Darussafaka defends home court against Baskonia
Last-place Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul closed ranks on its home court to claim just its third win of the season, a nail-bitten 80-75 decision over visiting KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Friday. The hosts raised their record to 3-17 in a great show of pride, while Baskonia fell to 9-11 and now share the eighth and last playoff spot with AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Toney Douglas paced the winners with 21 points and Michael Eric followed with 18 on 9-for-11 two-point shooting. Baskonia got the same amount from Matt Janning while Johannes Voigtmann had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Down by 21-19 after one quarter, Darussafaka got more aggressive on defense and slowly turned the game in its favor, taking a lead soon after halftime that Baskonia could only reclaim for one possession late in the third quarter.
Fastbreaks finished by Stanton Kidd and Douglas sent Darussafaka up 8-2, but Janning's triple soon flipped the lead during a 0-9 Baskonia run. Eric's fourth basket already tied it 15-15, but Darrun Hilliard appeared for 4 quick points as Baskonia led 21-29 after a quarter. A pair of triples by Zanis Peinars kept Darussafaka as close as 34-37 midway through the second quarter. Shavon Shields and Marcelinho Huertas all copied him for a 36-43 advantage that Darussafaka nonetheless trimmed to 45-47 at the half. Back-to-back baskets by Eric tied it up, 51-51, early in the third quarter. Peinars gave Darussafaka its first lead in 20 minutes and Douglas kept it that way with 2 shots from long range late in the third quarter for a 63-61 Darussafaka advantage. Another Douglas triple helped the hosts go ahead 67-61 early in the fourth. Eric took over with big blocks, a dunk and a put-back to boost the difference to 75-68. A round of free throws down the stretch got Baskonia within 78-75 with 21 seconds left, but Douglas made sure of his pair a few seconds later and Darussafaka broke its four-game losing streak to the delight of the home fans.
Toney Douglas did his damage in a lot of ways, hitting 4 threes among his 21 points, but leading Darussafaka also in rebounds (6), assists (5), and steals (5), the latter of which he grabbed all in the first half.
Did you notice?
Darussafaka made 12 of 13 free throws and Baskonia 25 of 27, including 10 of 10 in the first quarter. The visitors didn't shoot another free throw for 16 minutes, but then got 11 more in the fourth quarter and made them all until Matt Janning's first of a pair missed with 21 seconds left, lessening the late-game pressure on Darussafaka.
Michael Eric, playing without tag-team partner Jeremy Evans, covered a lot of ground. At 69-66 with 6:30 to play, he came back in and took over for Darussafaka. Eric first dunked Kartal Ozmizrak's fifth assist; then he put back a miss; and then he got his second block in a span of 63 seconds that boosted the difference to 73-68. He scored the next basket a minute later, too, putting Darussafaka in the driver's seat the rest of the way.
Darussafaka stays home to host might Real Madrid in Round 21 in a rematch of their playoff series from 2017. Baskonia faces a crucial test against one of the teams it is tied with, Maccabi, for the last playoffs spot.
Friday, January 25, 2019