Higgins and Calathes guide Barça to a comfortable victory

A good third quarter, and almost absolute control of the rebound, key to Barça's victory on their visit to Khimki in Moscow on the 19th day of the Euroleague.


Barça passed the first test with flying colors in Moscow, where they defeated Khimki 75-87. After a tied first quarter, Barça grew with the game, thanks above all to the control of the rebound and the good hitting of the shot. Higgins and also Calathes martyred a Khimki who added his eleventh consecutive defeat in the Euroleague. After this match, CSKA awaits on Friday.

The game started with a 9-2 run that had two essential characteristics. The first, that Khimki's nine points were three triples and, the second, that Pustovoyi came out in the portrait of the last two shots. Jasikevicius saw it, who changed it immediately by giving Oriola entrance. And Barça was another. He held on in defense and Abrines, with two triples, equalized the game. Booker and Higgins scored easily for their teams, while Shevd shone late in the quarter. Both teams abused outside shooting, sometimes in very favorable positions, which became a high score. At ten minutes, 26-26.

Barça had problems closing Khimki's outside shot, but nothing compared to the hole that Kuric caused to the Russians. Four of four in triples in 11 minutes, with 14 points, he held on to Barça from the line of three. From then on, the game became an exchange of points, greatly interrupted by constant fouls, which led Barça to gain a slight advantage. The Calathes-Westremann pair that enabled Higgins or Smits for single baskets worked well.

Increased the cohesion and speed of Barça in the final minutes of the second quarter, where with a choral game they were six up (43-49) difference that Barça kept at the break (48-54). The shooting percentages, around 70 percent in shots of one, two and three, were key for the Catalans.

Nightmare for Khimki

Nor the time-out requested by Khimki could stop the part with which Barça started the third quarter (4-10) that placed the distance on the scoreboard already at 12 points. An advantage that could be definitive if Barça had been a little more successful, since the control of the rebound was practically total by those of Jasikevicius. Higgins and Calathes, in addition, were a nightmare for Khimki, who at no time could stop them. Little by little, minute by minute, the Russians were dwarfing on the court, entering the last quarter with few options to win the game (60-73) .

Barça did not allow any kind of scare in the fourth quarter, with Oriola tense in defense and effective in attack. Calathes followed the controls already much more comfortable, with an almost apathetic Khimki. Faced with that defense, at least not very intense, Barcelona had no problem increasing the lead to 15 points at 3:20 to go (67-82). With the youngsters on the track in the last minutes, the score ended 75-87.

Photos from as.com
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