Barcelona rallies past Efes at home
FC Barcelona Lassa grabbed its second consecutive win by topping Anadolu Efes Istanbul 80-65 at Palau Blaugrana on Thursday. Barcelona improved to 8-7 and finished the first half of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season in the playoffs zone, just like Efes, which dropped to 9-6 and a share of fourth place. Barcelona trailed by as many as 17 in the first half, but dominated the second 41-15 to snatch the victory. Pierre Oriola led the winners with 14 points, Chris Singleton and Kevin Seraphin each added 13 and Adam Hanga scored 10 for Barcelona. Brock Motum paced Efes with 13 points and Vasilije Micic had 11 in defeat.
Singleton struck from downtown and Hanga added a fast break slam, but Rodrigue Beaubois quickly tied the game at 5-5. James Anderson and Pau Ribas joined the three-point shootout and so did Micic and Adrien Moerman to put Efes ahead, 10-16. Beaubois hit another triple off a Barcelona timeout and Micic scored in penetration, but Hanga highhandedly kept Barcelona within 19-21. Singleton dunked off a steal, but Shane Larkin and Motum did better with respective three-pointers. A turnaround jumper by Motum fixed the score at 23-29 after 10 minutes. Larkin hit a jumper and Motum added a floater for a 24-33 Efes margin early in the second quarter. A jumper by Micic and a dunk by Dunston caused the hosts to stop the game at 25-37. Motum capped a 2-18 run with a bomb from downtown that made it a 17-point game. Oriola had 5 points in a 7-0 run that Micic stopped with his second triple. Motum scored again and a three-pointer by Singleton prompted Efes to call timeout at 37-48. Close baskets by Anderson and Singleton fixed the halftime score at 39-50. Victor Claver downed a three-pointer soon after the break and consecutive layups by Oriola brought Barcelona back in the game, 46-50, after a 7-0 run. Larkin scored in penetration, but a red-hot Oriola did better with a triple and Claver added a layup. A big basket by Seraphin completed the hosts' comeback, 56-55. Ribas buried a stop-and-pop jumper and a dunk by Tibor Pleiss brought Efes within 59-57 after 30 minutes. Seraphin hit a jump hook and Kevin Pangos added a triple for a 5-point Barcelona margin. Thomas Heurtel took over with a coast-to-coast layup, fed Seraphin for a huge dunk and buried a three-pointer that made it a double-digit game, 71-61. By the time Seraphin beat the shot clock with a jump hook, the game appeared in hand as the Barcelona fans began celebrating their team's come-from-behind win with time to spare.
Oriola had a key role in Barcelona's comeback, leading an early second-half run that put Barcelona on the right track. He finished the game with 14 points on excellent shooting: 3 of 5 two-point shots, 2 of 2 three-pointers, 2 of 3 free throws – and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes.
Efes led 37-50 near halftime but Barcelona only allowed 4 points in the next eight minutes. Meanwhile, Oriola, Ribas and Claver led a 16-3 run that tied the game, 53-53. Once the game was balanced, Barcelona kept its momentum going to win the game.
Barcelona's defense made the difference in the second half. Efes shot 11 of 18 on two-pointers (61.1%) and 9 of 16 on threes (56.3%), had 13 assists and 50 points in the first half. It was limited to just 5 of 12 two-point shots (41.7%), 0 of 13 from downtown (0%), 15 points and 5 assists after the break.
Did you notice?
Six different Efes players struck from beyond the arc in the first quarter - Beaubois, Larkin, Motum, Micic, Anderson and Moerman. However, no Efes player hit a three-point shot in the entire second half. Efes made 7 of its first 8 attempts from downtown and just 2 of the next 21.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action next week. Efes hosts FC Bayern Munich on Thursday. A day later, Barcelona hosts Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul.
Thursday, December 27, 2018