An electric fourth quarter in Istanbul saw Fenerbahce take round one of their 3-game series with local rivals Besiktas.
After 30 minutes dominated by defense and low scoring, the two sides exploded for a combined 58 fourth quarter points and a thrilling finish at the Abdi Ipecki arena.
|Damir Mrsic hit 20 of his 23 points in the 4th quarter|
Having lost 3 Turkish league games this week, Fenerbahce's backs were to the wall. But Damir Mrsic provided the perfect tonic, and his 20 points in the final quarter proved decisive in his side's win.
Fenerbahce's zone defense proved problematic for Besiktas in the first half and the visitors hit just 25 points. But Fenerbahce could not take advantage and tallied just 25 points of their own.
The second half did not usher in a new style of play, and after 30 minutes, the score was tied 39-39.
It was Fenerbahce who broke the game open in the fourth quarter. Mrsic hit four consecutive threes and Marc Salyers scored 8 points to give Fenerbahce a 13-point lead at the 35 minute mark.
But Besiktas were still not beaten. They closed the gap to 2 points, but finally ran out of steam and Fenerbahce held on for the win.
Along with Mrsic's 23 points, Salyers added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Khalid El-Amin top scored for Besiktas with 20 points. He also dished a game high 6 assists.