Vesely fires Fenerbahce to win over Olympiacos
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul survived a late scare to claim a nervy and much-needed 84-77 victory over Olympiacos Piraeus on Wednesday night. A fast-paced and closely contested first half saw the lead regularly swap hands as Fenerbahce clung to a 45-41 lead at the break. The hosts stretched that to 13 points in the third quarter but Sasha Vezenkov hit a flurry of three-pointers for Olympiacos to come back within 75-74 with 2 minutes left. Jan Vesely produced some big late plays to seal the deal, capping a fine performance of 17 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Nando De Colo also did a bit of everything with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Dyshawn Pierre scored 14, Melih Mahmutoglu 12 and Danilo Barthel 11 in victory. Vezenkov made 5-of-7 triples among his 17 points, with Livio Jean-Charles (12), Aaron Harrison (11) and Vassilis Spanoulis (11) also in double figures for Olympiacos. Fenerbahce halted a three-game losing run to improve to 6-10, while Olympiacos dropped to 7-8.
Jean-Charles and Vesely traded early blows inside before the visitors raced ahead 2-8 on long-range strikes from Harrison and Kostas Papanikolaou. Vesely, Marko Guduric and De Colo scored before Barthel completed a 9-0 run to an 11-8 Fenerbahce lead with a layup. Harrison and Jean-Charles hit back from deep, but Mahmutoglu banked in a triple to force a 16-16 tie. Jean-Charles, Papanikoalou and Kostas Sloukas all buried three-balls as Olympiacos took a 22-27 lead after one quarter despite big dunks from Barthel and Edgaras Ulanovas. Sloukas fed Hassan Martin for an alley-oop layup to stretch the lead, but Mahmutoglu and Jarrell Eddie hit triples and Lorenzo Brown capped an 8-0 run from mid-range for as Fenerbahce regained a 30-29 lead. Spanoulis kept Olympiacos red-hot from long range but Eddie and Brown scored inside before Vesely dunked at 36-34. Guduric, Vesely and Pierre filled a new Fenerbahce surge, but Vezenkov hit with a triple and Octavius Ellis dunked for a 45-41 halftime score. De Colo's free throws and Vesely's towering tip-in saw the lead grow to 50-41 after the break. Jean-Charles netted the visitors' first points of the second half and Harrison added a triple. Barthel scored inside before Brown's deep strike and Vesely's dunk opened a big 59-46 gap in the score. Martin's three-point play and Shaq McKissic's fastbreak finish reignited Olympiacos, but Ahmet Duverioglu and Pierre restored the double-digit lead, 66-54 after three quarters. Mahmutoglu opened the fourth quarter scoring under the basket before triples from Vezenkov and Spanoulis gave the Reds fresh hope. Barthel's layup-and-one calmed Fenerbahce, but 5 fast points from Vezenkov kept Olympiacos in contention, 73-68 with 4 minutes remaining. Vezenkov would land another pair of deep strikes to set up a nervy finale, 75-74 with 2 minutes left. De Colo from the foul line and Pierre on the baseline pushed the hosts further ahead, and Spanoulis's score was bettered by Pierre from deep, icing the game with 18 seconds left.
Fener keeps it moving
Fenerbahce had great ball movement throughout the team, registering a season-high 25 assists through nine different players. Nando De Colo and Jan Vesely led the way with 5 assists each, followed by Edgaras Ulanovas (4), Marko Guduric (3) and Dyshawn Pierre (3).
Solid return for Guduric
Marko Guduric, making his first appearance for Fenerbahce after returning to the club, had a solid contribution of 4 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in his 20 minutes on the floor.
Sloukas dishes but doesn't score
Olympiacos guard Kostas Sloukas, making his first return to Fenerbahce after spending five seasons with the club, had a strong night of distribution, dishing a game-high 7 assists, but he went just 1-for-5 from the field for a total of 5 points.
Milestone night for Olympiacos
This was the 500th game in the modern era of the competition for Olympiacos, which became the third team to reach that milestone after FC Barcelona and CSKA Moscow, while TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz duly followed to become the fourth later on Wednesday.
The 17th and final round of the 2020 portion of the season will see Olympiacos travel to take on Khimki Moscow Region on Tuesday, while Fenerbahce stays at home to welcome LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne the following night.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020