Nikola Mirotic turned in one of the finest games in the history of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four, even though it was not enough to carry FC Barcelona to victory.
MVP Mirotic delivers heroic effort in Barcelona defeat
The day after being named this season’s EuroLeague MVP, Mirotic posted 26 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals for a performance index rating of 39. That PIR is the second-highest at a Final Four game since the turn of the century behind only Shane Larkin’s 43 in the 2019 semifinals.
Mirotic performed with excellent accuracy, making 4 of 7 two-pointers, 4 of 7 threes and all 6 of his free throws. He only committed 1 turnover, too. Mirotic led all players on both teams in scoring and rebounds and had the second-most assists in the game.
The star forward did not look away when the pressure rose in the fourth quarter. He played the entirety of the final stanza, during which he tallied 9 points and 3 assists – all to Brandon Davies – and thus had a hand in 15 of Barcelona’s fourth-quarter points.
Mirotic took the ball on the team’s final possession and attempted a contested heave from beyond halfcourt for the win, but was unable to play the hero role in the end and finished a brilliant season and fantastic semifinal performance on the losing side.
"They played much better than us in the second half," a disappointed Mirotic told reporters after the game. "They hit more shots than we did. Congratulations to them."