04/28/2021 at 9:13 PM CEST
With an imperial Brandon Davies (22 points, 8 rebounds and a PIR of 28), Barça took the victory in the third quarter game against Zenit (70-78), That leaves him only one Final Four win.
It was another locked game, where the defenses prevailed over the attacks, although Barça knew how to make a better use of it, with the support of Higgins (16) and a successful Kuric in the first half (13). The azulgrana They regain the track advantage in these fenial quarters, and their goal will be to close it this Friday, again in Saint Petersburg.
Both teams came out tense, aware that this third game was going to be decisive for both in the series to five. And both preferred to show all their defensive ability, what a hit in attack.
Good start for Barça
A 0-6 from Barça seemed to give the initiative to those of Jasikevcius, but it was soon seen that the Barça team continued with many doubts in attack, with Mirotic again imprecise and Calathes, without command, and allowed Zenit to get into the game with a great Poythress, the most decisive of the Russians.
In the little Barça success, Kuric emerged, who scored two consecutive triples to close the first quarter with a very poor draw at 16. A match, in the style of the first two, with a lot of fight for each ball, and without offensive brilliance.
Jasikevicius put Pau Gasol in the second quarter, although his contribution was discreet, working on the rebound (4), but without luck in attack, like the rest of the team, who continued to depend from Kuric, who achieved his third triple (18-19).
Maximum income of Zenit
Zenit intensified its defense, and lived its best minutes, stopping the Barça attack, which was still lost, and managed to go away from seven (30-23). And in that critical moment, the figure of Brandon Davies emerged, as in the first two games.
With a triple from Higgins and five consecutive points from the Ugandan center -with a triple included-, the Catalans managed to neutralize the local advantage, closing the rebound better. A triple of Calathes – his best action in the first half – gave Barça their best set (1-11) and allowed them to reach the break ahead (33-34).
Barça had to improve their shooting accuracy -only 7 of 24-, recover a blurred Mirotic and continue working on defense, if he wanted to have a chance to win in St. Petersburg.
Davies, the great protagonist
Saras’s men entered the resumption with greater intensity in defense, and with a protagonist: Brandon Davies. The pivot again marked the differences, rebounding, and scoring, and assisting. He was the leader of Barça, who came to leave 10 after Mirotic’s basket (42-52), but he did not know how to defend that good advantage.
With Davies on the bench catching air, Zenit reacted with three actions from Billy Baron, which put the Russian team back into the game with 10 minutes left (51-55).
Davies returned to the track and managed to charge Poythress with fouls -he ended up eliminated- while Mirotic woke up, based on free throws and attempts to score under the rim.
Without Pangos, who received a blow and had to go to the locker room to fix it, Barça achieved an income of 8 (58-66), without allowing Zenit to approach, who again tried with the point guard (66-70), to end up giving in to a Barça that knew how to close the game with free throws and get a hopeful 2-1 in the series.