Despite being much worse than host Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana in overall performance index rating, Bursaspor managed to claim a victory in their nail-biting semifinal thanks to much better three-point shooting.
Telling numbers: Bursaspor's long-distance shooting made the difference
In a game that went down to the last milliseconds, Bursaspor was able to escape with a thrilling 83-85 win from Ljubljana that could have gone the other way if the last three-point bucket by Jacob Pullen had been been released on time. Pullen's shot banked in but replays showed it was still on his fingertips with the clock went to zeroes.
Without that shot, Cedevita finished the game having made 6 of its 26 attempts three-point (23.1%), while Bursaspor made the court at Arena Stozice feel like its own, hitting 14 of 33 shots from the arc (42.4%). The difference in long-distance efficiency was more than enough to make up for what was an overall performance index rating difference of 104 to 80 in favor of Cedevita.
While Cedevita's shooters struggled with just 3 of them finding the bottom of the net from deep and three others going 1 for 16 combined, plenty of the visitors had a hand in boosting Bursaspor from long range.
Derek Needham and John Holland hit 4 shots each from downtown. Andrew Andrews and David Dudzinski added 2 apiece. And Metin Turen and Onuralp Bitin added 1 each. That rain of triples helped Bursasport overcome the fact it lost many other stats categories. Cedevita was also better in two-point shooting (58.1% vs. 47.1%), free-throws made (15 vs. 11), steals (6 vs. 3) and turnovers (8 vs. 13).
But, in the end, none of that counted as much as Bursaspor's three-pointer accuracy – not to mention the milliseconds that denied Pullen his first three-pointer in 5 tries and his team a place in the semifinals.