Bayern comeback stuns Fenerbahce, 71-75
FC Bayern Munich completed a perfect double-round week on the road in incredible fashion on Friday, rallying from 20 points down at halftime to stun host Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 71-75. Bayern outscored Fenerbahce 26-50 after halftime to raise its record to 3-1, good for a share of second place. Fenerbahce dropped to 2-2. Vladimir Lucic scored 18 points for the winners – including 4 of 4 insurance free throws in the last 10 seconds – while Jalen Reynolds came off the bench for 17 and 8 rebounds. Zan Sisko added 11 points and Nihad Dedovic 10 for Bayern. Fenerbahce, which had led by a high of 21 late in the second quarter, got 25 points and 8 rebounds from Jan Vesely plus 18 and 7 assists from Nando De Colo. Bayern out-rebounded the hosts 25-6 in the last two quarters.
Vesely and former Bayern captain Danilo Barthel filled a 6-0 Fenerbahce start before a triple by Lucic was answered twice by Edgaras Ulanovas to suddenly make it 16-5. A six-point possession – 4 free throws by De Colo and a layup by Lorenzo Brown – boosted the difference 22-5. De Colo's first field goal, a triple, meant a 20-point lead on the way to a 28-9 score after 10 minutes. Dedovic and Reynolds got Bayern closer, 33-16, but Vesely was unstoppable as the lead reached 39-18. Sisko's first triple could not deter De Colo and Barthel from keeping Fenerbahce's dominance at 45-25 for the break. Reynolds was everywhere as Bayern trimmed the difference after halftime. Suddenly Lucic jammed back a rebound, Wade Baldwin stole and Sisko drilled his third triple to make it 51-41. Lucic's 3 free throws lowered the difference to single digits, 55-46, while Ali Muhammad's late shot-clock triple and Leon Radosevic's buzzer-beating put-back left a 58-48 scoreboard after 30 minutes. Reynolds ruled the first minute of the fourth quarter, with 5 points to force a Fenerbahce timeout at 58-53. The battle was truly joined now. Free throws by Dedovic and Paul Zipser set up an open triple from Lucic to make it 63-62 with 6 minutes left. Nick Weiler-Babb soon did the honors from deep to give the guests their first lead, 63-65. Lucic kept it going with a layup to complete a 0-12 run at before Vesely hit a free throw and a bank shot for the hosts at 66-68 going into the final 2 minutes. Vesely's 12th two-pointer tied it 68-68 with 1:15 left. Baldwin broke the tie with 48 seconds left and then stole from Lorenzo Brown, who subsequently committed an unsportsmanlike foul with 28 seconds left. Lucic hit 1 of 2 free throws and then Bayern's missed field goal try was knocked out of bounds by Vesely with 11.5 left and the scoreboard at 68-71. Lucic hit 2 free throws before De Colo buried a transition triple with 6.5 seconds left. But Lucic hit 2 more free throws to assure an incredible first win ever for Bayern at Fenerbahce's court.
Bayern's comeback from back 21 points behind amounted to a club record in the EuroLeague. The previous biggest comeback by Bayern was 19 points to beat Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 82-79 in February of 2014.
Neither Bayern (0-4) nor head coach Andrea Trinchieri (0-3) had ever won before on Fenerbahce's court. In his previous three games against the hosts – when he was coaching first Pallacanestro Cantu and then Brose Bamberg – Trinchieri's three defeats there had come by a combined margin of just 11 points.
Lucic had his team's highest PIR, 24, thanks to 7 fouls drawn and 8 of 9 free throw shooting, but the catalyst of the comeback was Reynolds. In his 11 second-half minutes, he had 11 points and 7 rebounds, the latter more than all of Fenerbahce's players combined in the half. His point total of 17 was his best in the EuroLeague yet, but his offensive rebounds per minute are by far the league's best and a big reason that Bayern pulled out the win.
Moving up the charts
Vesely's 12-for-14 two-point shooting was not only impressive, but vaulted him into seventh place all-time in the EuroLeague. He now had 894 two-pointers, vaulting ahead of Luis Scola's 888. And it wasn't even Vesely's single-game best. He also moved past FC Barcelona head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius for 20th place EuroLeague scorers all-time by pushing his total to 2,360 points. De Colo, meanwhile, hit 3 of 6 triples to become the 19th player in EuroLeague history to make 300 or more. He now has downed 301 three-pointers.
Fenerbahce plays the first of five out of six games on the road when it visits Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in Round 5 next Thursday. The following night, Bayern hosts Olympiacos Piraeus.
Friday, October 16, 2020