UNICS Kazan star Errick McCollum arrived in Istanbul to play against Darussafaka Tekfen as the 7DAYS EuroCup top scorer and performance index rating leader. He earned the Round 4 MVP honor and had scored in double figures in each of his previous games, reaching a season-high 32 points and 41 index rating in Round 4. There was no question about it: he was "the one" Darussafaka would need to stop to be able to beat UNICS.
And the Turkish team did a great job on him – for almost 40 minutes. Darussafaka allowed McCollum just 2 points in the first quarter, 2 more in the second and just 1 in the third. But when it came to clutch time, great players don't hesitate. And McCollum didn't.
In a game that saw many ties and lead changes, UNICS Kazan entered the last 30 seconds with a 77-77 tie. And when Raymar Morgan fouled Doron Lamb with 12 seconds to go, only a few expected what was going to happen. Lamb missed both free throws, and when Kostas Kaimakoglou secured the defensive rebound, everyone at Volkswagen Arena knew who was going to get the ball.
McCollum decided to play one-on-one against his defender, Lamb, who was still probably remembering his misses from the line. McCollum didn't tremble and hit a nice off-the-dribble pull-up jumper on the buzzer that sealed the fourth win a row for his team.
"I'm not the guy who is going to avoid having the ball in my hands with the game on the line," McCollum said after the game. "I had been struggling with my shot throughout the game. I had some good looks but missed a couple of easy ones. But when the game is on the line, that's what they pay me for. You've got to make a play and I was fortunate to make one."