By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Barcelona led from start to finish and was up even by 17 points in the fourth period en route to beating Khimki Moscow 87 – 74 at home.
Nikola Mirotic and Cory Higgins scored 24 and 20 points respectively while Nick Calathes dished out 12 assists as Barcelona improved its record to 11-3.
Still, coach Sarunas Jasikevicius wasn’t satisfied: “I don’t know what happened to us before the game but we didn’t come out with the right mentality and although we had a really unbelievable first half, we couldn’t really stop them. In the third quarter, we stopped them a little bit, and at the same time, when we broke the game, we started to play for the score and Khimki gets back in the game. Yes, they hit a lot of difficult shots, Shved, but when you have a plan, you must follow it and a lot of times we didn’t follow it. But I am happy about the win. There is not much time to practice all EuroLeague season, this is the reality.”
Khimki, which saw forward Janis Timma exiting the game early due to injury, suffered its fifth straight loss and remained at the bottom of the EuroLeague standings, now at 2 – 12. Alexey Shved had 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds, Jordan Mickey posted 13 points plus five rebounds and Sergey Karasev added 13 points as well.
Rimas Kurtinaitis, who praised his fellow Lithuanian coach Saras, explained in a nutshell what is wrong with Khimki: “What I told my players today about discipline is this: if Kuric would play like you, he would take 20 three-point shots because he is the best scorer in the EuroLeague. He is not a shooter, he is a scorer, but he is waiting because Sarunas knows discipline is important for a team. He waits until he has two open shots and makes them. This is what I want to say: Sarunas separates strong players from team play, on defense and offense. This is not usual but he did it with Zalgiris, too, and it is Zeljko Obradovic‘s style. We play a little bit differently. We play with more freedom and for that, we need to be in good condition.”
After controlling most aspects of the game, Barcelona went ahead 72 – 55 early in the fourth period. Khimki made a comeback attempt with a 0 – 9 run but seven straight points by Higgins pushed them back for good.