Credit: R.Molina/EuroLeague Basketball via GettyImages
Credit R.Molina/EuroLeague Basketball via GettyImages

From zero to hero in 48 hours. Deshaun Thomas went from going scoreless in Game 1 to flirting with his career-high in Game 2.

Player of the Game
Deshaun  Thomas
EFF
29
Deshaun Thomas
Points 25
Accuracy 9-13
Rebounds 7
Assists 2

His 25-point show boosted Bayern Munich to a sensational win over Barcelona 90-75 to tie the best-of-five series 1-1.

Deshaun Thomas made his first basket 33 seconds into the second quarter. Then, he made a ghost screen, popped, and made a first three to raise the lead 28-20.

Dante Exum didn't take Deshaun Thomas seriously, and Bayern's forward drained another 3-pointer (31-20).

Nine Bayern players jumped on the floor to celebrate with the hottest man in Palau Blaugrana. The loud home crowd was silenced by an incredible spark of their former player.

Sarunas Jasikevicius tried to wake up his defense, but Thomas didn't stop, putting Exum on a clinic again. 33-20.

The EuroLeague veteran destroyed him on pick and pop situations, low post, mid-range. 

"I got going a little early and made some shots. In the second half, I just tried to be aggressive. To keep the team aggressive when my teammates needed me, knocking down big shots," Thomas said BasketNews after the game.

He managed to switch from a rusty performance 48 hours ago.

In Game 1, one of the top Bayern's offensive threats went scoreless in 12 minutes and finished the game with -5 PIR (0/3 FG).

Barcelona were very aggressive in containing Thomas and denying him from any opportunity to get to his sweet spots, thanks to a very tight defense of Nigel Hayes-Davis. But scorers are going to score. 

Thomas finished Game 2 with 25 points on a 6 of 7 3-point shooting. He was just three points shy from matching his EuroLeague career-high (28 PTS).

Deshaun Thomas

Deshaun  Thomas
Deshaun  Thomas
MIN: 23.15
PTS: 9.97 (51.74%)
REB: 3.21
As: 0.79
ST: 0.3
BL: 0.18
TO: 1.09
GM: 33

"When you're in the zone, you just feel it. Especially me as the scorer. I've been in many zones like that. But this one was something special," even Deshaun Thomas admitted. "Against Barcelona, in the playoffs, it was one of those zone moments when everything was going in."

Andrea Trinchieri managed to create a situation for Thomas where he could have a split second to fire up.

First of all, he started him in the EuroLeague for the first time since Christmas. It took time for Deshaun to feel the rhythm in the first quarter, but he delivered, putting the whole Palau Blaugrana on fire. Just nobody was enjoying it except those around Bayern's bench.

"I knew I was going to find a way. I wasn't too high or too low. I was really confident with myself. I knew the coach would make adjustments trying to get me the ball. He put me in great situations to free me up," 2.01 m forward explained.

"The one thing about scorers, when they score, when they have a split open second to fire, and they see that one shot going in, it's bottoms. But I think the coach has freed me up just to give me a second to get open. My teammates were there and did a great job putting me in the needed position. Once I saw that first shot going in, it was on from there," Thomas, averaging 10 points per game this season, said with joy.

Thomas scored 15 points in the second quarter alone. When one of his six three-pointers increased the lead to 47-31, a 30-year-old American gave a death stare to his bench.

He saw those fearless fighters who never back down, celebrating for him. All guys jumped off their feet to share the incredible moment with their teammate.

Neither facing the best regular-season team with two critical scorers sidelined. Or visiting the title contenders as the 8th seeded team after going through three covid outbreaks and numerous crazy injuries. They were never afraid of their opponents.

"It started early in the season. We had a lot of obstacles. We didn't have a full team. We lost tough games by one point vs. Maccabi earlier in the season. When we finally got the full team, Covid hit us again. These injuries... People were banged up," Thomas said.

"I think it's just our mentality. We are just sticking together. We have a great group of guys willing to work and get better in each aspect of the game. That's what's special about this team.

When you got a great group of guys willing to work each day through the ups and downs, the games look like that. They grind up like that. We've been through tough situations. That's why the games were so close. And we grind, we're greedy, and we fight. That's what's is all about in the EuroLeague."

Deshaun Thomas made his final sixth three with 8 minutes to play. He cooled off Barcelona (70-56), who were about to make the last run to save the home-court advantage.

Thomas wore Barcelona jerseys in 2014-15, but there was nothing personal if one of the biggest nights of his career. 

He was just in his zone, enjoying his time in Barcelona.

Daniele Baiesi, the sports director of Bayern Munich, sent a group message to his team.

"This is for you, D-Hill!" he texted.

"This is for you, Brodie!" Thomas added.

"Thanks, family!" D-Hill responded.

"That's what's special about this team. This is a great group of guys. There are no egos. There's no nothing. With teams like that, with great people, success is always there waiting," Thomas told BasketNews.

The best-of-five series is heading to Munich. Bayern will host Barcelona on Wednesday and Friday.

As Andrea Trinchieri said, they're aware that EuroLeague regular-season winners will do everything to destroy them in Audi Dome.

Thomas is ready for the challenge. But now, this group has confidence that you can't take away from them.

"We know the job is not done. This is a big road win, but it's something special. It's the hard work that we put in. It kind of feels like we deserved it with the obstacles that were put in," Thomas said. "Now we have to go home, and we know it will not be easy. But it's good to have home court and fans right there. It will be something special trying to get these two wins."

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FC Barcelona
FC Bayern Munich
43%
24/56
Field goals
47%
28/60
32
Rebounds
34
16
Assists
16
5
Steals
9
27
Fouls
28
78
Efficiency
97

Best players

Nikola  Mirotic
16 PTS
4/10 FG
7/9 FT
Deshaun  Thomas
25 PTS
9/13 FG
1/2 FT
Nikola  Mirotic
6 REB
6 DREB
0 OREB
FC Bayern Munich
Few players
8 REB
Nick  Calathes
8 As
1 TO
30 MIN
Ognjen  Jaramaz
5 As
0 TO
23 MIN
Nick  Calathes
17 EFF
71% 2P%
50% 3P%
Deshaun  Thomas
29 EFF
50% 2P%
86% 3P%