| Turk Telekom rejoined the fight to make it to the Eurocup Quarterfinals in Last 16 Group L by rallying from a 16-point deficit to edge previously undefeated Crvena Zvezda 76-78 in Belgrade, Serbia on Tuesday. Telekom improved to 1-3 and avoided elimination with this win. Meanwhile, Zvezda went down to 3-1 but stil leads Group L and is in a good position to make it to the next round. Demond Mallet paced the winners with 25 points on 7-of-11 three-pointers. He hit 4-of-4 free throws in the final 11.4 seconds to make Telekom seal the win down the stretch. Lamayne Wilson added 15, Erwin Dudley had 12 while Kris Lang got 10 for Telekom. Oliver Stevic led Zvezda with 18 points on 9-of-10 two-pointers, 8 rebounds and 7 steals. Mike Taylor and Filip Videnov each added 16 points for the hosts. Mallet fired 4 three-pointers in the first quarter to give Telekom a 13-26 lead after 10 minutes. Taylor, Stevic and Nemanja Bjelica fueled a 24-3 run that allowed Zvezda to get a 42-34 edge at halftime. A layup by Vuk Radivojevic gave the hosts their biggest lead, 58-42, midway through the third quarter. Bekir Yarangume, Wilson and Mallet struck from downtown in a 2-17 run that gave Telekom a 73-76 edge with 11.4 seconds left. Mallet sealed his outstanding performance with free throws, as Telekom used a tactic foul to stay out of trouble until the final buzzer.
Radivojevic got Zvezda going with a big basket in the low post and Stevic added a wild revese layup for a 4-0 lead. Mallet stepped up with back-to-back
triples and a big dunk by Lang gave Telekom its first lead at 6-8. Zvezda kept struggling to score and a layup by Dudley made the hosts call timeout at 6-10.
Elmedin Kikanovic shined with a jump hook but Mallet struck twice from downtown in a 0-11 run that boosted the guests' lead to 8-20. Vladimir Stimac took over with a put-back dunk and Videnov banked in a close jumper to get Zvezda within 12-22. Wilson provided a highlight with a wils dunk and Sonen Senturk added a coast-to-coast layup to boost the guests' lead to 13-26 after 10 minutes. Videnov and Mallet - who else? - traded three-pointers early in the second quarter, as Telekom kept playing up-tempo with twin point guards on the floor. Videnov insisted from downtown, as Zvezda improved its aggressivity at both ends. Taylor sank free throws and a layup by Stimac made it a four-point game, 25-29. Taylor had managed to stop Mallet and Bjelica followed a layup-plus-foul with a tip-in to set the crowd on fire at 30-29. Yarangume and a red hot Videnov exchanged triples and foul shots by Bjelica gave Zvezda a 35-32 edge. Taylor took over with a seven-meter bomb and fed Nemanja Nedovic with a layup for a 40-32 score, making Telekom call a much-needed timeout. Bjelica capped a mamooth 24-3 run with a free throw and matched Huseyin Besok's put-back basket with a buzzer-beating layup, good for a 42-34 Zvezda lead at halftime.
Dudley buried a turnaround jumper immediately after the break that Taylor bettered with an acrobatic three-point play and soon added one from downtown to boost the hosts' lead to 48-36. Taylor collected a steal and fed Stevic for a fast break dunk that Lang matched in the other end. Stevic kept pacing Zvezda with a consecutive layups and Taylor sent the crowd to their feet with a wild dunk that broke the game open, 56-40, midway through the third quarter. Dudley tried to change things for Telekom and Wilson struck from downtown to keep the guests within 58-45. Stimac and Stevic kept pacing Zvezda, as even when Telekom had improved its offense, it only managed to trade baskets now. Mallet, however, sank his sixth three-pointer and Wilson added free throws to bring the guests within 62-54. A put-back layup by Stevic fixed the score at 64-54 after 30 minutes. Stevic stayed on fire with a backdoor layup early in the fourth quarter that Dudley erased with a jump hook. Wilson and Mallet struck again from downtown to bring Telekom as close as 71-64 with under 6 minutes left. Yarangume joined the three-point shootout and free throws by Lang soon made it a two-point game, 71-69. Bjelica rescued Zvezda with a backdoor layup but Senturk kept the guests within 73-71 with a minute to go. Wilson silenced the crowd with a triple that completed the guests' comeback, 73-74, with 46.6 seconds left. Telekom used a non-shooting foul and Radivojevic missed in penetration. Mallet sank 4-of-4 free throws in the first 11.4 seconds for a 75-78 Telekom edge with 5.6 seconds left. The guests fouled on Taylor with 2 seconds to go. He missed his second attempt trying to force overtime but Telekom got the ball back and sealed a decisive win.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010