Dimsa, Okoye lead Gran Canaria to 7th win
Herbalife Gran Canaria got closer to clinching first place in 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season Group D by downing Frutti Extra Bursaspor 89-76 at home on Wednesday. Gran Canaria, which had already qualified for the Top 16 before the game, improved to 7-2 and can finish first if it beats Dolomiti Energia Trento in Round 10 or if it loses by less than 10 points. Bursaspor dropped to 0-7 and has been mathematically eliminated from Top 16 contention. Stan Okoye paced the winners with 21 points, Tomas Dimsa added 18, AJ Slaughter had 12 and Aleksander Balcerowski 11 for Gran Canaria. Malik Newman paced Bursaspor with 19 points. The visitors got 15 points from Xavier Munford, 12 from Ogus Savas, 11 from Perry Jones and 10 from Maxim Mutaf.
Dimsa struck twice from downtown and fed Matt Costello for a dunk to get Gran Canaria going, 8-2. Ender Arslan hit a running floater and Munford bettered Costello's layup with a three-pointer for a 10-7 score. Metin Turen, Costello and Newman joined the three-point shootout for a 13-13 tie. Balcerowski's alley-oop dunk ignited a 7-0 run, which John Shurna capped with a fastbreak layup for a 20-13 Gran Canaria lead. Savas and Newman kept Bursaspor within 22-17 after 10 minutes. After Arslan scored in penetration, Jones scored three times around the basket, including a dunk off a spin, and Mutaf added 5 points in a 1-14 run that gave the guests a 23-20 lead. Okoye struck three times from beyond the arc and Dimsa added another, but Mumford and Newman kept Bursaspor ahead, 35-39. Okoye had 4 points in a 7-0 run that Dimsa capped with his fourth three-pointer to put Gran Canaria up 42-39. Slaughter also buried a three-pointer and Balcerowski added a buzzer-beating alley-oop slam for a 47-41 score at halftime.
Newman took over with a pair of layups right after the break, but Slaughter struck from beyond the arc and Dimsa added back-to-back triples, which prompted a Bursaspor timeout at 56-45. Mumford stepped up for the guests, but Slaughter answered for a 60-49 score. Okoye buried a three-pointer and Balcerowski scored twice down low to break the game open, 67-52. Savas and Mutaf rescued the guests and Jones added a three-point play to bring Bursaspor within 68-62 after 30 minutes. Okoye and Andrew Albicy downed a triple apiece early in the fourth quarter and Shurna added a jumper that caused the guests to stop the game at 76-64. Munford answered from downtown but Shurna matched that with a layup-plus-foul. Javier Beiran found his first points and a red-hot Shurna kept the hosts out of reach, 83-72, with less than 4 minutes left. Little changed after that as Gran Canaria cruised to a well-deserved win.
Dimsa had a career-best PIR of 19, finishing the game with 18 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting, 1 rebound, 5 assists and 3 steals - all in just 25 minutes on the floor.
Bursaspor led 35-39 late in the second quarter when Okoye scored 4 quick points, then Dimsa and Slaughter each hit a triple in a 12-2 run that Balcerowski capped with a spectacular alley-oop dunk right at the halftime buzzer. Gran Canaria took the lead, 47-41, for good, and Bursaspor never got really close again.
Gran Canaria buried 16 of 33 three-point shots (48.5%) and Bursaspor only made 8 of 26 from downtown (30.8%). Gran Canaria dished 24 assists, twice as many as Bursaspor. This is the third time this season that Gran Canaria has made more than 15 three-pointers. It had a club-record 19 against Promitheas Patras in Round 6 and 16 in its previous game against Bursaspor in Round 4.
Did you know?
Gran Canaria continues with its great run against Turkish teams at home in EuroCup action. This is Gran Canaria's ninth win in 10 home games against Turkish squads. The only Turkish team that won a EuroCup game in Gran Canaria is Galatasaray Istanbul, 76-87, on January 24, 2018.
Both teams return to EuroCup action next week - on Wednesday, December 16. Bursaspor hosts Nanterre 92, and Gran Canaria visits Trento in a do-or-die game for first place.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020