Fenerbahce outlasts Baskonia in shootout
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul, the reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions, earned a hard-fought 95-89 win over KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz in Game 2 of their playoff series on Friday. Fenerbahce assumed a 2-0 lead as the series now moves to Vitoria for Game 3 on Tuesday. It was the 11th consecutive playoffs win for Fenerbahce, which has not lost in this phase under head coach Zeljko Obradovic since he took over the bench in 2013. But the champs had to dig deep for this one. Baskonia, led by hot-hand of sharpshooter Matt Janning, simply refused to give up, but Fenerbahce had more weapons and all the answers on offense. The hosts made 23 of 34 (67.7%) two-point shots, setting their club playoffs record. Brad Wanamaker led the way with 19 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. Jan Vesely had 16 points and 6 rebounds, Nikola Kalinic scored 9 of his 11 points in the third quarter, while Nicolo Melli and Luigi Datome scored 10 apiece. Janning netted 17 points and Vincent Poirier had 14 points plus 7 rebounds for Baskonia. Toko Shengelia scored 12, while Janis Timma, Johannes Voigtmann and Rodrigue Beaubois each scored 11 in defeat.
Baskonia scored first 6 points of the game, and Poirier's dunk had the visitors up 0-6 after less than 90 seconds. After a timeout, Fenerbahce got it going with pair of steals and inside baskets from Nikola Kalinic, Wanamaker and James Nunnally. Timma hit his first triple to keep Baskonia in front, and his second three made it 10-15. Poirier had another dunk, but Wanamaker scored a runner-plus-free throw that sparked a 12-0 run during which Sloukas found Vesely for a dunk and Ahmet Duverioglu had a three-point play to open a 25-17 Fenerbahce lead. Baskonia was held scoreless for more than 3 minutes, but back-to-back triples from Voigtmann and Janning brought the visitors back to within 25-23 after 10 minutes. A layup from Janning and a dunk by Voigtmann, both in transition, put Baskonia back in front, 27-29, early in the second. Sloukas and Marcelinho Huertas traded triples, but then Datome hit his own in transition to Fenerbahce back in front 37-34, midway through the second quarter. The hosts pulled away again after Marko Guduric knocked down a step-back triple and Nunnally followed with a three-point play to make it 48-39. But Timma and Luca Vildoza each downed threes in the final 2 minutes of the quarter as Baskonia stayed close, 53-49, at halftime.
Shengelia had a runner and a jumper to help Baskonia get the lead back after the break, but only briefly. Kalinic followed his three-pointer with a jumper, and Wanamaker drove for a layup-plus-free throw. Kalinic scored 4 more points, giving him 9 in a span of less than 4 minutes, to put the hosts up 68-61. Baskets from Vildoza and Voigtmann kept Baskonia as close as 71-68 after 30 minutes. Voigtmann scored once again inside, and Shengelia hustled for a put-back to tie it up, 72-72, early in the fourth quarter, but that was the final tie. Datome nailed a jumper and Nunnally added a basket. After Janning hit a triple, Datome and Wanamaker answered with long-range daggers, helping Fenerbahce race ahead 84-75 midway through the quarter. Baskonia was not giving up, as Janning nailed another three and Beaubois had a runner to cut the difference to 86-82. But Wanamaker hit a three-pointer and Melli banked a tough jumper to make it 91-82 and seal the deal. Beaubois scored 7 points in the final minute, but it was too little too late for a Baskonia comeback.
Friday, April 20, 2018