Euroleague: Fenerbahçe leads with 10th consecutive win
The Turkish champion relied on star big man Jan Vesely, who shined with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals in helping Fenerbahçe improve to 13-1.
Joffrey Lauvergne added 17 points and Kostas Sloukas added 11. Earl Clark paced Buducnost with 15 points, Petar Popovic scored 12 and Nemanja Gordic 11. The loss was the third in a row for Buducnost as it fell to 3-11 on the season.
The offenses were flowing early in the game with Clark standing out for the home team and Melih Mahmutoglu draining a pair of triples for the visitors, the second of which made it 13-18. Buducnost tied it on an Edwin Jackson triple, but Fenerbahce big men Vesely and Nikola Kalinic led a 0-8 run before Nemanja Gordic’s layup made it 20-26 after 10 minutes.
A three pointer by Kalinic gave Fenerbahce its first double-digit lead, 20-31.
Coty Clarke and Popovic led a 10-0 Buducnost run to get the hosts back in the game.
Sloukas stopped the bleeding for Fenerbahçe only to see Jackson tie it at 34-34 with a jumper. Popovic pushed Buducnost ahead with free throws and Clark’s jumper made it 40-37. Sloukas’s third three of the first half sent the teams into halftime tied at 40-40.
Ali Muhammed hit a pair of threes and found Vesely inside as Fenerbahçe looked to take control at 47-54.
The difference stood at 12 (55-67) through three quarters.
Buducnost held Fenerbahçe to a single basket in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, but failed to take advantage on the offensive end.
When Lauvergne connected on a triple, the visitors led 59-72. Fenerbahce continued to pile onto its lead with a 2-16 run that put the game on ice.
Both teams return to action on Dec. 28 when Fenerbahçe hosts Real Madrid in a rematch from last season’s Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game.
Buducnost heads to Germany to take on Bayern Munich.
Former NBA coach Rick Pitino, fired last year by the University of Louisville after a pay for play recruiting scandal, has agreed to coach Greek club Panathinaikos, his agent said earlier this week.