De Colo, Vesely lead Fenerbahce past Milan
In a battle of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague powerhouses, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul returned to winning ways by downing AX Armani Exchange Milan 92-100 at Mediolanum Forum on Wednesday. Fenerbahce improved to 16-11 in the standings and recorded its 11th victory in the last 12 games. Milan dropped to 17-10. Nando De Colo led the winners with 20 points, Lorenzo Brown added 18, DyShawn Pierre and Marko Guduric had 15 apiece while Jan Vesely flirted with a triple-double as he posted 13 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 8 assists for Fenerbahce. Kevin Punter led Milan with 20 points, Luigi Datome added 16, Shavon Shields 15 and Sergio Rodriguez 13. It all came down to the final 3 minutes, in which Guduric, Vesely and an unstoppable De Colo made the difference down the stretch.
De Colo got Fenerbahce going with a three-pointer and a jumper, getting help from Pierre for a 4-8 lead. Ahmet Duverioglu followed a tip-in with a layup and Vesely dunked, but Michael Roll and Vladimir Micov each struck from downtown and Punter added a three-point play for a 15-14 Milan lead. Pierre, De Colo and Duverioglu kept pacing, the guests but Shields hit a jumper and Kaleb Tarczewski added a couple of three-point plays to boost the hosts' lead to 28-24 after 10 minutes. Kyle O'Quinn struck from beyond the arc and Guduric added a driving basket for a 28-29 Fenerbahce lead. Rodriguez rescued the hosts with back-to-back triples and Datome added another one to give his team fresh air at 39-33. Vesely stepped up with a layup and a couple of alley-oop slams, getting help from Pierre and Danilo Barthel to restore a 41-43 Fenerbahce lead. De Colo took over with a layup-plus-foul and Barthel followed a dunk with a jumper, but Datome, Punter and Jeff Brooks - off an inbounds steal at the halftime buzzer - hit each a triple for a 52-50 Milan lead at the break.
Micov and Guduric joined the three-point shootout soon after the break. Kyle Hines and Shields soon restored a 60-53 Milan lead. Guduric struck twice from beyond the arc, De Colo added back-to-back jumpers and Pierre also struck from downtown in a 0-13 run that gave Fenerbahce a 60-66 edge. Datome sank a corner triple and a catch-and-shoot jumper, but Brown singlehandedly made it a double-digit game, 65-75. Brooks and Rodriguez brought the hosts a bit closer, 69-78, after 30 minutes. Punter hit a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter and soon added a jumper and a dunk off a steal to bring his team within 77-80. Shields followed a jumper with a jump hook that made it 81-82. De Colo buried a triple and fed Vesely for a three-point play to give Fenerbahce fresh air at 81-88. After Rodriguez struck from downtown, Pierre and Shields exchanged baskets. Vesely restored a 86-92 Fenerbahce lead with less than 3 minutes left. Shields dunked off a steal, but Guduric sank free throws and De Colo struck from beyond the arc to seal the outcome, 88-97, in the next-to-last minute.
Jan Vesley narrowly missed a triple-double with a sensational all-around performance tonight. He finished the game with 13 points on 5-of-7 two-point shooting and 3-of-3 on free throws, plus 10 rebounds and a career-high 8 assists. he added 2 steals, 1 block and 5 fouls drawn for a PIR of 35.
Milan managed to rally from a double-digit deficit to get within 81-82. Nando De Colo took matters into his own hands, hitting a three-pointer and finding Jan Vesely for a three-point play. Fenerbahce never looked back after that, as De Colo kept full control of the situation until the final buzzer.
Fenerbahce outrebounded Milan 20-35, including 12 offensive boards. It also collected 7 steals and committed just 10 turnovers. In a game in which both teams shot the ball extremely well, hustle made the difference.
Did you know?
Luigi Datome struck from downtown midway through the second quarter to reach the 2,000-point mark in EuroLeague history. He is the 40th player to reach the milestone and the second Italian on this list; Gianluca Basile is the other one, ranking 36th with 2,163 points.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action later on this week - on Friday, March 5. Milan visits Zalgiris Kaunas. Fenerbahce also plays on the road, facing LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at the Astroballe.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021