, however, a 21-0 run (85-69) by the Spaniards culminating with Higgins’ two straight threes turned the tables and decided the outcome.
“When a lot of things were against us, we were down seven and used the timeout. Luckily, we got two quick buckets and we just dug down, something we actually haven’t been able to do. So this is a big step, this is a big win and we need to continue digging the games out,” coach Sarunas Jasikevicius noted and continued.
“In this EuroLeague, there are not going to be a lot of games that you are going to win by 20. This is the way to win in the EuroLeague and this might be our first one, maybe since the first game of the season. It is nice to see yourself [in first place places in the standings] but it is not important in the end. At this point, like I always say, the most important thing is to improve and improve. If you are improving, you are doing OK, especially in this pandemic year, you know? Being first or second at this point is not important. It is all about getting better.”