It might not be one of the individual performances that stands out on the stats sheet at the end of a thrilling double-round week, but Brandon Davies delivered a heroic display for FC Barcelona on Thursday night as the Spanish side gained a much-needed and hard-fought 74-80 road victory at Fenerbahce Istanbul, bringing a timely end to a three-game losing streak which was threatening to unravel a promising season.
Davies was among the starters as Barca raced to a fast start at Ulker Sports and Events Hall and before long he dished 2 assists, grabbed a rebound and drew a foul during his team’s 0-9 run. The center soon returned to the action in the second quarter to add a steal, another rebound and his first basket of the game with a three-point play.
But his true impact came after the break, as Fenerbahce shook off their early woes and created an almighty tussle in pursuit of a victory that was just as valuable to both teams.
The second half started with Barca leading by just one score, 39-42, but Davies immediately extended the margin by driving into the paint to score. He then added two more classily dispatched baskets to take his personal tally to three scores in less than 2 minutes since the restart.
That set the tone for a monstrous effort from Davies throughout the second half. With Ante Tomic in foul trouble – the veteran team captain picked up 4 fouls in just 4:24 on the floor – and Pierre Oriola enduring a tough night, there was little chance for Davies to take a break. He was kept in the game virtually all the way through and withstood a physical and emotional barrage as Fenerbahce and its passionate fans gave everything for a route back into the game.
When Fenerbahce finally took the lead, 62-61 with 8 minutes remaining, Davies was there on the next possession to grab an offensive board and set up Adam Hanga for a basket to regain the advantage. When Jan Vesely fouled out of the game with 3 minutes remaining, his fifth foul was for impeding Davies. When Derrick Williams missed a three-pointer on Fener’s next possession, Davies was there to grab the rebound. When Malcolm Delaney then gave Barca a 10-point lead, Davies was on hand to steal the ball from Kostas Sloukas and suck further life out of the home team's challenge.
At the end of it all, Davies had amassed 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 8 fouls drawn. None of those numbers are career highs, and there were no highlight-reel dunks or blocks. But in 31:37 in the game, he had left everything on the floor. And nobody had played a bigger role in a victory which could reignite his team’s season.