Galatasaray joins fourth-place tie by turning back Bayern Munich, 76-69
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of devastating injures this season, Galatasaray Liv Hospital moved into a tie for Group F's last playoffs spot when it held of FC Bayern Munich for a 76-69 victory before 10,000 adoring fans in Istanbul on Friday. The victory forged a three-way tie for fourth place with Munich and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, all with 5-6 records and three games left in the Top 16. Among the three, however, Galatasaray enjoys a tie-break advantage due to its two victories over Munich and one over Lokomotiv. Carlos Arroyo masterminded Friday's win by scoring 16 points and dishing 11 assists, a Galatasaray club record in the Euroleague. His 2 baskets and alley-oop lob to Pops Mensah-Bonsu seized a 30-25 second-quarter lead that Galatasaray did not relinquish, although Munich stayed close for much of the game. Mensah-Bonsu and Malik Hairston followed with 14 points each for the winners, who made 23 of 37 two-point shots, or 62%. Munich got 16 points from last week's MVP, guard Malcolm Delany, 12 and 7 rebounds from John Bryant, 10 and 6, respectively, from Yassin Idbihi. After rallying from 12 points behind, Munich was as close as 71-66 entering the game’s final minute, but Arroyo's last alley-oop to Mensah-Bonsu put the lid on a result that could change fortunes in Group F.
First quarter: Bayern challenges out of the gate
Delaney opened the scoring with a transition jumper off a steal that Manuchar Markoishvili matched with a tough turnaround shot. Zoran Erceg got a rise from the crowd with a four-point triple-plus-free throw combo for a quick 6-2 lead. No sooner did that fall, however, than Heiko Schaffartzik nailed Munich's first three-pointer. He didn't wait long to make the second, too, putting Munich in front, 7-8. When Delaney stole and dunked, then Bryant banked in a jumper, it was suddenly 7-12 for the guests. Hairston's fastbreak layup ended Munich's 1-10 run. Ender Arslan came on after a timeout and fed Furkan Aldemir for a layup, but Boris Savovic got those 2 points back for Munich. Arslan then let go his first shot, a three-point bullet to forge a 14-14 tie before Bryce Taylor's jumper took back the lead for the visitors. Erceg and Arroyo combined on 3 of 4 free throws for a new Galatasaray lead, 17-16, but Idbihi made 1 of his 2 for a new tie. Nihad Djedovic buried a go-ahead triple for the visitors, but a foul and a technical on Munich head coach Svetislav Pesic got Galatasaray within 19-20 before Arroyo fed Hairston for a reverse dunk, yet another lead change to close the first quarter 21-20.
Second quarter: Arroyo leads the way
Idbihi's offensive rebound and put-back had Munich ahead for a moment again to start the second quarter before Milan Macvan introduced himself for Galatasaray with a big triple. Delaney answered with his own long-range strike as the scoreboard changed again, 24-25 in Munich's favor. Soon it was Arroyo, in transition, flipping the score. He then banked in a jumper and raised the roof with a lob pass that Mensah-Bonsu flew high to dunk. Deon Thompson for Munich and Sinan Guler for the hosts exchanged baskets at 32-27. Djedovic was perfect at the foul line, but Arroyo matched him with a baseline jumper to which Macvan added a fadeaway as Galatasaray took its biggest lead yet, 36-29. Out of a timeout, Arroyo scooped in a layup before Bryant ended Munich's drought with a jumper. Arroyo put back his own miss and Galatasaray's defense kept strong until Henry Domercant hit his own bank shot, worth the game's first double-digit lead, 42-31. Schaffartzik saved Munich with his third three-pointer to end the half on an up-note despite Galatasaray still in charge, 42-34.
Third quarter: Pops goes the scoreboard
Mensah-Bonsu's steal led to 2 free throws by Guler and a new 10-point lead, 44-34. Delaney's reverse got Munich's second half going, then he fed Bryant for a dunk to cut the difference to 44-38. Arroyo and Mensah-Bonsu then ran a pair of pick-and-rolls, the first ending with the latter's reverse dunk, the second with a free throw to make it 47-38. Munich couldn't hit on a three-chance possession before Galatasary moved the ball to Markoishvili for a corner triple. Taylor answered with a spectacular reverse that Mensah-Bonsu matched with an easy dunk and a new high lead of 52-40 for the hosts. Idbihi came on to revive Munich's offense with a jumper, but Mensah-Bonsu equalled it with free throws. Thompson's jumper for Munich was met by Arroyo's great pass ahead to Hairston for a new 12-point lead, 56-44. And when Lucca Staiger pumped a triple for Munich, Arroyo lobbed his ninth assist to Hairston for a dunk at 58-47. Idbihi led a Munich charge in the final 2 minutes, following a short shot inside with a jumper-plus-free throw combo, lowering the difference to 58-51. A pair of free throws by Thompson around Hairston's driving left a 60-54 scoreboard after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Galatasaray's defense holds on
Arroyo buried a jumper in transition and Aldemir registered a block to start the fourth quarter with Galatasaray ahead 62-54. Galatasaray's defense held Munich scoreless for more than 3 minutes until Bryant was left open for a jumper. When he turned a dropped a jump hook, Munich was ask close as it had been since midway through the second quarter, 62-58. Mensah-Bonsu returned and changed the momentum with a key basket-plus-free throw at 65-58. Bryant got loose for a dunk that Arslan matched with free throws as Galatasaray held a 67-60 advantage with less than 5 minutes remaining. Staiger got to the free throw line to lower the difference by 2 points. Macvan got it back with a hook shot after an offensive rebound. Delaney scored off an inbounds play to keep Munich close before a turnover led to Arroyo racing alone for a layup and a 71-64 lead. After a timeout, Delaney earned a quick 2 free throws, making it 71-66 with 2:20 to play. Full-court pressure forced a Galatasaray turnover that Munich could not make pay. Instead, Arroyo found Mensah-Bonsu again for an open alley-oop that felt like the game-winner at 73-66 with under a minute left. Mensah-Bonsu made sure with a blocked shot on Djedovic while Hairston rewarded the crowd with a triple from the corner as Galatasaray held onto a victory that could be worth its weight in gold before the end of the Top 16.
Friday, March 21, 2014