Thunder 26-19-22-25 92
FC Barcelona 25-22-21-21 89
After losing in overtime to Real Madrid on Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder managed to close their trip to Spain with a win as they beat FC Barcelona Lassa 92-89. Forward Enes Kanter, who got the start in place of the injured Steven Adams (sprained ankle), scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the way for the Thunder. Kanter scored 29 points off the bench in Monday’s loss, and his free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining give Oklahoma City a three-point lead.
FC Barcelona got a good look at a game-tying three but the shot was short, with a put-back being ruled to come after time had expired.
Russell Westbrook accounted for 12 points, three rebounds and five assists in 21 minutes of play, and Victor Oladipo scored ten points. Victor Claver led four Barcelona players in double figures with 25 points, with Aleksandar Vezenkov adding 13 and Brad Oleson and Ante Tomic ten apiece. Below are highlights from the game, separated by quarter.
There was little separation between the two teams in the first, with neither the Thunder nor FC Barcelona leading by more than five points (Thunder led 8-3 with 9:34 remaining in the quarter) at any point in the game’s first 12 minutes. Enes Kanter, who got the start for Steven Adams (sprained ankle), led the Thunder with eight points and Russell Westbrook added six. Joffrey Lauvergne, who the Thunder acquired from Denver, scored four points in the first quarter. Ante Tomic led FC Barcelona with six points, with Victor Claver and Stratos Perperoglou adding five apiece.
Here are some highlights from the first quarter.
Despite turning the ball over 15 times in the first half, the Thunder trail by just two at the intermission. As a result of those turnovers Barcelona led by as much as nine in the second quarter, and Ante Tomic moved his team-high point total to ten points in the half. Enes Kanter, who had some issues defending Tomic, led all scorers with 11 points and rookie Domantas Sabonis added eight for the Thunder. Sabonis’ three-pointer with 28.4 seconds left in the quarter pulled Oklahoma City to within two at 47-45. Westbrook finished the half with six points on 1-for-4 shooting and four assists.
Oklahoma City ramped up the intensity on the defensive end of the court early in the third quarter, with Andre Roberson causing multiple turnovers that led to dunks. Kanter scored seven more points in the quarter to move his total up to 18 for the game, with Westbrook accounting for six points and an assist. Juan Carlos Navarro, the all-time leading scorer in the history of the EuroLeague, hit a three-pointer late in the quarter to give Barcelona a one-point advantage going into the fourth at 68-67.
The game went back and forth in the final quarter, with Oklahoma City taking the lead for good on a Kanter layup with 1:04 remaining. Neither team would score again until Kanter made a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining. An Alex Abrines three-point play with 2:15 remaining tied the game at 86, with Claver answering with a three-pointer to give Barcelona an 89-86 lead with 1:57 to go. Those would be the final points Barcelona would score in the game.
The Thunder, who won 55 games and reached the Western Conference Finals last season, begin life without Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.Click here to read more