Credit: Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

FC Barcelona (5-0) got a comfortable victory over Zenit Saint Petersburg (3-2) 84-58 (20-19, 24-8, 22-14, 18-17) to stay perfect in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. They joined defeatless AX Armani Exchange Milan at the top of the table.

Player of the Game
Nikola  Mirotic
EFF
28
Nikola Mirotic
Points 20
Accuracy 7-9
Rebounds 4
Assists 1

Barca started the second quarter with a strong 16-2 push. After Brandon Davies and Nigel Hayes-Davis two-pointers, Nicolas Laprovittola two threes in a row, Barca's advantage reached 15 points (36-21).

The Catalans did not reduce the tempo, and their lead arrived at 19 points mark before halftime (44-25).

The second half did not bring any surprises. Sarunas Jasikevicius' squad outscored Zenit by 8 points in the third quarter, going with a 25-point lead to the decisive period. The last 10 minutes of the game was a mere formality, as Barca reached a convincing victory.

For the winners, Nikola Mirotic had a splendid game again this season. He posted 20 points (4/5 2PT, 3/4 3PT, 3/3 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 drawn fouls, and 28 PIR in just 15 minutes of playing time.

"Our mindset tonight was defense. We knew it was going to be difficult and that we had to play good defense. We know this team really well because we played against them in the playoffs last season. I think everything came from our defense because, after that, our offense was terrific," admitted Mirotic.

"For some periods of the game, we played great basketball, and we have to build on that. Everybody played and it is not easy against Zenit. They are always well prepared and always know exactly what they are doing. We have to be very proud and move on," said Sarunas Jasikevicius after the fifth EuroLeague win in a row.

Mateusz Ponitka was a top performer for Zenit, accumulating 8 points (2/4 2PT, 1/3 3PT, 1/2 FT), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, 6 drawn fouls, and 11 PIR.

Xavi Pascual emphasized the poor performance in the second period: "There was nothing to do after the second quarter. We lost control of the game completely. They started to play with confidence and even if you fight, even if you try, their quality is amazing and they destroyed us."

This game at Palau Blaugrana was special because the Barca organization paid tribute to the 2010 EuroLeague championship team.

Due to the global pandemic, there was no option to do it last year, so the ceremony was carried out tonight.

Barcelona: Nikola Mirotic 20 (4 REB), Sertac Sanli 11 (4 REB), Brandon Davies 11, Nicolas Laprovittola 8 (3 REB), Kyle Kuric 7, Rolands Smits 7 (4 REB).

Zenit: Mateusz Ponitka (6 REB), Billy Baron 8, Dmitry Kulagin 8 (2 AST), Jordan Loyd 8 (3 REB), Arturas Gudaitis 6, Alex Poythress 6 (5 REB).

Highlights

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Barselonos FC Barcelona
Sankt Peterburgo Zenit
54%
35/65
Field goals
42%
21/50
33
Rebounds
30
15
Assists
9
9
Steals
7
59%
27/46
2-pointers
48%
19/40
9
Turnovers
17

Best players

Nikola  Mirotic
20 PTS
7/9 FG
3/3 FT
Dmitry  Kulagin
8 PTS
3/7 FG
1/3 FT
Rokas  Jokubaitis
5 REB
4 DREB
1 OREB
Mateusz  Ponitka
6 REB
3 DREB
3 OREB
Nick  Calathes
4 As
2 TO
18 MIN
Zenit St Petersburg
Few players
2 As
Nikola  Mirotic
28 EFF
80% 2P%
75% 3P%
Mateusz  Ponitka
11 EFF
50% 2P%
33% 3P%