Of all the streaky teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul might be the streakiest.
Fener stormed into the season with runs of five and four wins interrupted only by a single-point road loss to FC Barcelona. After Round 9, in late November, Fener held first place by two victories and looked like a season-long frontrunner.
Out of the blue, then, came six losses in seven games, a slide that included three home defeats, five in succession, and blowouts of 27 and 20 points. Injuries to top scorers Johnathan Motley and Scottie Wilbekin, who missed three and four games, respectively, played a role. By the new year, Fener had toppled to sixth place at 10-7, its stellar start a fading memory.
Now, again, with both those players back, Fener has reversed course for three straight victories, two in overtime, the last of which was a microcosm of its season so far.
At home against AS Monaco last Thursday, Fener lead by 9 points after 6 minutes, only to fall behind by 13 before halftime then come back and lead by 8 with 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. But even that wasn't enough because Monaco's 0-8 finishing run forced overtime. There, big plays from Nigel Hayes-Davis and free throw perfection from Marko Guduric finally sealed a 98-94 victory.
Fener was two different teams in that game, one with Motley and one without. While he watched much of the first two quarters with foul trouble, Monaco led in rebounds 15 to 23 and was up on the scoreboard by 39-50 on the first shot after halftime. But Motley would compile 13 points, 9 rebounds and 12 fouls drawn in the final 25 minutes as Fener won the rebounding battled 45-42 and, with it, the game.