Fenerbahce scores road win at Gran Canaria
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul had little trouble in cruising to a 64-82 victory at Herbalife Gran Canaria on Thursday night to remain atop the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings. Nikola Kalinic led the way for Fenerbahce with 16 points, while Jan Vesely had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Kostas Sloukas chipped in 11 points, 6 assists and 3 steals and Ali Muhammed tallied 10 points for the winners. Fenerbahce improved to 16-2 with a second straight win after a loss that snapped a 12-game winning streak. Gran Canara has now lost four straight and six out of seven to fall to 6-13 despite a career-high 21 points from Kim Tillie.
The first quarter went back and forth with seven lead changes and D.J. Strawberry scoring 5 points as Gran Canaria went up 12-9. Vesely's three-point play came at the end of three straight lead changes as put Fenerbahce up 15-16. Vesely added another basket and then nailed a rare three-pointer for a 19-24 advantage after 10 minutes. Luke Fischer started the second quarter for the hosts and Albert Oliver's free throws had them within 25-29. However, Fenerbahce began to take over with Kalinic and Joffrey Lauvergne combining for 11 points in a 5-15 surge to pull ahead 30-44. The gap was 32-44 at the break. Fenerbahce started the second half strongly and Melih Mahmutoglu made it 34-49. Tillie took over with 12 straight points and Fischer's dunk ended a 14-4 run to trim the gap to 48-53. Sloukas ended the drought with a three-pointer and Fenerbahce went up 51-56 after 30 minutes. Vesely started the fourth quarter, but Gran Canaria fought to stay close at 54-61. However, Muhammed nailed a three-pointer and Nicolo Melli also hit from long range in a 2-10 spurt to put Fenerbahce up 56-71. Muhammed and Kalinic finished off Gran Canaria for good with threes in a 0-9 spurt in the closing minutes.
With Gran Canaria trailing just 54-61, Ali Muhammed and Nicolo Melli both nailed three-pointers in a 2-10 run to help Fenerbahce establish a 56-71 lead and decide the game.
Vesely from downtown!?!
Jan Vesely nailed a three-pointer at the end of the shot clock late in the first quarter. It was the first made three-pointer for the Fenerbahce big man since January 8, 2016, when he hit a three against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. He missed all three attempts in 2016-17 and his three previous attempts this season in the EuroLeague. Vesely also missed all five attempts in the Turkish League over the past two seasons
Aleksander Balcerowski made his debut for Gran Canaria and the 18-year-old Polish center ended the game with a block and dunk in the final seconds to finish with 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 block in 3:23 minutes.
Fenerbahce connected on 9 of 18 three-pointers (50.0%), while holding Gran Canaria to 5-of-19 shooting (26.3%) from long range.
Gran Canaria will look to snap its four-game losing streak when it heads on the road to take on Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on Friday. Fenerbahce will return home and face off with Olympiacos Piraeus the day before.
Thursday, January 17, 2019