Fenerbahçe triumphs over Celtics in NBA Europe Live game
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet Daily News Photo, Emrah Gürel
The home team led the game, which was played as part of the NBA Europe Live Tour, from start to finish, at its Ülker Sports Arena in Istanbul.
African forward Romain Sato led all players with 24 points, while American point guard Bo McCalebb ran the show with his unstoppable drives and accurate passing. McCalebb had 21 points and five assists.
Croatian guard Bojan Bogdanovic also impressed with his sharp shooting, scoring 13 points coming off the bench.
For the Celtics, who were playing their first pre-season game, Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green produced 16 points each. Rajon Rondo dished out nine assists in addition to his 13 points. The performance of Green, who missed last season due to injury, was one of the few positive points for the Celtics in the night.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, two of the biggest stars in the Celtics squad, failed to make an impact. Garnett sat out for long periods of the game and had nine points in 15 minutes, while Pierce, who played 26 minutes, was limited to eight points.
The Celtics, who will be seeking their first NBA title since 2008, made 25 turnovers in the game, much to the disappointment of coach Doc Rivers.
"I told the guys I want 14 turnovers, just not in a half, in 48 minutes," Rivers said in the post-game press conference, before adding that he wants to see improvement. "If we play like that in April, we won't be making it to May."
Fenerbahçe Ülker coach Simone Pianigiani was understandably proud, but refused to get carried away.
"I am proud to have lived such a special night," the Italian said. "It's too early in the season. The Celtics are not at their best form. But neither are we."