Tomic and Singleton inspire Barcelona to road win
FC Barcelona Lassa withstood a strong challenge from Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul to prevail 71-79, taking its second consecutive win and improving to 2-2 while the home team dropped to 1-3. A strong fourth quarter was the catalyst for the win, taking the final ten minutes 7-21 after trailing by 6 after three quarters. Big men Ante Tomic and Chris Singleton were the star performers, with Tomic netting 17 points while Singleton added 18 including 3-of-4 three-point shooting. Thomas Heurtel combined 13 points with 5 assists, and the visiting team claimed an enormous 20 offensive rebounds to maximise its scoring chances. Darussafaka also had inspiration from a big man, with Michael Eric recording 17 points and 9 rebounds. Stanton Kidd added 10 points in defeat.
Tomic scored 4 early points to give Barcelona the edge, and when Tomic fed Singleton for a big slam the home team was forced into a time out. Another lay-up from Tomic extended the gap to double digits, but Ray McCallum converted a pair of two-pointers to keep Darussafaka afloat and Markel Brown scored 5 straight to narrow the gap. A triple from Berk Demir made it 18-23 at the end of the first, and Eric opened the second quarter scoring before triples from Heurtel, Singleton and Pau Ribas kept Barca ahead. Two more long-range strikes from Singleton stretched the lead, but an incredible full-court buzzer beater from Demir made it 40-47 at the interval. Darussafaka started the second half with an explosive 9-0 run, including big dunks from Eric and Kidd, to take the lead, before Jaka Blazic finally scored Barcelona’s first points of the half. Several lead changes and ties ensued before Jeremy Evans hit consecutive triples to help make it 64-58 after three quarters. But Barcelona battled back to take the lead with a three-point play from Kevin Seraphin in a 0-9 run, before Eric brought Dacka back again. Singleton hit a long two and split free throws to make it 69-74, and a driving lay-up from Heurtel provided breathing room. Stern defense ensured Barcelona was never troubled after that, sealing its first road win of the season.
Offensive boards make the difference
Barcelona had nine more field goal attempts (69) than Darussafaka (60), largely thanks to a mammoth sum of 20 offensive rebounds – its second-highest total in club history and the best since 2005. Eight different players had offensive boards, led by Singleton with 5.
Different ways to score
Barcelona scored its points in different ways, especially in the first half: the visiting team scored 8 two-pointers in the opening quarter, 4 of them from Ante Tomic, but then struck from long-range in the second quarter with 5 triples in the space of 5 minutes.
The game was won by Barcelona in the opening stages of the final period. After finishing the third quarter trailing 64-58, the Spanish side went on a 9-0 run by holding Darussafaka scoreless for more than four minutes. That completely changed the momentum of the contest, and Barcelona never trailed again.
Eric lights it up
Michael Eric delivered a spectacular performance for Darussafaka. The big man, playing in his first EuroLeague season, made 5-of-7 two-point attempts including a pair of spectacular put-back dunks. He also tallied 9 rebounds and made a highlight reel block on Heurtel.
Barcelona returns home to face Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv next Thursday, and Darussafaka will also be in Spain to take on KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Friday, October 26, 2018