In a Euro-League playoff classic at Palau Blaugrana, Anthony Randolph of Lokomotiv came in Barcelona’s way by scoring 10 points in overtime that gave Lokomotiv a 92-80 win over the home side. Randolph thus denied Barcelona not only the home advantage but took the deciding fifth game on the home turf at Krasnodar, Russia on April 26. In one of the best basketball games in Turkish Airlines Euro-league basketball, the fight remained neck-to-neck all through and just when it looked that the Russian Club Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar would end up winners at regulation time buzzer, Barcelona star Juan Carlos Navarro tied the game 76-76 with a wild fade-away jumper with less than 3 seconds left. Lokomotiv’s victory came only in overtime with Randolph’s super-human effort.
In the first quarter too, it was Anthony Randolph, who had opened the scoring with a three from top of the key. Lokomotiv looked a better team in the first 10 minutes, though the home side also scored some key baskets through Stratos Perperoglou, Juan Carlos Navarro, Ante Tomic and Tomas Satoransky but Lokomotiv finished two points ahead with a score of 21-19.
In the second quarter, Barcelona began well to take a 22-21 lead, when Justin Doellman nailed a three from beyond the arc followed by another three from Alex Abrines. After these initial bursts, Barcelona fell back again as Singleton’s layup and three allowed Lokomotiv to lead again. Others scoring for Lokomotiv in the second quarter were; Randolph and Dontaye Draper and the visitors ended with a 40-35 halftime advantage.
In the third quarter, Barcelona jumped back into the game with Ante Tomic sinking a pair of free throws and scoring another point. However Lokomotiv didn’t lose the lead as Delaney drilled a triple and a Randolph slam made the score 45-39. However, Tomic kept Barcelona in the hunt with free throws but Randolph responded with a fast break layup. At this point, Navarro scored a triple that started a 9-0 run for Barcelona with baskets from Abrines, Samardo Samuels and Navarro again as the third quarter ended at 54-51 in Barcelona’s favor.
The fourth quarter was bitterly fought with Victor Claver tying up the score and Doellman hitting a jumper. The lead changed again in favor of Barcelona from Satoransky’s layup but Singleton brought Lokomotiv in front again with a three-pointer. With 5 minutes remaining, Lokomotiv led 65-60 but Perperoglou scored from two free throws and a triple but Singleton responded with a jumper. A furious round of scoring ensued from both sides and with 3 second left, Lokomotiv led 76-75 but Navarro’s wild jumper brought the score to 76-76 as the buzzer went off and the game went to the overtime.
The overtime began with missed chances from Delaney and Navarro and it was here that Randolph took charge. He scored from a jumper but Navarro tied the game again at 78-78. Randolph, however, was relentless as he shot a three-pointer and when Matt Janning also scored a triple, Lokomotiv took a 6-point lead. Randolph consolidated with a slam as Barcelona took timeout. After that, Tomic was unlucky to miss while Randolph added another triple. The 11-point lead for Lokomotiv with time running out was enough to seal the game.
Barcelona thus missed their big chance to win the playoff series at home. For Lokomotiv, Randolph finished with 28 points and 7 rebounds, Victor Claver added 17 points with 10 rebounds, Malcolm Delaney had another 15 and Chris Singleton scored 14. For Barcelona, Juan Carlos Navarro scored 19, Ante Tomic added 18 and Stratos Perperoglou 13.
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