Bayern remain force at home with win over Efes
Bayern Munich continued its strong play at home this season by fending off Anadolu Efes Istanbul 83-71 for its fourth straight win at Audi Dome. The game, which was played without fans due to state restrictions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, was tight until Bayern went up 10 points early in the second half. Efes came back to take the lead only to see the hosts reclaim a double-digit lead with 3 minutes to play and improve to 7-7 overall and 5-2 at home. Vladimir Lucic collected 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win for Bayern, which was playing without the injured Darrun Hilliard. Augustine Rubit and DeShaun Thomas both scored 18 points as well with Othello Hunter chipping in 10 points. Efes dropped its second straight game to fall to 6-8. Rodrigue Beaubois and Shane Larkin both scored 18 points while Bryant Dunston had 13 points and Vasilije Micic added 12 points.
Corey Walden opened the game with a three-pointer for the hosts while Efes went inside to Tibor Pleiss. A second Walden triple helped push Bayern’s lead early to 10-4. Efes answered with 8 straight points - 5 from Beaubois to move ahead for the first time 10-12. Bayern punched back with a Thomas triple and dunks from Rubit and Lucic to lead 17-13. That duo combined for 10 more points to offset three-pointers from Beaubois and Filip Petrusev and Bayern led 27-23 after 10 minutes.
Hunter’s free throws to start the second quarter increased the hosts’ lead to 29-23. Efes’s dynamic duo started heating up as Larkin had 5 points and Micic gave the guests the lead 29-30. Lucic responded with a triple as Bayern went up 34-30 only to see Micic and Larkin score to even it 34-34. Lucic and Rubit however combined for 5 points in a 10-2 run for a 44-36 advantage, with the score 44-38 at the break.
After Beaubois’s free throw opened the second half, Lucic hit another triple and Thomas drained a tough jumper to give Bayern its first double-digit lead 49-39. Efes was not impressed with Dunston scoring twice followed by a Beaubois triple and Larkin three-point play to pull within 51-49. Bayern’s lead was gone with Beaubois’s next three-pointer to make it 55-56. Bayern’s bigs Thomas and Hunter put the hosts back ahead only to see Beaubois once again hit from deep and it was 59-61. Bayern got a big triple off the bench from Ognjen Jaramaz to put Bayern up 66-62. The score was 66-64 after 30 minutes.
Jaramaz threw down a dunk to start the final frame and Larkin answered with 2 free throws after nearly 2 minutes of action. Thomas followed with a three-pointer for Bayern and Rubit’s jumper made it 73-66 with 6 minutes to play. Jaramaz continued his strong showing with a block and long jumper to extend the lead to 75-66 with 4 minutes remaining. Bayern had reclaimed its double-digit lead on Thomas’s basket for a 77-67 lead with 3 minutes left. Efes had cut the gap to 77-71, but Jaramaz came in with a gliding layup to secure the win.
Bayern bigs step up big
Bayern received great production from their inside players as Augustine Rubit and DeShaun Thomas both scored 18 points and Othello Hunter added 10 points and 7 rebounds. The Bayern big men also were very effective, combining for 19-of-28 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line. “We didn’t have an answer with our bigs,” said Efes head coach Ergin Ataman. They also helped defend the Efes guards and Vladimir Lucic stepped up to grab a career-high 12 rebounds as the bigs were pulled away from the basket.
Dunston help not enough
Anadolu Efes Istanbul’s guards made some tough shots, but they didn’t get enough help from the rest of the team. One player who did provide some assistance was veteran big man Bryant Dunston, who scored 13 points to go with 5 rebounds, 1 block and 6 fouls drawn for an index rating of 19. He set season-highs in points, rebounds and PIR; the last time he topped 13 points and 19 PIR came in Round 31 last season, when Dunston collected 15 points and a 20 PIR against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens.
Efficiency the key for Bayern
Bayern only forced 7 Efes turnovers but held the opposing sharpshooters to just 26.9% on three-pointers. Bayern dished 21 assists and shot a blistering 64.9% on two-pointers. The hosts also took the second-chance points count 10-2 and converted 14 of 16 free throws while Efes missed 7 foul shots. All told, Bayern did a great job defensively, holding Efes to just 71 points, which was 12.1 points lower than its average. The 71 points allowed was also lower than Bayern’s average for opponents, coming into the game giving up 75.2 points a game.
Thursday, December 9, 2021