Barcelona beat CSKA with a 10-point difference (76-66) in the first round of the long-waited EuroLeague new season.
CSKA came to Barcelona without newcomer Nikola Milutinov (illness) and Janis Strelnieks (hip muscle injury).
The excellent opening and last quarter of the home team decided the winner in the game between the two European basketball giants.
CSKA had their chance early in the fourth quarter when Mike James and Toko Shengelia cut the deficit to two points (57:55 for Barcelona). At that moment, Alex Abrines stepped up with a three-pointer and a wild dunk and foul. After that, it was all over for the away squad.
It took seven years for Barcelona to prevail against CSKA in the first clash between these two powerhouses this season. So, this win has much more meaning than just an opening game triumph.
Nikola Mirotić had a great all-around performance in this match. The big man scored 17 points with seven rebounds and five steals for an index rating of 21.
And he wasn’t even the player with the best index rating nor the best scorer in the team. Alex Abrines had the best index in the game (22). He finished the game with 13 points, while the top scorer in Barcelona was Brandon Davies with 18. Nick Calathes did his part perfectly. The Greek guard finished the game with seven assists.
The best for the losing squad was Tornike Shengelia with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. His teammate Mike James added 13 points, while Daniel Hackett ended the match with 11.