Barça goes through a lot of trouble to maintain its European streak

Olympiacos had up to three pitches to tie the game. The last one, reviewed in the 'instant replay', was scored out of time.


Barça will maintain their immaculate career in 2021 with another victory, but they could have lost perfectly against Olympiacos who were a very tough rival. After a start in which Barça was better, the Greeks were growing during the game, applying more and more intensity and aggressiveness (at the same time as being right) to get ahead in the last minutes. In a completely open end of the game, Davies (and in the end Higgins) chose the clash for the Catalans.

The partial 2-13 with which the game started was due to the good defense of Barça, but also to the connection between Calathes and Oriola. Specifically, the ability of the Catalan in the continuation after blocking, also scoring the result of the confidence he has been gaining in recent games. Easy baskets, under the ring, which were the antithesis of what Olympiacos tried: they abused the outside shot, without success, under pressure from the Barça defense.

With the first changes, Barça's success fell and that of the Greeks increased, also in the offensive rebound. Octavius Ellis caught five in the first quarter, always giving his team a second chance. At the end of the first quarter, Barça had perfectly controlled the game (12-21) .

Spanoulis contributed leadership and points while on track, keeping Olympiacos always at a disadvantage below ten points. Barça fought well with Bolmaro, Smits and Hanga coinciding on the court, and it was not until the final minutes of the first half that Calathes and Higgins returned. A McKissic triple approached Olympiacos (22-27), but Barça also answered with the outside shot (26-37). Despite Printezis, who added in attack and defense, Barça went to rest ahead (30-40) .

McKissic continued to push Barça in the third quarter, taking advantage of his pairing with Sergi Martínez and a triple by Printezis forced Jasikevicius to stop the game (41-46). Ellis continued to catch too many rebounds for Barça interests, who had a much harder time scoring than in the first half. Oriola, who continued to be the best of Barça, took the fourth personal from Ellis, but Olympiacos did not yield and tied the game (46-46) .

Bartzokas, expelled by two techniques

The match, in fact, was reversed. It cost Barça a lot to attack, find free shooting options or run to counterattack. The Helena defense, as was Barça in the first quarter, was at a high level and it was Barça who missed most of the shots. If we add to that the dominance in the offensive rebound (15-5) and the success of Mckissic, the local advantage at the beginning of the last quarter (53-50) is perfectly explained.

Brandon Davies prevented Olympiacos from deciding the game, supporting his team both in attack and defense. The intensity and aggressiveness of the Greeks from the break continued to make their attacks on Barça very difficult, but Kuric's first points tied a game (59-59) that Spanoulis was in charge of unbalancing again with a triple. The last five minutes (62-61) started with the game totally open.

Already with the starting five on the court, Barça entered tied in the last 2 minutes (70-70) but losing the last (74-72). With the last possession in the hands of Barça to win the game (74-74), a defensive foul made Bartzokas lose the papers, and the crash, Bartzokas: technique (the shot was missed by Mirotic) but Higgins did not forgive (74-76). Olympiacos (in six seconds) managed to throw and tap twice, the second time correctly, but already out of time. Victory very suffered for Barça.

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