Barcelona routs Fenerbahce at home
FC Barcelona grabbed its sixth consecutive victory by downing Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 97-55 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Barcelona improved to 7-1 to remain atop the standings while Fenerbahce dropped to 4-4. Kyle Kuric shined for the winners with 25 points on 7-of-8 three-point shooting. Rolands Smits added 20, Nikola Mirotic had 16, Alex Abrines 12 and Cory Higgins 11. Lorenzo Brown paced Fenerbahce with 10 points. Barcelona led 28-17 after 10 minutes, extended its margin to 51-29 at halftime and then again to 67-33 late in the third quarter to seal the outcome long before the final buzzer.
Mirotic got Barcelona going with a three-pointer, but Jan Vesely and Ahmet Duverioglu each dunked for a 3-4 Fenerbahce lead. Abrines struck twice from downtown and Nick Calathes added a driving layup before Duverioglu and Leo Westermann brought the guests within 11-9. Mirotic insisted from beyond the arc and added a layup, which Higgins followed with an alley-oop to make it 18-11. Abrines downed his third triple and Mirotic followed a dunk with a tip-in to break the game open, 26-11. Ali Muhammed scored in penetration and got help from Brown and Vesely to bring Fenerbahce within 28-17 after 10 minutes. Smits buried a couple of three-pointers and added a layup to boost Barcelona's lead to 36-20. Brandon Davies dunked and Kuric sank a jumper that made it a 20-point game, 40-20. Mirotic capped an 11-0 run as Brown got the visitors a bit closer, 42-26. Davies, Calathes and Mirotic combined for all the points in a 7-0 run for a 49-26 Barcelona lead. A three-pointer by Melih Mahmutoglu and a buzzer-beating jumper by Smits fixed the halftime score at 51-29.
Abrines kept pushing Barcelona after the break, but Westermann and Brown brought Fenerbahce within 53-33. Higgins scored twice around the basket and added a triple in a 14-0 run which Kuric capped with a bomb from downtown. Tarik Biberovic and Danilo Barthel got Fenerbahce within 69-38 after 30 minutes. Barthel and Westermann tried to change things for Fenerbahce early in the fourth quarter, but Sergi Martinez and Kuric kept the hosts way ahead, 73-42. By the time Kuric buried back-to-back three-pointers, everything was said and done, as Barcelona had cruised to a well-deserved and convincing win.
Nikola Mirotic needed less than 19 minutes to confirm his superstar status. He finished the game with 15 points on 4-of-6 two-point shooting, 2-of-4 on three-pointers and 2-of-2 on free throws plus 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block for a PIR of 23.
A three-pointer by Leo Westermann gave Fenerbahce its last lead, 8-9. Nikola Mirotic and Alex Abrines combined for 14 points in an 18-2 run that gave Barcelona a 26-11 cushion late in the first quarter. The hosts never looked back after that, keeping a safe margin until the final buzzer.
Fenerbahce committed 25 turnovers, its most in a EuroLeague game since the team merged with Ulker. Before that, Ulker had 26 turnovers against Zalgiris on December 20, 2001. Barcelona outrebounded Fenerbahce 34-24 and limited its opponents to just 4-of-18 three-point shooting (22.2%), while making 16 of 30 (53.3%).
Did you know?
It was Fenerbahce's second-biggest loss in terms of margin of defeat ever in the EuroLeague. Its biggest loss came against Montepaschi Siena on January 6, 2010. Montepaschi defeated Fenerbahce by 43 points (101-58) behind 20 points from Ksistof Lavrinovic.
Both teams returning to EuroLeague action early next week. Fenerbahce visits TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Tuesday, November 17. Barcelona hosts Olympiacos Piraeus the following evening.
Thursday, November 12, 2020