Moerman wins it at the death for Efes
A last-gasp three-pointer from Adrien Moerman gave Anadolu Efes Istanbul a thrilling 82-81 victory over Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Friday night. It was a close game throughout, as Panathinaikos unleashed a flurry of three-point shooting to lead 39-42 at the break. The third quarter saw a series of lead changes, and it was 65-62 heading into the last ten minutes. Panathinaikos rallied to hold a 73-76 edge midway through the fourth and it was a nail-biting finish until Moerman struck from deep with 2 seconds remaining. Vasilije Micic led Efes with 20 points but missed all 7 of his three-point attempts. Moerman contributed 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots. Bryant Dunston scored 14, Shane Larkin had 11 and Krunoslav Simon netted 10. Nemanja Nedovic paced Panathinaikos with 20 points, while Daryl Macon Jr. scored 17 and Okaro White added 15. Efes improves to 10-10 to reclaim a playoffs place, and Panathinaikos drops to 4-15.
Larkin opened the scoring with a three-pointer, and Dunston added an inside score as Efes made a fast start. Ioannis Papapetrou got the visitors moving with a corner three, but Efes repeated the formula with Dunston scoring inside and Larkin hitting from deep. Howard Sant-Roos and Kendrick Perry made triples for Panathinaikos and Jeremy Evans tied it, 12-12, with a tip-in. Micic drove to the basket and Larkin added another threeball to send Efes back ahead, 17-12 at the end of the first. Vasilis Kavvadas scored twice early in the second quarter, but Simon answered with a triple to extend Efes’s lead to 22-14. Macon Jr and Nedovic came off the bench to boost Panathinaikos with two scores apiece, but Micic did the same for Efes including a three-point play for a 31-27 lead. The visitors then launched a long-range barrage, with White, Nedovic and Macon all on target for a 33-36 advantage. A driving layup from Eleftherios Bochoridis kept the visitors ahead and Evans added a putback dunk, before Micic beat the halftime buzzer to make it 39-42.
Micic also got the first points of the second half with a steal and fastbreak layup, and Moerman did the same to send Efes in front. Papapetrou from inside and Nedovic from long-range brought Panathinaikos back in front, 48-49. Moerman, Macon and Simon forced further lead changes, and it continued to go back and forth as White exploded a putback slam and Moerman hit a three-pointer. Dunston’s layup gave Efes fresh air at 60-55, before Macon and Moerman exchanged triples. Micic again beat the quarter buzzer, giving Efes a 65-62 lead after three quarters. A three-pointer and putback slam from White brought Panathinaikos level early in the fourth, 69-69, before Nedovic was again on target from deep and Papapetrou hit a jumper for a 73-76 lead inside the final five minutes. Moerman scored under the basket and Micic tied it with a free throw after a technical foul. Nedovic and Micic converted free throws before Macon’s baseline jumper made it 78-80 inside the final minute. Dunston and White split free throws, and it was 79-81 with 14 seconds left. Efes took a time out and worked the ball to the open Moerman, whose aim from deep was perfect for a dramatic game winner.
Visitors win long-range shooting battle…but not the war
Panathinaikos launched an assault from long-range in the first half, making eight of its first 15 attempts from beyond the arc with six different players on target. That pace could not be maintained but the Greek team still did manage to sink three-point shots with enough regularity to keep itself firmly in contention for a shock road win. The visiting team made 12 of its 28 shots from long-range (42.9%) led by four from Nemanja Nedovic and three from Daryl Macon Jr, much better than Efes’s 7-of-28 (25%). But ironically one of those seven proved decisive as Adrien Moerman struck the game winner.
Milestone evening for Singleton
Going up against one of his former teams, Efes forward Chris Singleton passed the mark of 1,000 rebounds in his Turkish Airlines EuroLeague career. Singleton, who played 67 games for Panathiniakos between 2016-18 and joined Efes in 2019, grabbed 4 boards during his 11 minutes on the floor to take his career total to 1,002. He now ranks 22nd all-time in rebounding, averaging 4.55 per game. Singleton started his EuroLeague career with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and played a record 214 consecutive games in the competition before missing the Round 13 meeting with Barcelona.
Kavvadas delivers for Panathinaikos
With league leading rebounder Georgios Papagiannis out of action, Panathinaikos received inside help from an unexpected source in the form of Vasilis Kavvadas. Having spent just six minutes on the floor without scoring or grabbing a rebound in his only previous appearance this season, the 31 year-old big man had not played serious minutes in the competition since 2015, when he lined up for former club Olympiacos Piraeus against Nizhny Novgorod. But he answered the call on this occasion, playing for 15 minutes and compiling 8 points, 3 rebounds and 1 blocked shot for a personal best PIR of 11.
Friday, January 21, 2022