Bogdan Bogdanovic made a game-winning tip-in with 4.9 seconds to go to lift first place Fenerbahce Istanbul to a 68-70 road win over Khimki Moscow Region. Fenerbahce finished the regular season an 8-2 record in Group A, while Khimki goes into the Top 16 with 5-5 record.
Tyrese Rice led Khimki to an early lead, as big as 37-28 in the second quarter, but Jan Vesely got Fenerbahce going before tying it at halftime, 39-39. The teams engaged in trading leads throughout the second half. The game went down to the wire, and at the very end, Bogdanovic’s game-winning tip-in and Ekpe Udoh’s steal sealed the win. Vesely paced the visitors with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Bobby Dixon was clutch in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points, and Bogdanovic had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Udoh chipped in with 11 points, 3 steals and 2 blocks in victory. Rice scored 15 of his 19 points in the first quarter to lead Khimki. Alexey Shved netted 16 on 5-for-9 three-point shooting, and Zoran Dragic scored 13 in a losing effort.
First quarter: Unstoppable Rice gives Khimki the lead
Dixon opened the game with a fastbreak layup, but a three-pointer and a runner by Rice gave Khimki a 5-2 edge. Bogdanovic nailed a triple and Udoh scored inside, but Rice fed James Augustine for a dunk. Luigi Datome hit a short baseline jumper, before trading layups with Rice to tie the game at 11-11. Shved hit back-to-back shots from downtown for Khimki, but Nikola Kalinic made a short jumper, followed by a quick steal and a corner triple by Dixon. Udoh scored inside again to give Fenerbahce a brief lead, 17-18. Rice put Khimki back in front with a three, and after Vesely hit a mid-range jumper, Petteri Koponen scored a layup-plus-foul to make it 23-20. Rice added a step-back three to his tally of 15 first quarter points, but Vesely banked in a wild last-second three-pointer that made it 26-24 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Vesely rallies Fenerbahce
Marko Todorovic scored inside to start the quarter and Dragic drove to the hoop. Kostas Sloukas put Udoh in a position for an easy dunk, but Dragic bettered it with a corner triple that extended the margin to 33-26. After more than two minutes without field goals, Dragic drove for a layup, then Rice scored in heavy traffic to extend it to 37-28. But Vesely scored from close range, forced a turnover and raced for a big fastbreak dunk. Udoh scored twice inside before Vesely elevated for a monster one-handed slam to make it 39-39 at halftime.
Third quarter: Fenerbahce goes in front
Tyler Honeycutt nailed a long jumper on the opening possession of the second half, but Dixon answered with a three-pointer. Honeycutt had a fastbreak dunk, but Vesely scored inside, and Bogdanovic hit from the outside to give the visitors a 43-47 lead. Fenerbahce held the hosts without a point for four minutes before Rice made a pair of free throws. Pero Antic hit from downtown for Fenerbahce to extende the margin to 5 points, but Todorovic made a couple of foul shots and Dragic made a runner that cut the deficit to 49-50.
Fourth quarter: Bogdanovic wins it for the visitors
Vesely on one end, and Todorovic on the other, scored from close range in the first two minutes, before Dragic finished a fastbreak with a layup for a 53-52 edge. Fenerbahce did not score for four minutes, and Shved nailed a three-pointer to put Khimki up 56-52. But Dixon ended the visitors’ drought with a fastbreak layup, and Vesely scored in traffic from close range to tie the game at 56-56 midway through the fourth. After a timeout, Shved knocked down a three, but Bogdanovic matched it. Shved knocked down another three-pointer, and after Bogdanovic answered with a tip-in, Augustine had a dunk inside, and Honeycutt a fast break to open a 66-61 lead with three minutes to go. After a timeout, Dixon hit back-to-back triples, but Dragic banked in a floater over Vesely that made it 68-67 with 1:29 to go. After another timeout, both teams held on defense twice. Fenerbahce had the last 12 seconds to score, and Udoh ended up on three free throw line. After making the first, he missed the second free throw, but Bogdanovic tipped it in to put the visitors in front 68-70. Udoh intercepted the ensuing inbound pass to seal the win.