Fenerbahce rolls to monster win in Belgrade
Fenerbahce Istanbul went into one of the toughest road venues on the continent and walked away with one of its biggest away wins, topping Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 65-88 on Friday night in Hala Pionir. It was Fenerbahce’s third win in as many games against Zvezda this season, and second in the Serbian capital after downing Zvezda during the regular season in Kombank Arena Belgrade. The win was the biggest in club history since a 52-82 blowout of Opel Skyliners in the 2004-05 season opener and improved Fenerbahce to 2-0 and a share of first place in Group E, while Zvezda dropped to 0-2. Fenerbahce had a 0-11 run that bridged the first and second quarters, and a 1-12 run to end the first half to open a 28-41 halftime lead. After the break, four third quarter triples in a span of three minutes and 15 seconds helped Fenerbahce pull away to 37-59. Zvezda came within 56-67, but Jan Vesely was unstoppable with 15 points and 15 rebounds, which tied his career-high. Vesely’s career-best 10 on the offensive glass was 1 shy of a Turkish Airlines Euroleague record and the most by a player since the 2012-13 season. Vesely also tied a club record with 5 blocks. Luigi Datome netted 21 points, and Bobby Dixon finished with 17 points and a career-high 11 assists, Ekpe Udoh posted 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Pero Antic also scored 12 in victory. Quincy Miller dropped 21 and blocked 4 shots for Zvezda, while Marko Guduric had 9 points and Stefan Jovic 8 in the losing effort.
First quarter: Fenerbahce goes in front, Zvezda quickly rallies
Dixon started the scoring with a triple, before Udoh’s jumper followed by a pair of free throws capped a 0-7 start. Branko Lazic and Datome traded jumpers, and Datome’s driving layup made it 3-11. Tarance Kinsey scored his first Euroleague basket for Zvezda on the other end, and Nemanja Dangubic scored inside. Vesely made a layup after a dish from Dixon, before another long jumper from Kinsey cut it to 9-14. Miller was in foul trouble early, but his foul shots and a driving layup got the hosts within 13-14. After a timeout, Zvezda went in front on a driving layup by Dangubic, capping an 8-0 run. Udoh made foul shots, but Miller knocked down a three to make it 18-16. Antic made a turnaround jumper for Fenerbahce, and after Vasilije Micic drove for a layup for the hosts, Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a fade-away jumper for the visitors. Dixon scored a three-point play on a baseline floater with a second to go in the quarter to make it 20-23 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Fenerbahce pulls away behind two big runs
Bogdanovic took a fast break all the way to open scoring in the quarter. Antic added a dunk, and Vesely scored from close range to make it 20-29, forcing a timeout from Coach Dejan Radonjic. Zvezda was held without a point for almost five minutes to open the quarter, and six minutes in total, when Maik Zirbes opened his account from close range, snapping a 0-11 run. Stefan Jovic buried a triple, and Miller made 2 from the free throw line to get the hosts within 27-29. After a Fenerbahce timeout, Datome knocked down a jumper and Antic followed with a three-pointer, 27-34. Antic’s free throws extended the margin back to 9, and Fenerbahce made defensive stands on the following two possessions. A corner three from Datome and an easy layup from Udoh made it 28-41 at halftime, capping a 1-12 run as Zvezda was kept without a field goal for the final 4:24 of the half.
Third quarter: Visitors hit from downtown to break it open
Zirbes made foul shots and Jovic scored a basket before Fenerbahce went on a 0-8 run during which Datome scored a basket and Dixon and Antic buried back-to-back threes to lead 31-49. After a Zvezda timeout, Kinsey made a baseline jumper, but Bogdanovic hit Fenerbahce’s third consecutive shot from downtown. Marko Guduric answered with a three-pointer, but Datome hit another corner three, followed it with 2 free throws, and Ricky Hickman’s driving layup opened a 37-59 margin. Guduric made 3 of 4 free throws, but a basket from Berk Ugurlu kept the margin at 20 points1. Udoh added a dunk over Lazic, before a long triple from Micic ended Zvezda’s drought of more than six minutes without a field goal, making it 46-63.
Fourth quarter: Jan Vesely does it all
Vesely opened the fourth with a put-back dunk, and after Guduric answered with a triple, Vesely had another second-chance basket. But Miller strung together 7 points, including a triple that cut it to 56-67 with seven minutes to go. After a timeout, however, Vesely had a dunk and a triple to increase the margin back to 56-62. Vladimir Stimac and Datome traded baskets, and after Stimac scored inside again, Vesely had another put-back dunk to make it 60-76 midway through the fourth. Dixon buried a triple and drove the open lane for a layup and a 21-point advantage. Miller answered with a wide-open three-pointer, but Datome scored inside. Stimac rounded out Zvzeda’s scoring with a dunk, but Dixon beat the final buzzer with a corner triple that raised the margin to 23 points, the highest of the night.
Friday, January 8, 2016