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Barça 91-69 Zalgiris: Play off starts with a win
The blaugranes take game one of the Euroleague play off against the Lithuanians with a commanding performance in the Palau
Barça claimed an important victory in the first game of their play off series Euroleague tie against Lithuanian side Zalgiris Kaunas. The 91-69 win for Saras Jasikevicuis' men hands them the advantage as the two clubs fight it out for a place in the Final Four which will be played in Kaunas this season.
The blaugranes were dominant throughout, especially in a splendid final quarter with Kuric and Sanli particularly impressive along with Mirotic.
The man from Montenegro set the tone in the first quarter for Barça and for the game, scoring nine points and helping the home side to a 25-13 lead before the start of the second period. Laprovittola's three pointer meant the blaugranes ended the opening period on a high and that continued in the second in which they opened up a 16 point lead at 35-19.
Zalgiris, the former club of Barça coach Saras Jasikevicius, fought back to within nine but three pointers from Sanli and Mirotic put the home side back in charge with a commanding 48-31 lead at half time.
Barça maintained their pace in the second half but the Lithuanians did not fold and they took advantage of a lull in the home side's concentration to bring the game back to 59-47.
Nevertheless, cheered on by the fans at the Palau, despite the visitors rallying in the third quarter, Barça still led 66-53 going into the fourth.
The home side surged ahead early in the final quarter at 76-55 with Kyle Kuric in brilliant form. The atmosphere was party like and Jokubaitis and Sanli also excelled in helping Saras' team to an 91-69 win with the second game of the series to come on Friday at the Palau starting at 8pm CEST.
Barça: Satoransky (4), Laprovittola (8), Abrines (10), Mirotic (15), Vesely (4) - starting five - Sanli (17), Sergi (2), Kalinic (0), Tobey (9), Kuric (10), Jokubaitis (12), Nnaji (0)
Zalgiris: Taylor (2), Butkevicius (2), Ulanovas (4), Smits (2), Hayes (9) - starting five - Giedraitis (10), Lekavicius (5), Birutis (7), Lukosiunas (0), Brazdeikis (14), Polonara (8), DImsa (6).