Micic leads Efes past Bayern
Anadolu Efes Istanbul opened the regular season's second half in style by downing FC Bayern Munich 92-77 at home on Thursday. Efes improved to 10-6 and remained fourth in the regular season standings while Bayern dropped to 8-8, joining a pack of teams fighting to stay in the playoff zone. Vasilije Micic paced the winners with 20 points, James Anderson and Bryant Dunston each had 16 and Adrien Moerman scored 14 for Efes. Vladimir Lucic led Bayern with 14 points and Nihad Dedovic added 13.
Micic got Efes going with a driving layup and Dunston scored twice in the paint for a 6-2 lead. Dedovic struck from downtown and Leon Radocevic added a backdoor layup, but Krunoslav Simon and Micic kept Efes ahead, 10-7. Petteri Koponen and Lucic each hit a triple only to see Dunston follow a layup with a dunk. Micic struck twice from beyond the arc for a 20-13 Efes lead. Lucic and Micic traded three-pointers, but Motum and Dunston helped Efes to a 27-18 lead after 10 minutes. Moerman and Derrick Williams traded baskets early in the second quarter and a corner triple by Anderson made it a double-digit game, 32-20. A jumper by Tibor Pleiss soon caused Bayern to call timeout at 36-22. Danilo Barthel and Maodo Lo tried to change things for the visitors, but Efes kept scoring fluently and a layup by Simon made it a 16-point game. Braydon Hobbs hit a triple and Lucic added an up-and-under layup, but Micic singlehandedly kept Efes way ahead, 48-34. Pleiss followed a three-pointer with a layup to give the hosts a 55-36 margin at halftime. Lo and Radosevic stepped up for Bayern after the break and free throws by Lucic gave Bayern hope at 57-42. Williams followed a dunk with a three-pointer, but Simon answered from downtown to make it 60-46. Koponen and Nemanja Dangubic tried to bring Bayern closer, but they didn't find help. Moerman and Shane Larkin restored a 70-54 Efes lead after 30 minutes. Dangubic took over with a four-point play early in the fourth quarter. Anderson answered with an off-balance three-point play and free throws for a 75-58 score. Back-to-back three-pointers by Dedovic and Lucic brought Efes within single digits, 77-68, with less than 6 minutes left. Moerman beat the shot clock with a big three-pointer, but Dedovic did better with 5 unanswered points and Williams added a layup that made it 82-75 with 2 minutes left. Moerman sealed the outcome with another triple, as Bayern did not recover.
Micic did everything right, scoring 13 points with no missed shots in the opening 8 minutes to make the difference against his former team. He finished the game with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 5 fouls drawn, good for a career-high PIR of 29.
Efes had already built a double-digit lead late in the first half, 43-32, but Micic and Pleiss each struck from beyond the arc in a 10-2 run. When Micic found Pleiss for a layup, Efes led 55-36 seconds before halftime. Bayern kept trying, but never came back after the break.
Efes's offense was close to perfection in the first half, hitting 14 of 16 two-point shots (87.5%) and making 7 of 12 shots from downtown (58.3%). It had 15 assists and just 4 turnovers compared to Bayern's 8 assists and 8 turnovers. The team PIR difference said it all at halftime: 76-31.
Did you notice?
Bayern is allowing 80.8 points per game in the 2018-19 EuroLeague, but gave up 91 against Efes. At the same time, Bayern averages 80.3 points this season, but just 74 in two games against Efes.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague next week. Efes visits Zalgiris Kaunas on Tuesday. Bayern faces Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Wednesday in the Greek capital.
Thursday, January 3, 2019