Gran Canaria downs Bursaspor, wins fourth straight
Gran Canaria led from start to finish in beating Frutti Extra Bursaspor 74-85 on Wednesday night. It is Gran Canaria's fourth consecutive win, which improved the team's record to 4-1 atop of Group B, while Bursaspor dropped to 2-3 on the season. The visitors took control from the get-go and then used two big third-quarter runs to open a 20-point advantage. Bursaspor attempted a late rally, but never got closer than 9 points. John Shurna and Artem Pustovyi scored 20 apiece for Gran Canaria. Pustovyi also had 7 rebounds. Dylan Ennis netted 15, while A.J. Slaughter had 13 points and 6 assists. Allerik Freeman scored 17 points for the hosts, David Dudzinski collected 16 points and 7 rebounds, Andrew Andrews tallied 10 points and 8 assists and Kevarrius Hayes also scored 10 in a losing effort.
Ilimane Diop opened the game with a triple and a dunk. Derek Needham and Dylan Ennis traded triples before Dudzinski and Chris Kramer traded baskets multiple times. Kramer's driving layup, a long jumper from Slaughter and a floater from Ennis made it 11-22 as Gran Canaria's offense was clicking from the start. Andrews knocked down a pair of three-pointers late in the first quarter to help cut it to 19-26 after 10 minutes.
Shurna and Pustovyi combined to score the first 6 points of the second quarter for a 13-point lead. Allerik Freeman and Anthony Brown hit back-to-back jumpers for the hosts and Brown's transition triple made it 28-35. But Shurna got hot, nailing back-to-back three-pointers to restore a double-digit lead, 32-43. Metin Turen and Andrews helped the hosts cut it to 38-45 at halftime.
Bursaspor got within 43-45 at the start of the third after a put-back dunk from Hayes and a corner triple from Needham, but the visitors had another answer. Diop and Shurna hit mid-range jumpers before Slaughter and Shurna made back-to-back triples to help open a 47-57 lead. Gran Canaria followed that up by finishing the quarter with 12 unanswered points, a run fueled with a long-range dagger from Slaughter and capped by Pustovyi's 6 consecutive points to lead 49-69 at the end of the third quarter.
A basket from Miquel Salvo opened the fourth quarter. Dudzinski snapped a 0-14 run with a dunk and then had a put-back layup. A triple from Freeman made it 58-76 before 2 threes from Dudzinski got Bursaspor to 66-78 with 4:07 to go. An alley-oop dunk from Hayes and a layup from Freeman trimmed the deficit to single digits, 70-79 with 2:55 to go. But that's as close as Bursaspor got as Gran Canaria stopped the bleeding and closed the game out.
Gran Canaria's big runs
Gran Canaria controlled the game from the get-go and had a double-digit lead already in the first quarter. The hosts never came closer than 7 points in the second quarter and then closed within 43-45 early in the third quarter. But Gran Canaria went on a 6-26 spurt to break the game wide open.
The visitors first used a 4-12 run fueled with back-to-back triples from A.J. Slaughter and John Shurna and then scored the final 12 points of the third quarter as Slaughter hit another three and Artem Pustovyi strung together 6 points. With the first basket of the fourth Gran Canaria, made it 49-71 and was not going to relinquish that lead.
Three quarters of dominance
Gran Canaria outplayed Bursaspor in just about every facet of the game in the first three quarters. After 30 minutes of play, the visitors had a 20-point lead and for good reason. Gran Canaria made 20 of 30 two-point shots and 7 of 13 threes. It had 17 assists and committed just 6 turnovers in the first 30 minutes while picking up 10 steals.
The hosts, on the other hand, had 12 turnovers and just 3 steals after three quarters, while shooting 48.3% on two-pointers. Bursaspor made 7 of 13 triples in the first 30 minutes and had 7 offensive rebounds compared to Gran Canaria's 1, but the visitors' shooting percentages were more than enough to make up for the lack of second chances.
Shurna and Pustovyi shine
John Shurna and Artem Pustovyi dominated in this game. Veteran power forward Shurna scored all of his points in the middle two quarters, netting 12 in the second and scoring 8 points in the first 7 minutes of the third quarter. He was unstoppable with his outside shooting, hitting 3 for 3 behind the arc and was 4 of 6 on two-pointers.
Pustovyi also scored 20 points, making 9 of 11 shots and dominating the low post. He also pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds, including 2 on the offensive glass. It accounted for almost one-third of all the rebounds Gran Canaria pulled down in this game (22) and for half of all of Gran Canaria's offensive boards (4).
Wednesday, November 17, 2021