Peters, defense lift Baskonia past host Efes
In a battle between classic Turkish Airlines EuroLeague powerhouses, TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz confirmed its outstanding momentum with a second consecutive road victory by downing Anadolu Efes Istanbul 59-77 at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall on Friday. Both teams now have a 6-5 records in the middle of the standings. Former Efes forward Alec Peters led the winners with 18 points. Baskonia also got 12 points each from Youssoupha Fall and Achille Polonara, and 11 from Pierria Henry. In a truly rare occurrence, no Efes player reached double digits in points as the hosts were held to their third-lowest home scoring total in the last decade. Shane Larkin led Efes with 8 points. Baskonia, ahead 37-42 at halftime, boosted its margin to 50-63 after three quarters and then again to 50-72 soon after that to cruise to a well-deserved win.
Larkin, Krunoslav Simon and Sertac Sanli got Efes going with a three-pointer apiece. Tadas Sedekerskis and Fall stepped up for Baskonia but Simon banked in a floater for an early 11-5 Efes lead. Rokas Giedraitis struck from downtown and Fall added a alley-oop layup to keep Baskonia within 13-10. Chris Singleton and Peters joined the three-point shootout and Fall hit a jumper for a 16-15 score before James Anderson helped Efes restore a 20-17 lead after 10 minutes. Dogus Balbay bettered Peters' jumper with a triple and Adrien Moerman added a layup for a 25-19 Efes edge early in the second quarter. Zoran Dragic and Polonara fueled a 0-5 Baskonia to stay close, run but Moerman struck from beyond the arc and Rodrigue Beaubois added a floater to give Efes fresh air at 30-26. Polonara kept pacing Baskonia with a three-pointer and Tonye Jekiri scored twice down low in a 0-8 run that put Baskonia in front for the first time, 30-34. Peters found space for a backdoor layup and Pierria Henry added a floater but Singleton and Larkin kept Efes within 35-38. Peters and Vasilije Micic exchanged baskets before a tip-in by Jekiri fixed the halftime score at 37-42. Sanli scored in close soon after the break but Polonara downed a couple of triples and Henry added another in a 0-9 run that suddenly put Baskonia up by double digits, 39-51. Beaubois hit a fallaway jumper and Micic scored in the paint but Henry and Giedraitis kept Baskonia way ahead, 43-55. Efes center Bryant Dunston, appearing for the first time since October due to injury, followed a three-point play with a layup but he didn't find much help as Fall and Peters boosted Baskonia's lead to 50-63 after 30 minutes. Peters sank his third three-pointer early in the fourth quarter and Fall scored down low to break the game open, 50-68, with over 7 minutes left. Henry took over with a backdoor layup and a dunk that capped a 0-12 run that sealed the outcome, 50-72, as Efes never recovered.
Peters stayed unstoppable and led his team to a big road win against his former team. He finished the game with 18 points on 4-for-7 two-point and 3-for-7 three-point shooting, hitting his only free throw attempt, as well. Peters added 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a block for a PIR of 20. Baskonia is now 5-0 when Peters scores at least 15 points.
Sanli scored in the paint to bring Efes within 39-42 right after the break. Baskonia did not panic, as Polonara buried a three-pointer and followed Henry's triple with another bomb from downtown. The guests took their first double-digit lead, 39-51, and dominated the game until the final buzzer.
Rebounds and three-point shots made the difference in this game. Baskonia outrebounded Efes by 30-44. The guests buried 8 of 19 three-pointers (42.1%) and limited Efes to just 8 of 29 (27.6%). Baskonia pulled down 15 offensive rebounds, its second-best mark this season after 17 against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on October 9.
Did you know?
Larkin was limited to just 8 points, breaking his 16-game double-digit scoring streak. He now has scored 1,499 points in 98 career EuroLeague games. Only three active players have a better scoring average with over 100 games played – Nando De Colo, Alexey Shved and Mike James – than Larkin's 15.3 points per game.
Efes plays twice next week. It hosts LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne in a postponed game from Round 5 on Tuesday, December 8, and visits Valencia Basket on Thursday, December 10 in Round 13. Baskonia welcomes Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv to Buesa Arena also on Thursday.
Friday, December 4, 2020