Yesterday, Shane Larkin dominated once again the game, finishing with 24 points, 9/9 at the free-throw line, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals for a huge 35 index rate. He was fouled 9 times by the F.C. players who couldn’t guard him. With cold-blood, he scored the final 4 free-throws, which was exactly the final margin of the game: 86-82 for Anadolu Efes.
The Turkish team stole an important victory, consolidating their top position in the Euroleague in spite of their absent players, Dunston Bryant and Vasilije Micic. Even without them, Anadolu Efes looked like a true title contender. Winning this game was very important, maybe the most important of the season, since Efes is competing directly with the Catalans for the 1st place in the regular season.
Of course, F.C. Barcelona has an excuse, they are waiting for Kevin Pangos and Thomas Huertel comeback, which will be soon, probably this month and then they will have a full roster and a much better rotation for the backcourt. Maybe then, the Spanish powerhouse will be able to stop Shane Larkin, who yesterday did what he wanted on the court. His efficiency – 35, was almost the same with the index rate of Cory Higgins, Malcolm Delaney, Pau Ribas, Adam Hanga, Alex Abrines and Kyle Kuric who got together 38!
The so expected duel between Larkin and Mirotic was won definitely by the American guard, while Barcelona’s power forward ended with only 1/8 at the 2 points range. In the same time, ex-Barcelona player, Chris Singleton looked very motivated to prove his value against his former team. He ended up with 3/3 from the arc, 6/6 from the free-throw line, 8 rebounds for 19 index rate.
F.C. Barcelona could manage neither Larkin nor the end of the match. After being 7 points ahead with 4 minutes remaining (75-68) with a great comeback run, the Catalans lost all their inspiration. They received almost 20 points in the final 4 minutes of the encounter and this has to be their great concern for future games.