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Barça lost 80-76 to Asvel Lyon in Saturday’s Apart City Cup semi-final in Montpellier. Despite a good start from the Catalans, Asvel gradually gained command and a 15-0 streak in the second period put them in a strong position at half-time (49-32). Barça got back into it in the third (56-49), and closed the gap to just one point with moments to go (77-76) but were denied the win at the final gasp.
Twenty irregular minutes
Barça stormed off to a 5-11 lead with Tomic particularly shining, but Asvel, led by Nivins and Edwin Jackson, soon got back in contention and by the end of the first ten minutes they led 20-16. Barça looked desperately uncomfortable in the second period, where it was plain to see that Asvel have had far more match practice, and a 15-0 streak boosted their lead to 49-32.
Barça sought to rectify the damage in the third period. There was much more intensity to Lampe’s game as they gradually cut away at the deficit (54-40) and then Oleson and Huertas both contributed nicely to a 2-13 streak to get things to a far more manageable 56-49 scoreline. But then Asvel, spurred on by an outstanding Green, found their game again and the period ended 61-52.
Barça still had a decent chance, and Asvel’s nerves were on edge as some great individual plays suggested they might just do it. Abrines and Oleson got threes to close the gap to six (72-66, min 36) and not long after that there were just three points in it at 77-74. Barça got back within one with a minute to play (77-76) when Navarro came frustratingly close with a three that would have finally put them back in front. The ball didn’t go in, and Asvel made no mistake with their free throws to secure the win.
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