Turk Telekom holds on previously unbeaten Lokomotiv
In an exciting game that went down to the wire, Turk Telekom never trailed before holding off previously unbeaten Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 88-85 on Tuesday night in the Turkish capital. Third home win in as many games improved Turk Telekom to 3-2 in Group A, while Lokomotiv as the last undefeated team in the competition dropped to 4-1 record. Led by Aaron Harrison, Turk Telekom led 60-46 in the third quarter, and held 75-62 in the fourth before Errick McCollum and Stanton Kidd rallied the hosts. However, the visitors never went in front and Turk Telekom pulled out a victory. Harrison paced the hosts with 28 points. Anthony Clemmons in his team debut scored 18 points, while Alex Perez had 11 points and 11 assists. Octavius Ellis collected 11 points and 9 rebound, and Tyler Ennis scored 10 in a victory. Lokomotiv's Johnathan Motley collected all of his 25 points and 8 rebounds in the first three quarter before fouling out. McCollum netted 17, Alan Williams had 12 points plus 10 rebounds, while Stanton Kidd scored 11 in a losing effort.
Turk Telekom went in front with Harrison scoring the first 5 points of the game, including a triple, but Motley and Thompson scored from close range for Lokomotiv on the other end. However, back-to-back threes from Harrison and Clemmons opened 17-8. Darius Thompson hit a three for the visitors, their only triple in the first half, and Williams scored in the crowd, but Harrison had a baseline jumper and Ennis a three-point play that helped Turk Telekom keep the lead, 24-17 after 10 minutes. Williams scored twice inside to open the second quarter and get Lokomotiv within 24-21, but Ellis and Perez quickly got the margin back to 30-21. Teams traded baskets as McCollum opened his tally with a pair of jumpers, and Motely got Lokomotiv within 34-29. Ellis and Motley trade more baskets, before Harrison and Motley traded three-point plays. Thompson also had a basket-plus-foul for the visitors to cut it to 43-39, but Turk Telekom finished the half on a high, and a fastbreak dunk from Johnson made it 47-39 at the break.
Motley scored 5 points, including a three-point play, to open the third quarter, but Samet Geyik scored twice and Ennis had a three-point play during a 9-0 run that opened 60-46 lead. Motley answered with another basket-plus-foul, and sparked a 0-10 run capped by a three-pointer from Greg Whittington. Berk Demir scored from close range, and Whittington had a floater at the other, and teams traded blows as things got a bit feisty. Lokomotiv got into foul trouble with both McCollum and Whittington picking up four personal fouls. The hosts finished the third quarter up 66-60, then doubled the margin with back-to-back threes from Harrison and Clemmons in the first 62 seconds of the fourth. Harrison got a lucky bounce on another long range shot to open 75-62, but Kidd hit one triple before McCollum knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to get Lokomotiv within 77-73 with 4:52 to go. Clemmons made a corner triple, but McCollum and Kidd each hit one to tie it at 80-80 with 3 minutes to go. However, less than a minute later Turk Telekom was back up 86-80 after triples from Perez and Harrison. Kidd continued a three-point barrage, then Williams made a tip-in to cut it to 86-85. But the visitors did not score again, as Harrison and Perez each split free throws in the final 20 seconds for the hosts to hold on.
Three-point fourth-quarter barrage
In a hard-fought affair, going into the fourth quarter the two teams combined to make just 5 three-point shots. Turk Telekom was 3-for-12, and Lokomotiv 2-for-12 going into the final 10 minutes. Few could envision what happened next.
The two teams combined to make 12 three-pointers in the fourth quarter, making 6 apiece. For Turk Telekom, Aaron Harrison knocked down 3 triples in the fourth quarter, Anthony Clemmons had two, and Alex Perez hit his only triple in a clutch moment, with scored tied at 80-80 and under 3 minutes to go. For the visitors, Errick McCollum and Stanton Kidd each nailed 3 triples after not making a single one in the first 32 minutes of the game.
Anthony Clemmons's impressive debut
Turk Telekom's backcourt had a fresh face in Anthony Clemmons, who had quite a debut. Clemmons scored 9 points in each half, finishing with 18 for the night. It is a career-high for a guard who averaged 10.6 points for AS Monaco in the 2019-20 campaign, his only previous season in the competition, but he never scored more than 15 points before tonight.
Clemmons made 3-of-4 two-point shots and 3-of-7 triples, including a pair in the fourth quarter, and also had 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 1 steal. What's even more impressive is that he led the team in minutes played with 33:42 in his first game. And it took such performance by a team newcomer for it to defeat Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar.
Overcoming rebounding deficit
Lokomotiv was huge on the boards, collecting 21 offensive rebounds, one shy of a club record. The visitors had 15 more offensive rebounds in the game, and the team outrebounded Turk Telkom 45-32 on the glass. And while those 45 rebounds are Lokomotiv's season high, it was not enough for the team to register its fifth win in as many games.
Turk Telekom overcame Lokomotiv's dominance on the boards by holding the visitors to just 40% two-point shooting, as well as 30.8% from long range. And it did not need as many offensive boards of its own by converting on 57.1% on two-pointers.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021