Rice played a key part in the win over Zalgiris | VICTOR SALGADO - FCB

FC Barcelona Lassa had to push hard right until the very end to earn a 92-86 win over Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday at the Palau Blaugrana.

The game started quietly, with few baskets for either side but, as the period wore on, Tomic and Vezenkov got into the game and helped Barça to a 16-12 lead.

It continued a low scoring affair in the second, though some successful three-point throwing increased Barça’s lead to seven midway through the quarter. The Lithuanians reacted well under the mini-burst from the hosts and brought the deficit to just one by half time (36-35).

Vezenkov began the third with a fine treble, but Zalgiris reacted well, taking a four-point lead within five minutes. Barça had Eriksson to thank for a 2+1 before Tomic served to reverse the game once more in the hosts favour (54-52).

Rice’s introduction helped Barça establish more control of the game, along with Koponen’s lethal display as they gained 20 and 16 points respectively. Holmes, making his debut, scored his first points from three-throws as Barça closed the third 65-59 up.

The final period saw a far more dominant Barça, but one that had to work until the very end to secure victory. Zalgiris made a real go at it, but late inspiration from Rice and Dorsey close out the game 92-86 in the Catalan’s favour.

Match details

FC Barcelona Lassa, 92

Zalgiris Kaunas, 86

FCB Lassa: Rice (20), Vezenkov (12), Oleson (7), Perperoglou  and Tomic (10) – starting five – Eriksson (11), Dorsey (9), Koponen (16), Peno (3) and Holmes (2)

Zalgiris Kaunas: Pangos (9), Westermann (2), Seibutis (4), Jankunas(12) and Kavaliauskas (10) –starting five– Lekavicius (9), Motum (26), Milaknis (2), Lima (7), Ulanovas (5)

Score by period: 16-12/20-23/29-24/27-27

Officials: Sreten Radovic,Milivoje Jovcic and Anne Panther

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