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Barça opened 2020 with a 76-74 defeat to Baskonia at the Buesa Arena on Thursday night, despite making a tremendous fightback in the second half of the game. After going close to 20 points down on the scoreboard to Baskonia's effective perimeter strategy, they thought back late in the game. Oriola came close to forcing overtime with the final shot, but missed his attempt and the Basque side claimed the win. With 13 points apiece, Delaney and Kuric, were the top scorers for Barça.
The game got underway with Baskonia highly accurate from the 3-point line. They converted five triples in the opening period, and also stifled the Barça offence. Svetislav Pesic's men scored 15 points in the first 10 minutes.
Barça took close to three minutes to score their first bucket in the second period, and Baskonia were able to establish a 15-point lead. The visitors improved their offensive fluidity, but Baskonia continued to score, led by Pierria Henry as he racked up 11 points in the first half. At the break, Barça were 47-31 down.
Reacting through defence
With plenty of intensity, above all in defence, Barça got the second half underway. They were able to gradually cut into Baskonia's advantage, and took the score to 65-54-
Even until the end
A basket by Claver put Barça within 10 points of their opponents in the 35th minute, and they cut that to just 2 points on several occasions, although Baskonia would react to get the lead back to 74-69. After some evenly-matched minutes, Barça clawed their way to just a 76-74 disadvantage. Oriola tried a late shot on the buzzer that failed to drop for him, meaning the Blaugrana missed out on a victory to open 2020.
Baskonia: Henry (20), Janning (8), Shengelia (13), Shields (14) i Eric (2) –starting five-, Diop (7), Garcia (3), Fall (-), Stauskas (6) and Polonara (3).
Barça: Ribas (-), Hanga (4), Claver (2), Mirotic (17) i Tomic (2) –starting five-, Davies (12), Oriola (7), Abrines (4), Delaney (13) and Kuric (13).
Partials: 21-15 / 47-31 / 65-54 / 76-74
Referees: Christodoulou, Difallah and Silva.
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