Fenerbahce Ulker downs Efes in Istanbul derby
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul finished the Top 16 on a high note by beating rival Anadolu Efes Istanbul 83-72 at home in the Istanbul derby. Despite the loss, Efes also advanced to the playoffs thanks to other results. Fenerbahce, which finished the Top 16 with an 11-3 record, had locked up home-court advantage in the playoffs last week and would have been first if EA7 Emporio Armani Milan had beaten CSKA Moscow later on Thursday. Instead the Turkish champs finished second and will face defending champion Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv in the playoffs. Anadolu Efes dropped to 6-8 in Group F, but was bailed out when Unicaja Malaga beat Laboral Kutxa Vitoria. Andrew Goudelock led the winners with 24 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17, while Jan Vesely and Oguz Savas each scored 10 for Fenerbahce. Birkan Batuk led Efes with 12 points. Stratos Perperoglou and Nenad Krstic each added 11 and Cedi Osman and Stephane Lasme scored 10 apiece for the guests. Bogdanovic and Luka Zoric shined early and a three-pointer by Goudelock gave Fenerbahce a double-digit lead, 19-8. A put-back slam by Vesely kept the hosts way ahead, 23-12, after 10 minutes. Dontaye Draper and Batuk stepped up for Efes and a three-pointer by Perperoglou brought the guests within 34-33. Fenerbahce improved its defense and a big three-pointer by Nemanja Bjelica restored a 41-33 margin at halftime. Batuk kept pushing Efes and a three-pointer by Draper tied it at 52-52. Preldzic and Nemanja Bjelica put Fenerbahce back ahead, 59-55, after 30 minutes. Free throws by Perperoglou gave Efes its only lead, 59-61. Fenerbahce found its regular go-to guy in Goudelock, who found help from Bogdanovic to seal the outcome in the final minutes.
First quarter: Fenerbahce builds big lead
Bogdan Bogdanovic got Fenerbahce going with a four-meter jumper, which Nenad Krstic erased with a layup. Oguz Savas followed a two-handed slam with a four-meter jumper to give the hosts a 6-2 lead. Cedi Osman scored in transition and erased Savas's layup with a four-meter jumper to get within 8-6. Bogdanovic struck from downtown, as Efes struggled to get Krstic involved. A turnaround jumper by Luka Zoric soon made it a 7-point game. Stephane Lasme stepped up with a layup, which Zoric bettered with an outstanding three-point play, good for a 16-8 Fenerbahce lead. Andrew Goudelock came off the bench and immediately delivered with a bomb from downtown that give Fenerbahce its first double-digit margin. Dontaye Draper tried to change things with a driving layup, which Zisis matched with a jumper. Krstic made free throws, but a wild put-back slam by Jan Vesely restored a 23-12 Fenerbahce margin after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Efes closes gap, but Fenerbahce stays safe
Draper kept pushing Efes with a fast break layup early in the quarter, but Vesely quickly answered with a jump hook. Stratos Perperoglou downed a long two-pointer and driving layup by Draper gave Efes hope at 25-18. Goudelock made free throws and a fast break basket by Emir Preldzic boosted the hosts' lead to 29-18. After Thomas Huertel buried a three-pointer, Goudelock hit a step-back jumper. A layup by Perperoglou kept Efes within 31-23. Krstic split free throws and Birkan Batuk scored off a steal to cause the hosts to call timeout at 31-26. Batuk banked in an off-balance shot, but Goudelock rescued Fenerbahce with a three-point play. Krstic took over with a tip-in and a three-pointer by Perperoglou brought Efes as close as 34-33. Goudelock made free throws and Vesely split attempts twice to give Fenerbahce some fresh air at 38-33. A buzzer-beating triple by Nemanja Bjelica fixed the halftime score at 41-33.
Third quarter: Hosts hang on to lead
Krstic sank a baseline jumper immediately after the break and a free throw by Dario Saric gave Efes hope at 41-36. Fenerbahce struggled to score and a jump hook by Krstic brought Efes even closer. Bogdanovic stepped up with a triple, which Goudelock followed with a one-handed floater for a 46-38 Fenerbahce margin. Batuk followed a jumper with a three-pointer to bring the guests within 5. Lasme scored around the basket, as Fenerbahce struggled to find open shots. A layup by Milko Bjelica soon made it a 1-point game. Bogdanovic drew a foul and calmly made free throws, but so did Osman to keep the guests within 50-49. Vesely took over with a power layup, but a three-pointer by Draper tied it at 52-52. Zoric hit foul shots, but Milko Bjelica split attempts. An up-and-under layup by Preldzic gave the hosts a 56-53 margin. Milko Bjelica scored again, but Nemanja Bjelica did better with a three-pointer that restored a 59-55 Fenerbahce margin.
Fourth quarter: Fenerbahce stays ahead, seals win
Both teams struggled to score early in the quarter until Matt Janning found Lasme for a two-handed slam. Perperoglou scored in penetration and soon added free throws to give Efes its first lead, 59-61. Bogdanovic stepped up with a three-point play and Zisis split free throws for a 63-61 Fenerbahce edge with seven minutes left. Lasme took over with an alley-oop dunk that Savas matched with a reverse layup. Lasme provided a highlight with a wild alley-oop in traffic, but Goudelock improved on that with a bomb from downtown. A layup by Savas made it a 70-65. Batuk buried a three-pointer, but a one-handed floater by Goudelock and free throws by Bogdanovic gave the hosts a 74-68 margin with three minutes left. Bogdanovic took over with a driving basket that seemed to seal the outcome at 78-68. Even though Efes kept fighting, Fenerbahce sealed a big home win.
Thursday, April 9, 2015