Efes uses balance to sink Maccabi
Anadolu Efes Istanbul picked up its third consecutive win by defeating the visiting Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 90-77 on Tuesday at Sinan Erdem Dome. Its fifth win in the last six games boosted Efes to a 6-2 record, good for at least a third-place tie, while Maccabi lost its fifth straight game to drop to 1-7. Efes took the lead for good early in the second quarter, pulling away to a double-digit margin and never allowing Maccabi to come closer than 4 points the rest of the way. The hosts had six players in double figures, with big men Tibor Pleiss and Bryant Dunston scoring 14 apiece. Johnny O'Bryant scored 19 in defeat.
The teams changed leads often early on. Maccabi scored 8 unanswered points, but Vasilije Micic hit a pair of triples, with the second one making it 14-10. Scottie Wilbekin and Alex Tyus connected on an alley-oop dunk to beat the buzzer and make it 16-14 after 10 minutes. Krunoslav Simon's triple sparked a 9-0 run early in the second quarter as Efes pulled away to lead 25-17. Five points from Rodrigue Beaubois, including a triple, helped Efes open a 36-24 lead, but DeAndre Kane cut into it by hitting a second-chance triple for a 38-31 halftime score. O'Bryant and Tarik Black got Maccabi within 42-38 before Efes answered with back-to-back triples from Simon and Beaubois at 48-38. After Dunston dunked twice, O'Bryant made back-to-back threes before assisting Tyus on a dunk at 55-48. Brock Motum's three-point play gave the hosts a 62-53 advantage after 30 minutes. Yovel Zoosman's triple to start the final quarter for Maccabi was answered by a pair of them from Motum. Pleiss added 2 close-range baskets to open a 14-point margin, 72-58, for Efes. Wilbekin hit a three-pointer for the visitors, but Shane Larkin had 5 points as the difference rose to 79-63. If there was any doubt left, Larkin's triple with 2:30 to go made it 86-69 as Efes cruised to victory.
Gone in 46 seconds
When Maccabi got within 42-38 after halftime, Efes needed just 46 seconds for Krunoslav Simon and Rodrigue Beaubois hit back-to-back threes for a double-digit advantage, 48-38. In the fourth, when Yovel Zoosman's triple cut the deficit to 62-56, Brock Motum did the same – 2 more triples in exactly 46 seconds – as the margin zoomed to 12 points and Maccabi never recovered again.
Movers and shakers
Six Efes players scored between 10 and 14 points. In addition to Bryant Dunston and Tibor Pleiss, who had 14 apiece, Vasilije Micic had 12 points and 8 assists, and Shane Larkin scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. Krunoslav Simon scored 11 and Rodrigue Beaubois 10. Johnny O'Bryant collected 19 points and 6 rebounds for Maccabi, and Scottie Wilbekin had 10 points and 7 assists. Alex Tyus contributed with 12 points, while DeAndre Kane scored 10 in the losing effort.
Efes center Bryant Dunston had 2 blocked shots took over second place all-time in the EuroLeague. He now has 196 blocks in 155 career Euroleague games. The only player ahead of him is Fran Vazquez with 249 blocks. Also, his 2 offensive rebounds moved Dunston moved into ninth place all-time in that category, with 348 for his career.
Did you notice?
Coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos made his debut on the bench of Maccabi. It was his first EuroLeague game as a head coach of a team not named Olympiacos Piraeus. Every player in his starting lineup had at least four starts so far this season, but it was also the first game sharpshooter Michael Roll did not start this season. Before this game Roll has started 35 of 36 EuroLeague games in Maccabi uniform.
Both teams will be in action already on Thursday In Round 9. Coach Sfairopoulos will have his first home game with Maccabi welcoming Fenerbahce Istanbul, while Efes stays at home for a city-derby against host Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018