He may be one of the smallest players in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, but on the short list of the most impactful shooters ever, he stands very, very tall. Ali Muhammed of Fenerbahce Istanbul proved why once again on Wednesday, when he peppered the basket for 4 three-pointers in less than 8 minutes to assure Fenerbahce a 93-85 victory over a Khimki Moscow Region team that had its own shooting star in Alexey Shved.
Khimki stayed in the game thanks to its long-distance accuracy, making 8 of its first 10 threes and 10 of 14 in the game's first 15 minutes. The visitors finished with 15 strikes from downtown, 7 of them by Shved, but the most efficient and lethal ones came off the hot hand of Muhammed.
He entered the game for the first time with 2:40 left in the third quarter. It was 66-66 early in the fourth when he assisted Luigi Datome for a tie-breaking basket and then rattled off 3 threes in 73 seconds, blowing up the game as Fenerbahce went ahead 77-70- He hit his fourth for good measure later.
Interestingly, if you look at the history of great shooters in the EuroLeague, just three have made 7 or more in a game on three different occasions, and the same number have 6 or more on at least five different occasions. In both those trios are Shved and Ali.
The difference on Thursday was that Ali needed barely 12 minutes and 5 tries from downtown to do all his damage and keep Fenerbahce perfect after two games.