NBA : Cory Higgins and Pierre Oriola lead Barcelona past Zalgiris


By Eurohoops team /

Cory Higgins has continued with great performances and led FC Barcelona to another victory, this time against Zalgiris Kaunas with 86-62 in Round 25 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.

Higgins was on fire from the get-go. He scored 11 in the first quarter and 17 for the half as Barcelona went ahead 48-37. The American shooting guard missed just one shot until the break and all of his points came from the field.

Although he went guns blazing, Higgins points to defense as the main factor for this win: “I think we had an excellent defensive game. That is our motto, when we play defense, we usually play well, and we did that tonight. Everything starts from the defensive end. We know we are a very talented offensive team, so if we get stops, it puts us in a good position.”

He finished with 19 points and 27 PIR, as did Pierre Oriola who grabbed seven rebounds, while Brandon Davis added 12 and Nikola Mirotic ten points. Leo Westermann wasn’t on the roster due to a sprained ankle.

“I am very happy about how the team played tonight after winning a championship last Sunday, also against a team that is not easy to play. They play with intensity on defense and have great shooters, but in the second half, I think we played great defense and our offense was amazing. For me, the important thing is to win the game, keep playing this way and help the team,” Oriola said.

On the opposing side, nobody scored in double-digits. Nigel Hayes had nine in addition to Arturas Milaknis, Marius Grigonis and Joffrey Lauvergne’s eight points each.

The 11-2 run to start the second half (59-39) sealed the deal for the Spaniards who continue their winning spree. Barcelona lost just one game (vs Efes, EL Round 24) out of the last 16 across all competitions. They are currently at the top of the EuroLeague standings with an 18-7 record. Zalgiris is ninth with 13-11.

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