Gordic rallies Buducnost past Barcelona
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica snatched its third straight home win with a come-from-behind victory over FC Barcelona Lassa 67-64 at a packed Moraca on Thursday in the Montenegrin capital. Nemanja Gordic scored 8 straight points in a 10-0 fourth-quarter run that put the hosts ahead for good. Buducnost added Barcelona's scalp to those of KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz CSKA Moscow as it improved to 3-8. Earl Clark and Gordic scored 12 points apiece and Danilo Nikolic had 11 for the winner. Adam Hanga led Barcelona with 12 points, Ante Tomic scored 11 and Chris Singleton tallied 8 points and 10 rebounds. The defeat saw Barcelona's record slip to 6-5.
The hosts ran into early trouble when – with the score knotted 8-8 – starting point guard Gordic was whistled for his third foul. Stiff rims saw a lot of shots bounce out with the two teams combining to shoot 1 for 15 from downtown through the first 10 minutes, which ended with Barcelona up 14-15 after a Thomas Heurtel runner on the buzzer. Danilo Nikolic seemed to have broken the spell when he nailed a three from the corner to open the second quarter. Danilo Nikolic heated up for 5 quick points midway through the quarter to give Buducnost a 24-21 edge. Singleton's close-range basket lifted Barcelona to a 31-33 halftime advantage. Free throws by Clark sent the teams to the benches after three quarters with the scoreboard reading 46-46. The visitors edged in front 53-56 on a Victor Claver free throw midway through the fourth quarter when Buducnost called a timeout to regroup. Gordic took charge with 8 straight points to give Buducnost a 62-59 lead with three minutes to go. Free throws by Clark with 36 seconds remaining made it a two-possession game, but Singleton bettered him with 3 foul shots to make it 65-64 with 17 seconds left. After Edwin Jackson gave the hosts a 2-point lead from the line, Hanga missed a three to tie it at the buzzer.
Buducnost came into the game as one of the league's premier three-point shooting teams, but struggled from long range in this game. The home team missed its first 7 three-point attempts and finished 7 for 24 (29.2%) from behind the arc. However, Barcelona had even more trouble with the rims at Moraca; the visitors were 6 of 26 (23.1%) with its top gunners Kyle Kuric (2 for 7) and Kevin Pangos (1 for 6) unable to get it going.
Buducnost thrives inside
Coming into the game Buducnost knew that to handle Barcelona it would need strong play inside to improve on its league-worst 44.1% on two-pointers and to match up with the visitors on the glass. In the end, Barcelona was limited to 9 offensive and 34 overall rebounds, which are a little below its season averages of 11.3 and 35.9, respectively. More importantly, Buducnost made 58.6% (17 of 29) of its two-point shots, including 4 of 6 in the fourth quarter, which made up for its subpar three-point shooting.
When Coach Aleksandar Dzikic called timeout with the score 53-56 midway through the fourth quarter, little could he have expected Nemanja Gordic, who has spent the past six minutes of game time – and closer to double that in real time – on the bench to take the game by the horns. However, after a Kevin Pangos triple made it 54-59, Gordic hit a deep three-pointer, blew by his defender for a game-tying layup and then connected on a go-ahead three before Edwin Jackson capped the 10-0 run with 1:13 remaining.
Barcelona is on the road again next Thursday with a visit to archrival Real Madrid in the Spanish Clasico. Buducnost visits Herbalife Gran Canaria on Friday.
Thursday, December 6, 2018