Efes rallies from 16 down to stay alive
ISTANBULFacing a must-win situation, Anadolu Efes Istanbul rallied from an early 16-point deficit against Fenerbahçe Istanbul to register an 80-72 win in Game 5 of the best-of-seven Turkish League playoff finals on June 12. However, Fenerbahçe remains in control of the series, holding a 3-2 lead and with Game 6 on home floor on June 13.
Thomas Heurtel led the winners with 24 points on 5-for-7 three-point shooting, adding 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Jayson Granger had 17 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, while Dario Saric and Bryant Dunston scored 11 apiece.
Fenerbahçe got off to a fantastic start, scoring 18 unanswered points to go ahead 20-6.
A pair of baskets from Jan Vesely helped open a 28-12 margin before Efes’ offense got going through Heurtel, who scored 10 points, including two triples, to cut it to 34-30.
Fenerbahçe held 37-30 at halftime, and Luigi Datome buried a corner three – the first Fenerbahçe triple of the game – to restore a double-digit margin. But Huertel and Saric both hit from long range for the hosts, Dunston had a three-point play, Jon Diebler also hit from downtown before a pair of baskets from Granger tied it at 52-52 going into the fourth quarter.
Saric and Heurtel hit more triples early in the fourth, and Heurtel’s basket-plus-foul made it 61-57 for Efes.
Bogdan Bogdanovic and Bobby Dixon fired back, but Heurtel and Efes did not let the visitors back into the lead.
A turnaround triple from Saric extended it to 72-64 with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, before Efes closed it out to the delight of its fans. For Fenerbahçe, Datome had 19 points, while Vesely collected 12 points plus 15 rebounds. Bobby Dixon scored 12 and Nikola Kalinic 11 in defeat.