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The Barça basketball side overcame Zalgiris Kaunas on Wednesday by 82-72 in Lithuania to give themselves their sixth victory in a row in the Euroleague top 16 and their ninth win in 12 matches. Now they are just a win away from securing second place in their group.
Up and down first quarter
Xavi Pascual’s started the first quarter strongly but turnovers and a lack of fluidity meant they fell behind with Kaunas taking an early 13-10 lead. However, changes in the on court five gave Thomas, Pleiss and Oleson the chance to shine and they helped turn it around as Barça ended the quarter 22-16 in front.
Pleiss steps in
With Tomic in foul trouble, Tibor Pleiss stepped up to the plate and on both offence and defence he started to dominate the boards. A three pointer from Abrines gave the blaugranes a 31-19 lead. Zalgiris mounted a comeback with James Anderson scoring 16 points in the first half to leave the Lithuanians 42-33 in arrears at half time.
In the third quarter with three pointers from first Navarro and then Abrines, Barça stretched their advantage to 15 points at 60-45, helping them to ease the tension. The home side fought back but a steal from Doellman ended with a basket to close out the quarter with Pascual’s team 65-53 ahead.
In the fourth quarter the team kept up the rhythm of the previous three and looked to manage their lead in Kaunas. The advantage rose to 15 thanks to a three pointer from Thomas, but a surge from the home side gave the local fans hope. However, two three pointers from Abrines put an end to the idea of a Zalgiris comeback and the blaugranes closed out a 83-72 victory to record victory number six in a row and their ninth in this season’s top 16.
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