De Colo's career-night leads Fenerbahce to first win
Nando De Colo dropped in a career-high 39 points as Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul registered its first win of the season, downing visiting KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 87-80 on Thursday night. Both teams now hold 1-2 records. Fenerbahce took the lead for good in the third quarter, but did not pull away until a 16-6 fourth-quarter run that opened a 79-68 lead. De Colo was the only Fenerbahce player in double figures, as he made 12 of 15 two-point shots, another career-best. EuroLeague MVP Jan Vesely contributed with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while Luigi Datome had 8 points and 5 rebounds in a winning effort. Tornike Shengelia scored 18 points and Shavon Shields had 17 for Baskonia. Pierria Henry added 15 points and Achille Polonara 10 in the losing effort.
Shengelia scored 8 points early and Shields hit his first triple to help Baskonia open an 8-13 lead. De Colo came off the bench to spark Fenerbahce's offense, hitting a pair of triples in the process. He had 10 points in the first quarter and a three from Derrick Williams made it 22-22 after 10 minutes. De Colo and Polonara traded buckets as the only scorers in the first 5 minutes of the second quarter; Polonara banked a running hook-shoot and a three-pointer to give the visitors a 26-29 edge. But Luigi Datome knocked down a triple and De Colo scored 8 more points before the end of the half, getting his tally to 22 and hitting a buzzer-beating jumper to give Fenerbahce a 39-36 cushion at halftime. The teams exchanged buckets with Datome hitting a triple at one end and Shengelia and Henry on the other to open the second half. The teams went bucket-for-bucket before De Colo and Vesely combined to score 11 points to create a 57-49 advantage. The visitors cut into the deficit with the help of a triple from Luca Vildoza late in the third quarter. Baskonia came within 63-62 early in the fourth, but back-to-back three-pointers from Nikola Kalinic and Ali Muhammed gave Fenerbahce more breathing room. Polonara answered with a three, but De Colo scored 6 more points and baskets from Kalinic and Sloukas opened a 79-68 margin with under 4 minutes to go as Fenerbahce went on to close out the game.
Flirting with a scoring record
Nando De Colo finished just 2 points shy of the EuroLeague single-game record of 41 points, held by four players: Alphonso Ford, Carlton Myers, Kaspars Kambala and Bobby Brown. De Colo's 39 points are the most scored in a EuroLeague game since Brown tied the record in January 2013 and tied for the eighth-most in the EuroLeague this century. De Colo scored 10 points in the first quarter, added 12 in the second, and had already surpassed his previous career-high by reaching 31 points with 1:43 left in the third quarter.
Nando's career night
De Colo did not just shattered his previous career-high in scoring, but also set a new personal best with a performance index rating of 44, and set a career-best with 12 two-point shots made on 15 attempts.
The Vesely effect
Fenerbahce had much needed energy and Vesely was one of the reasons for it. The reigning MVP seemed to be everywhere and led Fenerbahce with 7 rebounds. He was even his team's co-leader with 5 assists. Vesely also got the fans into it with three monster dunks in the third quarter.
Baskonia loves to run in transition, but it was Fenerbahce which did better in that department, scoring 13 fastbreak points to Baskonia's 7 for the game. Coupled with a 35-27 rebounding advantage, it played a big role in the outcome of the game.
In Round 4 next Friday, Fenerbahce travels to face AX Armani Exchange Milan, while Baskonia will play its first home game of the season when it welcomes Olympiacos Piraeus.
Thursday, October 17, 2019