Barcelona defeated CSKA Moscow 93-78 in the third place game at the Euroleague Final Four in Milan on Sunday evening.
It was a reasonably comfortable win in the end for the Liga Endesa side, who led from the early stages of the second period and never relinquished it from there, as they gained revenge from losing last year’s consolation game in London.
Juan Carlos Navarro led Barcelona with 20 points, with Maciej Lampe adding 17. Joey Dorsey got 9 points and 12 rebounds.
For Navarro, the game marked a new record for the legend. The Spanish international is now the leading three-point scorer in the Euroleague with 31, overtaking CSKA’s now retired JR Holden.
“Truth to be told, I didn’t know about the record and I am proud of it,” said Navarro through a translator. “Of course, I wish I could have beaten it in the Euroleague Championship Game or by hitting more of them against Real Madrid last Friday. We are a little bit frustrated for our loss in the semifinals because I think we arrived in a good moment to the Final Four.”
“We are very happy about this victory,” said Barca coach Xavi Pascual. “We are happy too because we showed courage. We cared about it a lot. Our opponents are a great team. It takes a lot to break through the defence. We came up with a very good result and got the victory, even it’s a sour victory.”
Sasha Kaun scored eight of CSKA’s first 10 points, giving the Russian side the early advantage at 10-4. Barcelona hit back as the first quarter wore on and a 6-0 run, highlighted by a trademark teardrop from Juan Carlos Navarro reduced the gap to 20-19 with just over a minute of the opening period left.
A free flowing first quarter saw Nenad Krstic give CSKA a three-point advantage at the end from the foul line at 24-21.
Polish international Maciej Lampe hit back-to-back three-pointers to give Barcelona the edge at 27-24 at the beginning of the second quarter, and another triple from the Euroleague’s all-time leading scorer Juan Carlos Navarro helped the Catalan side to their biggest lead of the first half at 44-35.
CSKA struck back towards the end of the half, narrowing the gap to three points thanks to a three-point play from Krstic. Barcelona scored again to bring the second period to a close with the Liga Endesa side up 50-45.
Three quick points from youngster Mario Hezonja extended Barcelona’s lead to 55-49 in the early stages of the third quarter. The Catalan side were able to maintain a satisfactory lead. Free throws from Bostjan Nachbar gave Barca their first double-digit lead of the game at 67-57 and at the end of three, they led the Russians 69-64 despite a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Jeremy Pargo.
The Catalans were always in control though. A three-pointer from Brad Oleson and a follow-up triple from Kostas Papanikolaou gave Barca a 91-72 lead and from there, they made the game safe.
Kaun had 13 to lead CSKA Moscow.