Wanamaker, Nunnally lead champs to hard-earned win
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul held on to withstand several spirited comebacks from Khimki Moscow Region to triumph 71-67, improving its record to 6-3 with a fourth win in five games. Fenerbahce led all the way and occasionally threatened to make it a blow-out by establishing several double-digit leads, but Khimki always came back and it was a one-point game in the final minute, before a trio of free throws from Brad Wanamaker settled matters. James Nunnally top scored for Fenerbahce with 20 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting, while Wanamaker combined 16 points with 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Luigi Datome bagged 14 points and 7 boards, and Jan Vesely scored 12. Khimki’s Alexey Shved led all scorers with 21 points, James Anderson scored 13 and Stefan Markovic added 11 in defeat.
Datome, Wanamaker and Nunnally all struck early triples as Fenerbahce quickly took control, and a textbook alley-oop between Wanamaker to Vesely made it a double-digit lead midway through the first quarter. A pair of three-pointers from Shved helped get Khimki closer, but Nunnally converted his third triple and Wanamaker went coast to coast and one to make it 24-15 after the first quarter. Khimki started the second with a mid-range jumper from Anderson, a rainbow triple from Markovic and another long-range strike from Anderson, before Ali Muhammed – coming off the bench for his first appearance of the season – ended a 0-8 run by scoring 5 consecutive points with a lay-up and a triple. Marko Guduric and Datome added two-pointers to restore Fenerbahce’s double-digit lead. A free throw from Vesely and Datome’s triple made it a 13-0 run, with Khimki held scoreless for more than seven minutes before Shved’s three-pointer, but Wanamaker’s free throw completed the first half’s scoring at 38-26.
Another triple from Wanamaker stretched the advantage to 45-28 early in the third, before a three-point play from Anderson got it closer. Free throws by Shved and Anthony Gill made it a ten-point game, and Malcolm Thomas scored a tough lay-up to complete a 0-9 run. Datome’s long two got the hosts back on the board, but Khimki kept on chipping away at the deficit and Shved’s fastbreak lay-up made it 48-44. Nunnally stepped up with another triple plus a foul, before Datome’s baseline jumper and Ahmet Duvieroglu’s tip-in restored the double-digit lead and it was 58-48 after three quarters. Khimki started the final quarter with a triple from Markovic and a tip-in from Marko Todorovic to again threaten a comeback, before Vesely’s big dunk and one got the crowd on their feet. But Khimki kept fighting as baskets from Markovic, Shved and Todorovic made it 64-62. Nunnally’s free throws increased the home team’s lead, but another Markovic triple made it a one-point game with two and a half minutes to play. Anderson and Shved missed shots to give Khimki the lead, before Vesely and Gill traded lay-ups. Then Wanamaker nervelessly hit three free throws with 16 seconds remaining to make it 71-67 and this time Khimki had no answers.
Friday, November 24, 2017