Laboral wins third straight in OT against visiting Efes!
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz registered its third straight victory after rallying from a double-digit deficit, then needing overtime to pull out 92-90 win over the visiting Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Thursday. Laboral improved to 3-1 and a share of the Group B lead with Olympiacos Piraeus, while Efes dropped its second in a row to go 2-2 and share third place with Cedevita Zagreb. The visitors led for the majority of the game, opening a 40-51 lead in the fourth quarter, but Laboral quickly rallied. The lead changed hands in the fourth quarter until Laboral was ahead 80-76 with 19.9 seconds left in regulation, but Efes managed to force overtime with a tip-in from Derrick Brown just before the buzzer. In the extra session, Laboral's 7-0 run made the difference. Efes still had the last possession to win or tie the game, but did not convert. Ioannis Bourousis paced the hosts with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Mike James scored 16, Jaka Blazic and Fabien Causeur each added 14, while Adam Hanga contributed with 10 points, 4 blocks and 3 assists. For Efes, Thomas Heurtel netted 26 points and had 6 assists against his former team. Jayson Graner scored 16, Brown had 15, while Bryan Dunston collected 11 points plus 8 rebounds in defeat.
First quarter: Efes first to grab the lead
Darko Planinic opened the scoring with a basket inside for hosts and Heurtel answered with a floater for Efes. Causeur banked in an off-balanced runner that Dario Saric matched by driving the baseline for a reverse layup at 4-4. That also sparked a run for Efes as Heurtel nailed a triple, then assisted Ahmet Duverioglu for a two-handed jam at 4-9. Planinic scored a layup in response, but Dunston from the foul line extended the Efes advantage to 6-12 after 5 minutes. Kim Tillie and Darius Adams both scored on fastbreaks for Laboral, making it 10-12. Efes answered with a floater from Granger, before Saric and Hanga traded driving layups. Dunston scored inside, 12-18, but Blazic found his way for a layup, then Bourousis assisted Blazic all alone in the paint for an easy layup at 16-18, the score after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: The visitors remain in front
Dunston dunked over Bourousis, then Granger nailed a triple for 16-23 Efes edge at the start of the second quarter. James hit a high-arching jumper for Laboral, and after Brown made a dunk at the other end, James raced on a fastbreak to cut the difference to 21-25. Blazic nailed a triple, then James made free throws to give Laboral lead. Points were few and far between for a while. Another pair of free throws by James capped a 9-0 Laboral run, but Granger answered with a triple to tie it at 28-28. Jon Diebler followed with a corner triple for the guests and Dunston added a basket from close range to finish the half with Efes back in charge, 28-33.
Third quarter: Efes goes up 11, Laboral rallies
Laboral opened the third period with Hanga’s alley-oop dunk, but Diebler hit from downtown, and Heurtel scored a long jumper to extend the Efes lead to 30-38. Tillie knocked down a jumper for the hosts, but Brown’s three-point play made it 34-41. Tillie scored from close range, before Heurtel and James traded floaters at 38-43. Ogulcan Baykan had a reverse layup for Efes, and after James and Granger traded driving layups, Granger banked in an off-balanced runner. When Brown made a steal then raced for a stylish fastbreak dunk, Efes had its biggest lead, 40-51. After a timeout, Bourousis made free throws and Adams first buried a triple before making a steal that led to a fastbreak dunk from Blazic at 46-51. Bourousis's put-back dunk cut Laboral's deficit further before Heurtel made free throws and Alex Tyus made a big dunk in the lane. In the final seconds of the quarter, Granger scored for Efes, and Tillie beat the buzzer with a short baseline jumper that left Efes holding a 52-57 advantage.
Fourth quarter: Brown beats the buzzer, forces extra session
The fourth quarter started with Heurtel making a steal and layup-plus-free throw, but Causeur matched it with a triple. That inspired Laboral, as Adams scored a layup high off the glass and Blazic shot from way downtown for a 60-60 tie. After a timeout, Dunston made a monster dunk in the lane, but Bourousis hit Laboral’s third consecutive three-pointer, giving the hosts the lead back, 63-62. Efes regained the lead with a reverse layup from Diebler, but Bourousis tied it at 65-65 with a baseline dunk 6 minutes before the end of regulation. Brown and Heurtel made 5 of 5 free throws to give Efes some breathing room, and Brown knocked down a three-pointer, making it 67-73. After a timeout, Causeur hit a three-pointer for the hosts, then neither team scored a field goal for 2 minutes, 30 seconds before Bourousis made a layup, cutting it to 72-74 with 1:40 to play. Granger split free throws, before James hit a jumper for Laboral. Hanga immediately made a steal on the next inbound pass and dished it to Blazic for a layup and a 76-75 Laboral lead. Bourousis and Causeur each made two foul shots, capping a 13-3 run that had the hosts leeading 80-76 with only 19.9 seconds to go in the fourth. But Heurtel hit a triple, and after Causeur only split free throws, on the other end Brown made a tip-in just before the buzzer, sending the game to overtime, 81-81.
Overtime: Laboral holds on
In the extra session, Saric and Bourousis traded baskets first, but soon Heurtel’s triple made it 85-87 in favor of Efes. But Causuer answered with a three-point play, then Hanga made a driving reverse layup as the shot-clock was expiring. When James hit a runner, Laboral suddenly had its largest lead of the game, 92-87. Heurtel cut the deficit with a runner, and Cedi Osman split free throws. Efes made another defensive stand, and had the last possession to win it or force another overtime, but Osman’s three-point attempt was short, Bourousis corralled the rebound and Laboral celebrated its third consecutive win.
Thursday, November 5, 2015