Smits and Calathes lead Barcelona past Valencia

With a great second half, Barcelona defeats Valencia, 66-71.

Nick Calathes Barcelona
Photo: Barca Basket

Barcelona took a very important road win defeating Valencia, 66-71, without Nikola Mirotic in their roster. Despite a rough first half, Saras Jasikevicius and his players came out of the locker room determined to get the lead and win the game.

Rolands Smits was the top scorer for Barcelona with 15 points, with Nick Calathes adding 14. For Valencia, Nikola Kalinic and Bojan Dubljevic had 13 points each.

After a very balanced start in the first quarter, with both teams going head-to-head, Valencia started building up a lead, with Derrick Williams and Klemen Prepelic, that managed to keep until the end of the first quarter (19-16).

In the second quarter, with a three pointer by Alex Abrines, Barcelona tied things up (19-19) with San Emeterio and Valencia getting back their three-point lead (22-19) and even extend it later on (27-21). With Barcelona fighting back, the players of Saras Jasikevicius stayed close to the score and ended the first half trailing by two points (35-33).

In the second half, Valencia was trying to keep the two-point lead and both teams were fighting hard to get a difference that will secure the win for them. Once Barcelona took the lead (40-42), with a three-pointer from Alex Abrines, they never looked back. Barca extended the lead (44-52) with Victor Claver, bringing Valencia to a difficult situation for them to handle.

In the fourth and final quarter, and having a strong lead, Barcelona played freely, put extra pressure on Valencia and gained a 15-point lead (44-59) with a two-point shot from Pierre Oriola. Valencia run their own 16-7 and 2:30 minutes before the end of the game, brought the score to a six-point lead for Barcelona (60-66). Staying concentrated and focused on their game plan, Barcelona got a very important basket from Brandon Davies and two free throws from Adam Hanga, getting the 66-71 win.