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A vital win at the Palau Blaugrana for the Barça basketball team as they dispatched visitors Monaco 80-70 in their Euroleague clash. It was their fourth victory in a row in the competition and their 17th in all this season in Europe.
Saras Jasikevicius' team now move into joint second place in the table alongside Real Madrid who have played a game less. Their next game in the Euroleague comes on Thursday 2 March against Zalgiris Kaunas in the Palau Blaugrana.
The opening minutes were intense ones but both sides made mistakes before two consecutive three pointers allowed Barça to take a lead at 12-6 with five minutes gone.
Okobo and Diallo hauled Monaco back into the contest but another three pointer from Kalinic maintained the home side's six point lead. In the second quarter Barça accelerated and Vesely and Jokubaitis in particular helped extend the blaugranes lead at half time to 11 points at 50-39.
Saras' team started the second half in a hurry with three pointers from Sanli and Abrines giving them their biggest lead of the game at 56-41. Nevertheless, Monaco kept themselves in the game with a good third quarter to trail 65-57 with just the final period to come.
In the fourth quarter the team from the Mediterranean principality cut Barça's advantage to just four points. However, the home side kept their nerve and their defensive performance allowed them to take a 80-70 victory and win number 17 in the Euroleague.
Barça: Sanli (5), Satoransky (15), Laprovittola (5), Abrines (9) and Mirotic (7) – starting five– Vesely (12), Kalinic (8), Higgins (12), Tobey (2), Kuric (0), Jokubaitis (5) and Nnaji (-).
Monaco: Loyd (13), Diallo (13), Motiejunas (5), James (14) and Brown (6) – starting five – Okobo (9), Moneke (0), Blossomgame (4), Ouattara (0), Strazel (-) and Hall (6).