Datome leads monster second half as Fenerbahce dumps Zvezda
Luigi Datome scored 22 of his career-high 27 points in the second half as Fenerbahce Istanbul came back from a double-digit deficit to beat Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 72-65. It marked the fourth Fenerbahce win over the same opponent this season and improved Fenerbahce’s record to 8-1 to lead Group E. Zvezda dropped to 5-4 and sits in fourth place despite holding 25-34 halftime lead behind an impressive defensive effort in the first two quarters. The visitors were up 26-36 early in the third before Bogdan Bogdanovic and Datome combined to score 14 unanswered points and fuel a 23-4 charge. Fenerbahce opened a 59-47 margin in the fourth quarter and closed it out behind Datome, who also contributed 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. Bogdanovic finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists and Jan Vesely scored 10 in victory. Maik Zirbes had 11 points and 7 rebounds for the visitors, while Tarence Kinsey and Marko Simonovic each scored 10 in defeat.
First quarter: Offenses struggle as Zvezda takes slim lead
Quincy Miller made a tip-in for Zvezda and Vesely scored free throws for the hosts before both teams went scoreless for almost three minutes. Datome glided for a driving layup and Kinsey nailed a jumper to make it 4-4. Ekpe Udoh scored a layup for the hosts, and after another two minutes without a Zvezda score, Zirbes's three-point play gave Zvezda its first lead 6-7. Udoh replied with a basket-plus-foul of his own, but Miller countered from long range and Zirbes scored from close range after a steal from Kinsey to make it 8-12. Bogdanovic hit a triple, and after Vasilije Micic drove for a layup for the visitors, Bobby Dixon buried a tough triple to tie it at 14-14. In the final minute of the quarter, however, Zirbes scored twice inside, including a put-back that gave Zvezda a 14-18 edge.
Second quarter: Visitors build margin behind defense
Vesely’s monster dunk opened quarter, and Datome hit from way downtown to give Fenerbahce a 19-18 lead. After a Zvezda timeout, Micic hit a triple and Marko Simonovic drove for a two-handed dunk that prompted a Fenerbahce timeout. A steal from Kinsey led to a Simonovic fast break basket and a 19-25 margin. Fenerbahce snapped a 0-7 run with Ricky Hickman and Nikola Kalinic each splitting free throws, before Miller drove for a layup that made it 21-27. Kalinic made a reverse layup, but Kinsey scored a fastbreak layup and Miller banked in a tough angled shot for a 23-31 advantage. Bogdanovic scored on a second chance effort for the hosts, but Jovic hit a baseline jumper that helped Zvezda lead 25-34 at halftime.
Third quarter: Bogdanovic and Datome fuel Fenerbahce run
Kinsey made a fast break layup to open a double-digit lead, 26-36. Fenerbahce needed almost three minutes for its first field goal of the quarter, a Datome triple followed by a three-pointer from Bogdanovic. After a Zvezda timeout, Datome made a free throw and a reverse layup before Bogdanovic nailed a corner triple to put the hosts in front 38-36. Bogdanovic went coast-to-coast for a layup to cap a 14-0 run. After a pair of Jovic free throws, Udoh scored inside and Datome with a jumper extended the difference to 44-38. Marko Guduric hit a jumper to snap Zvezda’s seven-minute field goal drought, but Baris Hersek made a short baseline jumper and Vesely hit from close range to open a 49-40 lead.
Fourth quarter: Red-hot Datome closes the game
Jovic and Bogdanovic traded three-pointers to start the fourth quarter. Micic made a pair of foul shots and Zvezda collected a couple of offensive rebounds, one of which led to Vladimir Stimac scoring inside. But Datome kept Zvezda at bay with a pair of jumpers on each side of Stimac’s score, as Fenerbahce opened a double-digit lead for the first time, 57-47. Udoh scored inside to make it a 12-point game midway through the fourth. With Fenerbahce in control, Kinsey and Datome traded jumpers. Lazic hit a triple to cut the margin to 61-54, but Vesely answered with a three-point play. Lazic made a layup, before Datome and Simonovic traded triples, 67-59. Datome hit another three to restore a double-digit margin and seal the deal with 85 seconds to go, 70-60. Kinsey scored a fastbreak layup, and after Datome made a mid-range jumper, Dangubic rounded out the scoring with a triple.
Friday, March 4, 2016