Fenerbahce beats Milan at home
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul carried on climbing the standings by downing AX Armani Exchange Milan 73-64 at Ulker Sports Arena on Friday. Fenerbahce improved to 9-12 in the standings while Milan dropped to 10-11. Luigi Datome led the winners with 14 points. Nando De Colo added 12 while Nikola Kalinic, Kostas Sloukas, Malcolm Thomas and Jan Vesely each had 10 for Fenerbahce. Kaleb Tarczewski led Milan with 19 points. Keifer Sykes and Tarczewski shined early to give Milan a 12-13 lead, but Fenerbahce found a go-to guy in Kalinic, who got plenty of help from Datome and Vesely to give Fenerbahce a 24-15 edge after 10 minutes. Leo Westermann, Datome and Sloukas each hit a triple to break the game open, 37-20, before Arturas Gudaitis and Sergio Rodriguez brought Milan within 41-31 at halftime. Tarczewski and Rodriguez brought Milan as close as 60-58 but three-pointers by Kalinic, De Colo and Sloukas made the difference in the final minutes.
Datome got Fenerbahce going with a three-pointer and a layup but Sykes and Tarczewski answered for a 5-4 Milan deficit. De Colo and Sykes each struck from downtown and Vladimir Micov scored around the basket to give the visitors their first lead, 8-9. Tarczewski and Andrea Cinciarini hit layups but Fenerbahce found fluency on offense. Kalinic found Vesely for a dunk and euro-stepped past Micov for a layup in a 7-0 run that Datome capped with a three-point play for a 19-13 lead. Kalinic bettered Nemanja Nedovic's layup with a triple and Fenerbahce had a 24-15 margin after 10 minutes. Luis Scola stepped up with an off-balance jumper early in the second but Fenerbahce found answers, as Vesely dunked and Westermann, Datome and Sloukas all hit triples to boost their team's lead to 37-20, after a 13-1 run. Gudaitis and Sykes tried to change things for Milan and Rodriguez downed one from beyond the arc to bring the guests within 39-27, before Gudaitis and Michael Roll brought Milan even closer, 41-31, at halftime. Thomas dunked twice soon after the break, getting help from De Colo to secure a 47-35 Fenerbahce lead. Amedeo Della Valle and Tarczewski responded for Milan but Thomas ignited the crowd with a one-handed alleyoop slam. Rodriguez hit a jumper and Tarczewski followed a tip-in with a couple of dunks to bring Milan within single digits, 54-47. Vesely took over with a put-back slam, making it 56-47 after 30 minutes. Tarczewski dunked again early in the fourth quarter and Sykes added a fast break layup that made it a five-point game, 56-51. Scola sank a triple and Tarczewski and Della Valle each added jumpers to bring Milan within 60-58 midway through the fourth. Kalinic hit a critical three-pointer, Tarczewski and Thomas traded dunks and Scola scored around the basket for a 65-62 Fenerbahce lead with 2 minutes left. Then De Colo struck from beyond the arc, and so did Sloukas to seal the outcome.
Kostas Sloukas made the difference down the stretch, holding off Milan's comeback with his court sense and high basketball IQ. He finished the game with 10 points on 2-of-3 two-point shots and 2-of-5 three-pointers, adding 2 rebounds, 7 assists, a steal and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 13.
Fenerbahce went scoreless for almost 4 minutes at the start of the second quarter but then Vesely dunked before Sloukas, Leo Westermann and Luigi Datome each struck from downtown in a 13-1 run that boosted the hosts' margin to 37-20. Fenerbahce needed less than 3 minutes to score 13 points and even when Milan rallied, it paid for that effort down the stretch.
Fenerbahce took much better care of the ball, finishing with 22 assists and 9 turnovers while Milan had 18 assists and 12 turnovers. Fenerbahce also had six players scoring in double digits, and only Kaleb Tarczewski managed to do that for Milan.
Did you notice?
In his 75th EuroLeague career game, Tarczewski set new personal-bests of scoring (19) and performance index rating (27). His previous career-highs were 17 points (against CSKA Moscow on January 11, 2018) and 25 PIR (against Khimki Moscow Region on February 28, 2019).
Both teams return to action on Thursday, January 30. Fenerbahce visits ALBA Berlin in the German capital at 19:30 CET, and Milan hosts FC Bayern Munich at 21:15 CET.
Friday, January 24, 2020