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Barça earned a great Euroleague win at the Palau Blaugrana (85-81), seeing off the threat of a third-placed Zenit St. Petersburg who had a great fourth period, to remain as leaders in the competition.
The match began with two good triples by Abrines and Mirotic, whilst the first period was equal throughout thanks to great defence from both sides (16-14). In the second period, however, Barça clearly dominated. Their dynamism in attack, with Higgins and Kuric (13 points in the first half) particularly on form, allowed the hosts to get to the break with a clear 44-33 advantage.
Barça continued to excel as an attacking force, and the gap on the scoreboard increased. Despite some success with the triple, the visitors just couldn’t make any inroads, Barça’s brilliant defending the platform for them to start the fourth quarter 19 points ahead (69-50).
In the last quarter Zenit didn't throw in the towel, and a good run of baskets allowed them to get to within six points (74-68) with just over two minutes to go. However, Davies helped regain control of the match for the hosts to take them back up to 13 points ahead (81-68). Another burst from Zenit which included two triples revived the visitors, but in the end they just fell short of snatching a win from the Catalans (85-81).
Barça: Calathes (9), Higgins (14), Abrines (3), Mirotic (14), Oriola (4) -starters-. Davies (18), Westermann (3), Hanga (2), Smits (2), Sergi Martínez (-), Kuric (16).
Zenit: Pangos (13), Hollins (4), Thomas (6), Ponitka (10), Gudaitis (15) -starters-. Rivers (3), Fridzon (5), Baron (10), Pushkov (-), Kubkov (15).
Periods: 16-14 / 44-33 / 69-50 / 85-81
Officials: Radovic, Vilius, Mogulkoc
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