FC Barcelona Lassa never trialed and hit 17 three-pointers in holding off the visiting Khimki Moscow Region 86-82 on Thursday night.
A win improved Barcelona to 11-19 in its last game of the season, while playoff-bound Khimki suffered its third consecutive loss to finish in eighth place with a 16-14 record. It means Khimki will face its city rival CSKA Moscow in the playoffs. Barcelona hit 8 of its first 11 three-point attempts and held 45-25 second-quarter lead. Khimki rallied behind Anthony Gill and Charles Jenkins to stay within single digits the most of the second half, but never got closer than 4 points. The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague's all-time scoring king, Juan Carlos Navarro, led the way with 17 points on 5-for-11 three-point shooting. Barcelona finishied the season hitting 36 three-point shots over two games, more than any other team this century. Thomas Heurtel netted 14 points in victory, while Anthony Gill paced Khimki with 21 points. Alexey Shved scored a season-low 15 and dished 8 assists. Charled Jenkins made 5 of 6 triples to also finish with 15 points, and Malcolm Thomas chipped in with 13 in defeat.
Barcelona was hot from the get-go. Heurtel and Adam Hanga hit triples, and after a transition three from Navarro, a four-point play from Heurtel helped open 19-8 lead. Thomas and Egor Vialtsev hit back-to-back threes for the visitors, before Pau Ribas and Jenkins traded threes. Navarro hit sixth three-pointer for the hosts in the first quarter, and Koponen hit back-to-back from downtown to open the second quarter and help increase the lead to 39-21. Barcelona extended the margin to 20 points on a three-point play by Pierre Oriola, making it 45-25. However, Gill sparked a 0-13 run with a pair of dunks and a three-point play, and Jenkins hit a pair of triples to cut within 45-38. Heurtel made another one from downtown for the hosts, restoring a double-digit deficit, and after Thomas Robinson and Gill scored inside for Khimki, Koponen beat the buzzer with a corner triple to make it 54-45 at halftime.
Thomas had an easy dunk, and Vialtsev a wide-open triple to get Khimki within 54-50. Navarro knocked down a triple, but Jenkins answered with his fifth from long range on as many attempts. Teams traded blows, as Ante Tomic and Thomas exchanged close-range buckets and Navarro and Shved hit triples to make it 64-60. More threes, one from Ribas and one from Koponen helped the hosts keep the lead at 72-66 going into the fourth quarter, and margin was extended to 77-66 after Ribas his team’s 16th triple, and Hanga raced for a fastbreak dunk. Gill and Robinson kept Khimki within range, but Hanga with a tip-in and Navarro with a triple from the left corner opened 84-70 margin midway through the fourth quarter. Khimki made a late charge, but it was too little too late.