In a game characterized by tough defense and low shooting percentages, a pair of three-pointers by Marko Guduric may have been what decided the game. The Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul swingman shined in his team's 57-66 road victory at Zalgiris Kaunas with a game-high 17 points, which was his second-highest scoring output of the season.
Zalgiris led by as many as 9 in the second quarter before Zalgiris rallied to get within 3 at halftime. Jan Vesely took a steal in for a slam to open the second half, but the visitors came up empty on their next two possessions, while Edgaras Ulanovas drained a three-pointer that put the hosts up 37-33. Was Zalgiris about to pull away again?
Not with Guduric on the watch. He took advantage of steals on back-to-back plays from Vesely and Sinan Guler to knock down threes. His second triple gave Fenerbahce the lead. Guler then finished off the 0-8 run with a steal and layup that made it 37-41. Zalgiris came back to tie it at 41-41 behind Brandon Davies, but Guduric was there for Fenerbahce again. He drew a foul on the ensuing play and put Fenerbahce ahead for good from the foul line.
Guduric scored 11 points in the third quarter alone – nearly outscoring the entire Zalgiris team in that period– as Fenerbahce turned a 34-31 halftime deficit into a 46-49 lead through three quarters. His final basket of the night came early in the fourth, right after Zalgiris closed within 48-49 on Aaron White free throws. And again, Guduric came through with a clutch three-pointer.
He finished the game with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block for a performance index rating of 21. Guduric drew a career-high 7 fouls and made 6 of 7 free throws, which were both 1 off his personal best. This isn't the first time Guduric came up big in a critical game... Just one year ago, Guduric went off for 22 points in Game 4 of the playoffs against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz to lead Fenerbahce to an 83-92 victory and a 1-3 series win.
Is Guduric just getting ready for Game 4? We'll find out on Thursday.