FC Barcelona led from start to finish before holding off host Khimki Moscow Region 94-102 to return to winning ways on Friday.
Barca improved to 9-3, good for at least a share of second place, while Khimki lost its fourth straight and dropped to 6-6 record. Barca opened the game with a 0-11 run and led by double digits for a majority of the night. Khimki did not get closer than 5 points until the penultimate minute, when Sergey Karasev's triples cut the difference to 94-97 before Nikola Mirotic and Malcolm Delaney sealed the deal. Mirotic led Barca with 28 points and 9 rebounds. Delaney finished with 17 points and 9 assists, while Ante Tomic had 15 points and 6 rebounds. Kyle Kuric, Cory Higgins and Adam Hanga each scored 10 points in victory. Alexey Shved netted 23 for the hosts. Jeremy Evans added 16 points, Karasev and Devin Booker 14 apiece, and Stefan Jovic 11 for Khimki.
Barca took control from the get-go with Hanga and Rolands Smits hitting triples for the visitors to take a 0-11 lead. Sergey Monia and Shved each answered from deep for the hosts, but Mirotic and Higgins connected from just as far to keep Barca ahead 10-21. Shved scored 6 more points for Khimki, including another three-pointer late in the first quarter, before layups from Evans and Anthony Gill made it 26-31 early in the second. However, Kuric caught fire for the visitors then, scoring 7 points to close a 0-11 run. A three-pointer from Delaney and a fastbreak dunk by Hanga kept Barca surging to a 32-51 margin. Jonas Jerebko hit from long range to revive Khimki and Shved knocked down a transition three-pointer to cut into the deficit. But Barca kept its offense clicking and took a 48-61 advantage into halftime. The hosts briefly lowered the deficit to single digits before Barcelona went on another run in the third quarter. Smits and Mirotic hit three-pointers to which Tomic added 6 points to make it 57-75. Khimki answered with Shved's transition triple and Gill's three-point play, but Delaney snapped an 8-0 run by the hosts with a three-pointer for a 70-84 Barca edge going into the final quarter. Three-pointers from Jovic and Karasev trimmed the difference to 78-88, but Mirotic and Tomic kept the hosts at bay. Khimki made one final charge as Evans had a put-back dunk and Karasev nailed back-to-back triples to make it 94-97 with 1:14 to go. After a timeout, however, Mirotic delivered a nifty spin-move inside to extend the margin to 5 points before Delaney sealed the deal from long range.
Barcelona sets scoring mark
Barcelona set a new club record for points scored in the first half (61), and also tied its record for most points in any half. The only other time Barcelona scored 61 points in one half was exactly on five years and one day before, with 61 in the second half of a 65-104 road win at PGE Turow Zgorzelec. Its 102 total points on Friday are the most that Barcelona has scored since that night in December 2014.
Despite scoring 102 points, Barcelona used just nine players, of which eight scored. Six finished in double figures, while Bradnon Davies and Rolands Smits scored 6 apiece. The only player who did not score was Pierre Oriola.
Offense not enough
Khimki's offense was clicking, too, but 94 points was not enough. It is the most points Khimki scored ever in a EuroLeague home loss.
Next week in Round 13 both teams will be on their home floors. Khimki plays host to ALBA Berlin on Thursday, and Barcelona hosts Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Friday.