Bayern downs Fenerbahce in 2OT thriller
FC Bayern Munich outlasted league-leading Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 90-86 in an action-packed double-overtime thriller at Audi Dome. The game was exceptionally close throughout and it all came down to the final play when Kostas Sloukas forced overtime with 3 seconds remaining. The first overtime period was also tied, but then Danilo Barthel took over to secure a vital home win for Bayern's playoffs challenge. Derrick Williams shined throughout with several highlight-reel plays among his 19 points. Stefan Jovic also scored 19, while 6 of Barthel's total of 14 points came in the second overtime. Fenerbahce's Ali Muhammed led all scorers with 23 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting. Luigi Datome added 13 points and Joffrey Lauvergne 12. Bayern improved to 11-10 to stay in seventh place, while Fenerbahce remained atop the standings at 18-3.
Nicolo Melli drove to open the scoring and Nikola Kalinic scored twice as Fenerbahce took control, but Leon Radosevic and Barthel scored inside to keep Bayern close. A triple from Braydon Hobbs gave the home team its first lead at 10-8, but Muhammed came off the bench to score 5 immediate points. Williams and Jovic threw down huge slams, but two scores from Lauvergne helped keep Fenerbache ahead 20-21 at the end of the first. Williams dunked to send Bayern back in front and Barthel netted a jump hook as Fenerbahce went more than four minutes without scoring, but Datome and Melli pounced to give the visitors a 26-28 edge. Muhammed sank a deep three before Nihad Dedovic made a steal and score, but Muhammed responded with another triple to make it 29-34 at the break. Ahmet Duverioglu and Muhammed extended the lead early in the third, but Jovic answered with two deep strikes before Barthel and Dedovic scored on fast breaks for a 42-40 edge. The lead kept changing hands as baskets were traded evenly and a triple from Sloukas tied the game at 52-52 after three quarters. Lauvergne and Nemanja Dangubic exchanged scores at the start of the fourth and a three-pointer from Vladimir Lucic made it 57-54. Another Muhammed triple tied it and Melih Mahmutoglu came off the bench to nail another deep strike. A huge dunk and even bigger block from Williams made it 63-64 inside the final minute and Dedovic converted free throws for a 65-64 lead. Bayern's defense forced a shot-clock violation and Dangubic split free throws, allowing Sloukas to drive and force overtime from close range with 3 seconds left.
Lauvergne struck first in overtime, but Lucic answered from deep. Williams threw down an alley-oop, but Ali and Kalinic scored from long-range. Jovic made a triple for a 77-76 lead and Datome responded. Lucic made a three for an 80-79 edge with 4 seconds left. Fenerbahce had one more play: Lauvergne was fouled at the rim, missed the first free throw and made the second for another tie, 80-80. Bayern had 2.7 seconds on the clock to win it, but Lucic couldn't score, so it went to a second overtime period. Barthel's jump hook opened the second additional period and Dangubic's triple made it 85-80. Kalinic and Barthel traded two-pointers, and Datome and Ali scored for an 87-86 lead. Williams split free throws, Barthel scored again to make it 90-86 inside the final minute and this time Fenerbahce couldn't respond as an incredible game finally concluded.
Lead changes and ties galore
This game was incredibly close throughout, with neither team leading by more than 7 points at any stage. The second half was particularly back and forth, with eight lead changes and seven ties in the third and fourth quarters alone.
Defenses dominate after the first
After a free-flowing first quarter, defenses took over. Only 6 points were scored in the first five minutes of the second period, which briefly threatened to become the lowest-scoring quarter in EuroLeague history (13 points) before a couple of three-pointers from Ali Muhammed took the partial score in the period to 9-13. Defenses then reigned until overtime, when both sides exceeded 20 points in the extra two periods.
Foul shots famine for Fenerbahce
A statistical curiosity was that Fenerbahce took no free throws in the first half, only going to the foul line for the first time when Kostas Sloukas made both his attempts with nearly 3 minutes played in the third quarter. There were no more foul shots for the visitors in regulation time – the final total of 2 being the second-lowest number of free-throw attempts in club history – but Fener did go to the line 6 times in overtime and might have won it in that way, but Joffrey Lauvergne could only split 2 at the end of the first extra session.
Round 22 will see Bayern head on the road for a crucial battle with fellow playoffs hopefuls KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, while Fenerbahce will hope to advance to the playoffs by overcoming Panathinaikos OPAP Athens at home.
Thursday, January 31, 2019