Tomic leads Barcelona to streak-snapping win over host Khimki
FC Barcelona Lassa let out all its frustrations from a five-game losing streak on the team of its former coach, downing host Khimki Moscow Region 65-79 on Friday for its first road win of the half-finished season. Barcelona raised its record to 5-10 while Khimki's dropped to 8-7. With legends Ante Tomic and Juan Carlos Navarro making their first starts of the season and their coach from last season, Georgios Bartzokas, looking on, Barcelona established its intentions with early double-digit leads, then used a 2-17 start to the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Tomic, Victor Claver and Kevin Seraphin had 12 points each and Navarro 9 for the winners. Pau Ribas had 8 assists and Thomas Heurtel 6 as Barcelona dished 32, a club record and the fourth-highest total in EuroLeague history. Tomic's 8 rebounds led a huge 37-17 disparity on the boards for Barcelona, including 12-1 on the offensive glass. Khimki got 22 points from Alexey Shved, 18 from Tyler Honeycutt, 13 from Anthony Gill and 9 from Charles Jenkins, but only 3 from the rest of the team as Barça's defense held the hosts to their second-lowest home scoring total ever.
Ribas with a second-chance triple and Gill driving strong started the scoring. Shved and Gill drilled Khimki's first triples to make it 8-5, but Tomic fed Adrien Moermann for a dunk and then scored 5 points in a row to put the visitors in front, 8-10. Adam Hanga added a fastbreak layup and Navarro a corner triple to make it 10-15. Jenkins bombed from deep for Khimki but Tomic fed Moerman for another layup and scored his own to keep the difference climbing to 13-19. Seraphin entered the action with a three-point play and Claver hit from the corner as Barcelona soared to a double-digit lead, 15-25, after one quarter. Seraphin's dunk to open the second was answered by Honeycutt's on the break before Gill's 3 points made it 20-27. Petteri Koponen joined Barcelona's scorers with a jumper, but Honeycutt's shot was longer and his free throws made it 25-29. Out of a timeout, Sasha Vezenkov made his first three-pointer of this season, after having hit 48 in the last one. But Honeycutt matched that and Shved dunked spectacularly before Hanga rang up a buzzer-beating triple to keep Barcelona in front 32-36 at the break.
Hanga reversed a back-door layup to get the second half started. Jenkins and Navarro drained their second triples each to make it 36-41. Tomic hit a pair of two-pointers while Jenkins struck from deep and Gill from closer to get Khimki back within a basket, 43-45. Shved's next three-pointer, a beauty, gave Khimki a long-waited lead, but it Navarro was just as good from deep. Shved copied a three-point play by Seraphin and then matched Ribas from deep, as well, at 52-53. Seraphin and Gill kept it close before Sergey Monia stepped up with a long triple for a 57-55 Khimki lead. Hanga's free throws left a 57-57 tie after 30 minutes. Vezenkov bombed from deep as Barcelona regained the lead on the fourth quarter's first possession. Honeycutt raced for a dunk but Claver answered with a reverse and fed Vezenkov for a fastbreak layup at 59-64. Heurtel stepped up with a pair of fantastic assists to Claver, for a corner triple and an inside dunk, as the lead suddenly reached 59-69. Seraphin added points and his own fine pass to Claver as Barcelona's run reached 2-17 and the lead soared to 59-74. Heurtel blasted a long-range two-pointer to keep it going and Moerman's first triple in the final minute took Barcelona home with a huge and much-needed victory.
Friday, December 29, 2017