Fenerbahce Istanbul made history in New York in the early hours on Tuesday, holding off the hosts Brooklyn Nets 96-101 at Barclays Center. It was Fenerbahce’s second win over an NBA team, and first in the United States. Fenerbahce led for majority of the contest, hitting 11 of 21 three-pointers, with offense orchestrated by playmaking of Kostas Sloukas who dished 11 assists and scored 11 points. Sloukas was one of five double-digit scorers in victory. Jan Vesely and Bogdan Bogdanovic both also scored key baskets down the stretch, as Vesely finished with 18 and Bogdanovic with 17 points. Luigi Datome had 16 points on 4-for-6 from long range, and 5 assists, while Melih Mahmutoglu netted 10 for Fenerbahce which played without Pero Antic and Bobby Dixon. Brook Lopez paced Brooklyn with 18 points, Wayne Ellington netted 16, while Thomas Robinson amassed 12 points plus 16 boards in defeat. This was the first of four games between Euroleague Basketball and NBA teams this week, and first of two exhibitions in the United States for Fenerbahce, that are part of World Tour USA 2015. On Saturday, October 10, Fenerbahce pays a visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sloukas made a steal, and fed Vesely with a bounce-pass for a two-handed monster slam to open the scoring in style. A triple from Nikola Kalinic, also assisted by Sloukas, gave Fenerbahce early 4-6 advantage. Jarret Jack was getting the hosts going, but baskets from Kalinic and Bogdan Bogdanovic, including a three-point play, helped Fenerbahce to 8-13. Lopez threw a length-of-court pass to Robinson for a dunk, but Ekpe Udoh and Datome, from long range, kept Fenerbahce in front, before a floater from Vesely and a jumper from Sloukas made it 15-22. However, in the late stages of the first quarter, the Nets went on an 11-1 run capped by Ellington, and the hosts held 26-25 after the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Datome paced Fenerbahce, assisting for Mahmutoglu bucket and scoring another jumper himself, but Shane Larkin and Ellington hit back-to-back threes for Brooklyn, and Robinson’s fastbreak dunk made it 36-31. After a timeout, however, Vesely hit twice from close range and Datome hit from long range in a 0-7 run for 36-38. Bogdanovic hit a shot, then fed Udoh inside, sparking a run that continued with a triple from Datome, and was capped by a three from Bogdan Bogdanovic for 41-50. The hosts answered with nine consecutive points behind big man Lopez, but Kalinic hit from downtown and Sloukas also nailed a triple just before the halftime buzzer, giving Fenerbahce 52-56 halftime edge.
Teams traded baskets at the start of the third quarter. Vesely and Udoh kept Fenerbahce ahead, but Robinson, Jack and Joe Johnson hit back, 62-64. Vesely and Lopez traded baskets, before a dunk by Lopez put Brooklyn back in front, 68-66. But Fenerbahce responded with put-backs from Udoh and Omer Yurtseven, and Mahmutoglu hit a baseline jumper for 68-74. After a timeout, a triple from Mahmutoglu helped extend the lead to 70-79, and his another dagger from long range made it 72-82 going into the fourth quarter.
Thaddeus Young strung together 6 points for the Nets to start the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run. But Yurtseven from inside, and Datome from three-point land gave Fenerbahce 80-87, before a triple from Bogdan Bogdanovic from the left side extended it to 84-92 with 5:38 left in the game. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson hit a two, and Ellington buried a three for Brooklyn to close the gap to 89-92. After Yurtseven’s put-back dunk, Quincy Miller hit a long jump shot for 93-94. But Fenerbahce got more breathing room after Bogdan Bogdanovic drove for an off balanced runner-plus-foul, and Vesely hustled for a put-back, 93-99 with 1:44 to go. After couple defensive stands by Fenerbahce, that included a block by Kalinic, the hosts did halve the deficit with a three-pointer from Justin Harper, and then had 14 seconds for its final possession, but Hollis-Jefferson missed a layup attempt and Vesely secured the rebound only for Sloukas to hit a pair of free throws, sealing the deal.