Cole's game-winner lifts Buducnost in thriller
In a thriller that went down to the wire, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica broke its six-game losing streak by topping Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 75-74 in the Montenegrin capital on Friday. Norris Cole exited a timeout and buried a jumper on the run for the game-winning points with 4 seconds left. Buducnost improved to 4-14 in the standings and ranks 15th overall, with Darussafaka right behind at 2-16. Edwin Jackson led the winners with 18 points. Cole added 17 while Coty Clarke and Goga Bitadze each had 11 for Buducnost. Toney Douglas led Darussafaka with 14 points. Oguz Savas and Jeremy Evans each had 12 for the hosts. It all came down to the final seconds in a back-and-forth battle. Kartal Ozmizrak hit free throws for a one-point Darussafaka lead, Cole hit his jumper and the guests could not score in the final seconds.
Jackson and Suad Sehovic got Buducnost going with back-to-back three-pointers. Savas rescued Darussafaka with a couple of jumpers before a layup by Zanis Peiners gave the guests their first lead, 6-7. Earl Clark and Bitadze stepped up for Buducnost but a three-pointer by Jon Diebler, free throws by Toney Douglas Stanton Kidd's layup kept Darussafaka ahead. But that was only until Clarke struck from downtown to restore a 16-14 Buducnost lead after 10 minutes. A dunk-and-free throw by Michael Eric and a triple by Ozmizrak restored a 18-20 Darussafaka lead early in the second quarter. Danilo Nikolic and Petar Popovic hit free throws but Douglas answered for a 22-24 score. Bitadze and Clarke scored around the basket and a driving layup by Popovic provided another lead change, 30-28. Clark followed a layup with a jumper for a 36-33 Buducnost lead. Evans and Savas each had 4 points in a 0-9 run which allowed Darussafaka to take a 36-42 lead at halftime. A driving basket by Cole and a three-pointer by Jackson brought the hosts within 41-43 soon after the break. Diebler and Evans hit foul shots but an unstoppable Cole scored twice to bring Buducnost even closer, 45-46. Cole kept pacing his team and three-point play by Bitadze gave Buducnost a new lead, 52-50. Douglas hit a floater but Nikolic and Jackson boosted the hosts' margin to 58-53 after 30 minutes. Jackson buried two triples early in the fourth quarter to make it an eight-point game, 66-58. Evans had 4 points in a 0-6 run that gave Darussafaka hope, 66-63, with 4 minutes left. Bitadze and Cole took over with respective three-point plays but Douglas and Ozmizrak each struck from downtown for a 72-69 score. Douglas tied the game with a triple and a free throws by Nemanja Gordic gave Buducnost a 73-72 edge with 41.1 seconds left. Ozmizrak drew a foul with 11.7 seconds to go, hitting both attempts for a 73-74 score. Cole downed the game-winning jumper with 4 seconds left, as Darussafaka could not find a shot in the game's final possession.
Jackson had one of his best games of the season, selecting his shots really well to reach 18 points. He hit 4 of 6 three-pointers, 2 of 2 inside the arc and 2 of 2 free throws, adding 2 rebounds, a steal, a block and 4 fouls drawn for a PIR of 22.
The game went down to the final seconds but Buducnost could not have won without its third-quarter comeback. Cole ignited it with four consecutive baskets and eventually got help from Bitadze and Jackson to go from 47-50 to 58-53 -- an 11-3 run.
There were as many as 11 blocks in this game: 6 for Buducnost and 5 for Darussafaka. It tied the second-best mark in the competition this season; there were 16 blocks when Darussafaka hosted Maccabi on December 6, 2018. Bitadze had 4 blocks for Buducnost.
Did you notice?
A great run late in the second quarter allowed Darussafaka to avoid a EuroLeague's all-time negative record. Before that, Darussafaka had lost 12 consecutive quarters: 3 against Olympiacos, all 4 against CSKA and Barcelona, and the first quarter against Buducnost. The all-time record belongs to Hapoel Jerusalem, with 14 consecutive quarters lost in the 2000-01 season.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action on Friday of Round 19. Darussafaka visits Anadolu Efes Istanbul at 18:30 CET. Half an hour later, at 19:00 CET, Buducnost hosts Real Madrid.
Friday, January 11, 2019