Micic's late heroice lead Efes past Zvezda
Anadolu Efes Istanbul rallied from a 7-point deficit in the final 2 minutes to edge Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 84-83 in Round 17 on Wednesday. Efes improved to 9-8 in the standings while Zvezda dropped to 7-10. Reigning EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic had Efes's final 10 points, including the game-sealing free throws with 0.9 seconds left. Tibor Pleiss paced the winners with 23 points on 5-of-5 shooting from downtown. Micic added 21, Rodrigue Beaubois scored 10 and Shane Larkin tallied 8 points and 9 assists for Efes. Nikola Kalinic led Zvezda with 20 points, Branko Lazic added 13 and Nate Wolters 12 for the visitors.
James Anderson and Pleiss got Efes going with consecutive three-pointers and Beaubois added a driving layup for an 8-3 lead. Pleiss insisted from downtown and Larkin boosted the hosts' lead to 13-5. Wolters scored in penetration and Luka Mitrovic dunked to bring Zvezda closer, 13-9. Beaubois banked in a mid-range jumper and Anderson took over with a three-point play to keep the hosts in control, 18-9. Mitrovic hit a jump hook and Kalinic added an acrobatic basket, but Beaubois and Larkin gave Efes its first double-digit lead, 23-13. Aaron White stepped up with a layup-plus-foul and a triple. Anderson and Beaubois each struck from downtown for a 31-21 Efes lead after 10 minutes.
Lazic swished a three-pointer early in the second quarter and Ognjen Kuzmic scored down low, igniting a 0-9 run that Stefan Lazarevic capped with a tip-in to bring Zvezda within 31-30. Pleiss hit his third triple and Larkin erased Kalinic's layup with a floater for a 36-32 Efes lead. Nikola Ivanovic joined the three-point shootout and Wolters nailed a one-handed floater in the lane to complete Zvezda's comeback, 36-37. Pleiss insisted from beyond the arc but Lazic buried a jumper, Wolters hit another floater and Kalinic downed a three-pointer for a 39-44 Zvezda lead. Pleiss followed a layup with a dunk to bring Efes closer, 43-46, at halftime.
Kalinic and Hollins each struck from downtown for a 45-52 Zvezda lead after the break. After Pleiss buried a triple, Kalinic quickly answered with a jumper and Kuzmic added a tip-in to keep the visitors in control, 50-56. Micic hit a triple for his first points, but Kuzmic erased it with a layup-plus-foul and Lazic struck from beyond the arc, prompting Efes to call timeout at 53-62. Larkin stepped up with a driving layup and found Bryant Dunston for a driving layup. Kalinic, Micic and Ivanovic each hit a three-pointer, but Elijah Bryant and Dunston kept Efes close at 65-68 after 30 minutes.
Ivanovic matched Micic's three-point play with a bomb from beyond the arc early in the fourth quarter. Micic kept pushing the hosts with a driving basket and Bryant ignited the crowd with an alley-oop layup, but Lazarevic sank back-to-back triples to boost Zvezda's lead to 72-77. Kalinic bettered Bryant's driving layup with a huge three-pointer for a 74-80 Zvezda lead with less than 4 minutes to go. Efes did not give up, however, as Micic showed his MVP credentials; he singlehandedly brought his team within 80-81 with 39.9 seconds left. Kalinic buried a jumper with 15.7 seconds remaining, but Micic answered with a driving basket. Kalinic missed free throws and Micic drew a foul with 0.9 seconds left. He calmly made both attempts and Kalinic missed from beyond midcourt at the buzzer.
Micic has no quit in him
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade seemed to have everything under control in its Round 17 showdown against Anadolu Efes Istanbul, leading 74-81 in the next-to-last minute. Many would have given up, but Vasilije Micic had other ideas. He drew a couple of fouls and hit all 4 free throws to make it 78-81. Micic soon added a driving layup which Nikola Kalinic erased with a jumper with 15.7 seconds remaining. Instead of looking for a three, Micic banked in a close shot. Efes fouled Kalinic, who missed both free throw attempts. Micic drew a foul and did not miss at the other end. He had 10 of his 21 points in the final 2 minutes to lead Efes to a come-from-behind victory.
Pleiss opens the floor from downtown
Tibor Pleiss is an uncharacteristic 2.21-meter center and he proved it once again in Anadolu Efes Istanbul's Round 17 showdown against Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Pleiss led the way with 23 points, hitting all of his 5 attempts from beyond the arc. By doing so, Pleiss became the third player to shoot 5-of-5 or better from downtown this season; Jordan Loyd of Zenit St Petersburg and William Howard of LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne also did that against the same opponent, AS Monaco, in Rounds 16 and 12, respectively. Pleiss had never hit more than 2 three-point shots in his 257-game EuroLeague career.
Efes beats Zvezda at home, again
Anadolu Efes Istanbul beat Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 84-83 in Round 17 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. By doing so, Efes managed to keep two big winning streaks alive against Zvezda, which lost a golden chance to end them. Efes registered its sixth consecutive victory against the Serbian powerhouse. Zvezda's last win against Efes, 100-81, was on December 8, 2017, behind 29 points from James Feldeine. Efes remains strong against Zvezda in front of its fans, as this was its seventh consecutive home victory against the same opponent. Zvezda's only win against Efes in Istanbul, 81-90, came on December 9, 1981, in the 1981-82 Korac Cup's group stage, more than 40 years ago.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021