Nachbar was one of the stars of the night. PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

There’s no stopping Barcelona in the Top 16, and on Thursday they showed that when they find their A-game, then there’s no team in Europe that can beat them. From Pullen to Tomic, they were stunning tonight in the Palau Blaugrana and to go 9-0 in their Top 16 group and also continue what is now an amazing 21-game unbeaten streak in this stage of the competition. A quarter final spot is now within touching distance.

Tomic imperial

Barça got better and better over the first twenty minutes. The opening period ended 18-19, with the omnipresent Tomic on excellent form, but it was in the second that the hosts really started firing, with a Nachbar three giving them their first meaningful lead (30-23) and another from Papanikoaou extending it (39-30).

The diminutive Jackson, the Turks’ new signing, followed by Bogdanovic, came on to add a bit of spark to the visitors’ game, but the half ended without any serious damage having been done to Barça’s lead (45-38).

Team performance

It was after the restart that Barça really started imposing their superiority. The game was playing at an electric pace and almost all of it was heading in the direction of Turkish basket. Ten almost consecutive points from Nachbar launched the Catalans into a 20-point lead, with not just the Slovene but the whole team reaching a level of understanding that suggests we have big things to look forward to in the end-season. After 28 minutes it was 64-44, and even though that lead meant Barça could ease things a little, by the end of the half their visitors had only managed to cut down the difference by four, 64-48.

Pullen, who doesn’t get too much time in European games, led the offence in the final period and finished the game with 12 points – a game in which some terrific long shooting, solid defending and a confident attitude saw Barça hit their highest lead at 25 points in the 36th minute (82-57).

The game as good as decided, Barça dedicated the final minutes to simply playing down the clock and holding onto the lead, with it all ending 93-73.

MATCH STATS

FCB, 93
Fenerbahçe, 73

FC Barcelona: Huertas (2), Navarro (12), Papanikolaou (5), Lorbek (6), Tomic (19) --starting five--; Pullen (12), Dorsey (8), Sada (-), Abrines (10), Todorovic (2), Oleson (4), Nachbar (13).

Fenerbahçe: McCalebb (11), Mahmutoglu (2), Bjelica (15), Sekulic (2), Preldzic (8) --starting five--; Jackson (11), Kleiza (10), Zoric (3), Bogdanovic (11).

Periods: 18-19, 27-19, 19-10, 29-25