Arslan's triple gives Darussafaka its maiden Top 16 victory
There are no more winless teams in the Top 16 this season after Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul made a bit of history, pulling out a hard-fought and dramatic 69-66 win over visiting Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade on Thursday night. It was the first ever Top 16 win for Darussafaka, which improved to 1-5 in Group E, while Zvezda dropped to 3-3. Neither team held a lead bigger than 6 points during the game and there were nine ties in the second half alone. With the game going down to the wire, the hosts kept Zvezda scoreless for the final 4:27. During that final span, the only baskets were Marcus Slaughter’s put-back and an Ender Arslan triple, which turned out to be a game-winner with 65 seconds to go. Semih Erden paced the hosts with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Mehmet Yagmur scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter, and Arslan also finished with 10 in victory. Jamon Gordon contributed with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in Darussafaka’s historic night. Tarance Kinsey paced the visitors with 16 points, and Vladimir Stimac collected 11 points and 10 rebounds. Maik Zirbes had 8 points and 6 boards in the losing effort.
First quarter: Yagmur scores 10 in the first for Darussafaka
Quincy Miller opened the scoring with a second-chance slam and after Erden split free throws for Darussafaka, Zirbes fed Nemanja Dangubic for an easy layup. A jumper from Stefan Jovic made it 2-6. Gordon scored a driving layup to help tie it at 6-6 before Zirbes had a tip-in and Kinsey nailed a jumper as all of Zvezda starters had scored already. Dangubic’s smooth jumper opened a 6-12 advantage. Erden had a dunk for the hosts and Yagmur hit a triple – the first of the game for either team. Kinsey hit two more mid-range jumpers for the visitors, with Bjelica scoring a layup in between for Darussafaka. Miller got a shooter’s roll on a three-pointer to open a 13-19 lead with 3:10 left in the quarter, but Yagmur banked in a runner, then nailed a triple in transition to quickly get the hosts within 18-19. Yagmur did not stop there, knocking down a long baseline jumper to put Darussafaka in front, helping the hosts end he quarter on an 8-0 run and hold a 21-19 lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Hosts take slim halftime lead
Bjelica scored inside for the hosts, but Stimac scored from close range, Marko Simonovic from long range for Zvezda, before Vasilije Micic fed Stimac with a nifty bounce pass to give Zvezda a 23-26 lead. Harangody hit a mid-range shot, before Micic and Reggie Redding traded triples. Slashing to the basket, Gordon tied at 30-30. Jovic hit a jumper for the visitors, but Arslan bettered it with a triple before Erden scored from close range to give Darussafaka a 36-34 advantage. Zvezda tied it again with Jovic dishing on a breakaway for Dangubic, but Erden answered inside and Gordon beat the halftime buzzer with a driving layup to make it 41-37 at the break.
Third quarter: Zvezda keeps it close
Zirbes got the third quarter going with a basket inside. Erden had a tip-in-plus-foul to open a 44-39 lead, but Jovic had a driving layup, Kinsey nailed a triple and Jovic fed Zirbes for a dunk that helped Zvezda take a 3-point advantage. Bjelica snapped a 0-8 run from the free throw line, before Stimac and Erden traded basket inside to tied it, 50-50. Stimac scored inside and Kinsey made a short jumper, but Scottie Wilbekin, Arslan and Bjelica went 5 of 7 from the free throws line to give Darussafaka a 55-54 edge after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Arslan’s triple decides the game
Slaughter and Marko Guduric each made a pair of free throws, and Stimac fought to convert a loose ball into a basket. Branko Lazic hit a baseline jumper, but Arslan made foul shots to spark a little run by the hosts; Harangody scored inside and Wilbekin finished a fast break with a layup to make it 63-60. After a Zvezda timeout, Simonovic buried a three and Jovic found Zirbes with a pass for a dunk that made it 64-66 with 4:27 left in the quarter. Neither team scored for the next two minutes until Slaughter’s put-back tied the game for the ninth time in the second half, 66-66. Zirbes missed both free throws for Zvezda with 90 seconds to go, and Darussafaka grabbed 2 offensive boards on the next trip down the floor before Arslan buried a triple to give the hosts a 69-66 lead going into the final minute. The visitors held the ball for the final 33 seconds, and had two three-point shots in the last 10 seconds of the game, but Lazic and Jovic misfired and Darussafaka held on for its premier Top 16 win.
Thursday, February 4, 2016