Darussafaka downs Galatasaray to clinch first place
Darussafaka Istanbul locked up first place in Group E of the Top 16 by downing cross-town rival Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 77-63 at home on Wednesday. Darussafaka improved to 5-0 in the standings and thus secured home-court advantage for the quarterfinals. It also remains in the hunt for the best Top 16 record overall, which would also give the club home-court advantage in any series it plays after that. Galatasaray, which was already eliminated before the game, dropped to 1-4. James Bell led the winners with 17 points, JaJuan Johnson added 16, Furkan Aldemir amassed 9 points and 14 rebounds and Scottie Wilbekin scored 9 points, delivered 9 assists and collected 4 steals for Darussafaka. DaJuan Summers led Galatasaray with 18 points, Adas Juskevicius added 16 and Richard Hendrix had 10 for the visitors. The game was tied, 33-33, at halftime and a jump hook by Hendrix gave Galatasaray a 33-39 lead soon after the break. However Johnson took over after that, leading a 15-3 run that gave Darussafaka the lead for good and Bell and Wilbekin took charge in the fourth to seal the victory.
Summers got Galatasaray going with a jumper, but Wilbekin struck from downtown and Michael Eric added a layup for a 5-2 Darussafaka edge. Hendrix and Alex Renfroe stepped up for Galatasaray and another jumper by Summers gave the guests a 9-12 edge. Bell hit a triple and free throws by Will Cummings and Aldemir set a 16-14 Darussafaka lead after 10 minutes. After Aldemir made foul shots, Bell and Juskevicius exchanged three-pointers and Hendrix scored again, which caused the hosts to call timeout at 21-19. Bell hit twice more from beyond the arc, but Juskevicius followed a layup with a triple and a red-hot Summers added a close basket, a bomb from downtown and a step-back jumper for a 29-31 Galatasaray lead. Aldemir took over with a put-back slam and Johnson erased Hendrix's layup with a driving basket to tie the game, 33-33, at halftime.
A jumper by Juskevicius sparked a 0-6 run, which Hendrix capped with a jump hook for a 33-39 Galatasaray lead. Darussafaka found a go-to guy in Johnson, who had 5 points in an 11-0 run that Cummings capped with a driving layup for a 44-39 advantage. Juskevicius kept pushing the visitors, but Johnson remained unstoppable in the paint and got help from Wilbekin and Howard Sant-Roos to boost Darussafaka's lead to 53-47 after 30 minutes. Stanton Kidd scored in penetration early in the fourth quarter and Cummings followed a layup with a jumper to give the hosts their first double-digit lead, 59-49. Darussafaka excelled on defense when it mattered most and a coast-to-coast layup off a steal by Wilbekin sealed the outcome at 67-53 midway through the fourth quarter. Galatasaray did not give up, but Darussafaka kept pushing until the final buzzer.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018