Fenerbahce beats Madrid in physical showdown
In a rematch of last season's Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four semifinal, Fenerbahce Istanbul defeated reigning champion Real Madrid 77-66 at home in front of over 12,000 fans in Group A on Friday. Fenerbahce improved to 2-1, while Madrid dropped to 1-2. Ekpe Udoh and Luigi Datome paced the winners with 15 points apiece. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 12 for Fenerbahce. Felipe Reyes led Madrid with 15 points and Gustavo Ayon added 10 rebounds for the guests. Udoh and Bogdanovic fueled a 6-0 run that gave Fenerbahce an early 10-4 lead. Jonas Maciulis and Andres Nocioni stepped up for Madrid, but Udoh restored a 20-18 edge after 10 minutes. Bobby Dixon and Datome boosted the hosts' margin to 29-20 early in the second quarter. Madrid hit just 3-of-17 three-point shots before halftime as a huge dunk by Datome gave Fenerbahce a 39-32 lead at the break. Bogdanovic shined after the break, but Rudy Fernandez and Reyes carried Madrid to within 63-56 entering the fourth quarter. Fenerbahce only allowed 10 points over the final 10 minutes as Jan Vesely, Sloukas and Datome helped the hosts keep a safe margin until the final buzzer.
First quarter: Udoh and Bogdanovic put Fener ahead
Udoh got Fenerbahce going with a turnaround jumper, which Rudy matched with free throws. Vesely scored down low before Sergio Llull fed Gustavo Ayon for a layup. A five-meter jumper by Kostas Sloukas put the hosts back ahead, 6-4. Udoh downed a mid-range jumper, as Madrid had trouble circulating the ball and tried to speed up the game tempo. Bogdanovic hit foul shots to cap a 6-0 Fenerbahce run. Nocioni scored around the basket, but Bogdanovic did better with a three-pointer. Maciulis finished a three-chance Madrid offense with a bomb from downtown and soon added an alley-oop layup to get Los Blancos within 13-11. Sloukas hit free throws and a jump hook by Udoh boosted the hosts' lead to 17-11. Nocioni buried a corner triple and a baseline jumper by Felipe Reyes brought Madrid within 2. Rudy took over with a driving layup, which Udoh matched with an off-balance basket for a 20-18 Fenerbahce lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Home team overpowers the champs
Dixon shined with a driving layup early in the quarter and fed Datome for a corner triple that ignited the crowd at 25-18. Reyes scored around the basket, but Dixon nailed a rainbow jumper off the glass and a layup by Datome prompted Madrid to call timeout at 29-20. Trey Thompkins stepped up with a put-back basket, as Madrid kept powering the glass - 8 offensive boards in 13 minutes. Pero Antic made free throws before Sergio Rodriguez struck from way downtown to get Madrid within 31-25. Vesely scored in the paint and erased Reyes's jump hook with a huge dunk. Ayon shined with a driving layup, but Madrid kept missing three-point shots - 17 attempts in as many minutes of which it made just 3. Nikola Kalinic hit foul shots and Rodriguez split attempts. A reverse layup by Ayon brought Madrid within 5. Datome took over with a big slam in traffic for a 39-32 Fenerbahce advantage at halftime.
Third quarter: It’s a physical battle!
Kalinic hit free throws immediately after the break, as Madrid tried a more powerful lineup with Ayon and Reyes together on court. Llull stepped up with a driving layup, which Bogdanovic bettered with a nine-meter bomb that made it a double-digit game, 44-34. Madrid had entered the foul penalty with over eight minutes left in the quarter, which forced Coach Pablo Laso to change his team's defensive strategy. Bogdanovic and Fernandez split free throws and a fast break layup by Ayon kept Madrid within 8. Datome swished a mid-range jumper and Bogdanovic and Udoh added foul shots, but a fast break slam by Fernandez brought Madrid to 50-39. Udoh scored down low, however Jaycee Carroll and Llull struck from downtown to close the gap to 52-45. Udoh dunked and Datome followed free throws with a jumper for an 11-point cushion. Reyes stepped up with a three-point play on Udoh's fourth foul. Baris Hersek and Willy Hernangomez exchanged baskets and a mid-range jumper by Fernandez brought Madrid within 60-54. Hersek hit a three-pointer and a jump hook by Reyes fixed the score at 63-56.
Fourth quarter: Defense allows Fener to seal win early
Both teams struggled to score early in the quarter until Hersek stepped up with a layup. Madrid was held scoreless for more than two minutes and a jumper by Dixon restored a double-digit Fenerbahce lead, 67-56. Rodriguez split free throws and a tip-in by Antic made it a 12-point game. Rodriguez kept trying to change things with a bomb from downtown and free throws by Trey Thompkins gave Madrid hope at 69-62. Sloukas stepped up with a fast break layup off a steal and Vesely added a close basket off a timeout that gave Fenerbahce plenty of fresh air at 73-62, with over three minutes left. Madrid struggled to score right when it mattered most and Bogdanovic scored in the low post to seal the outcome. Madrid could not find a way to the basket, allowing over 12,000 Fenerbahce fans to celebrate a big home win against the champs.
Friday, October 30, 2015