Efes showed no mercy against ASVEL
Anadolu Efes Istanbul pulled out a valuable win at the Astroballe by beating LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 80-102 on Friday night. The visitors started strong on a 7-18 opening run and amassed a 20-point halftime lead that was never jeopardized. Efes got its sixth win on the road this season to improve to 9-9, while ASVEL dropped to 5-12. The winners were paced by Vasilije Micic, who posted 23 points and 9 assists. James Anderson tallied a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Shane Larkin (16), Chris Singleton (16) and Bryant Dunston (14) also scored in double figures. Norris Cole recorded 22 points in 21 minutes for ASVEL, as Allerik Freeman and Charles Kahudi netted 11 points apiece on the losing side.
The visitors started at full throttle fueled by the duo of Dunston and Singleton, who combined for 14 points to build an early 7-18 lead. Freeman showed up for ASVEL and scored the next 8 points for his team, including a pair of threes, but Efes remained in full control as Dunston and Singleton kept contributing and Micic joined in from the line to close the first period with a solid advantage, 15-29. Larkin and Rodrigue Beaubois added triples to open the second quarter, preceding an unsportsmanlike foul called on Matthew Strazel that Larkin and Micic turned into 4 points for a 20-point margin, 19-39. The hosts found some offensive rhythm thanks to Cole but couldn’t step up defensively as Anderson took over to help Efes keep a comfortable advantage, 34-54, at halftime.
Back-to-back triples by Kahudi reduced the gap to 47-62 after the break, but Micic took the reins on offense to first assist Singleton and Dunston, then add a trey and a reverse layup to make it 50-71 midway through the third quarter. The hosts kept trying from outside, but each attempt at a rally was soon aborted by the all-round contribution from Micic. Five points in a row by Beaubois allowed Efes to enter the last period firmly in front, 59-82. A 7-0 run capped by a three-point play by Freeman brought ASVEL closer, but that was quickly answered by inside baskets from Sertac Sanli and a corner three by Larkin that made it 68-89 with 6 minutes to go. A three-pointer by Cole soon after became the last try for ASVEL, as a four-point play by Micic sparked a 0-9 run that made it 71-99 to put the game on ice.
Vasilije Micic was dominant on offense, scoring in double-figures for the sixth consecutive game and contributing to his team in several aspects. He provided 23 points, 9 assists and 5 steals, good for a career-high PIR of 35.
Anadolu Efes put on a terrific defensive effort, especially in the first half, to prevent ASVEL from getting comfortable. The Turkish team forced 13 turnovers - 10 in the first two periods - that turned into 25 points, making the difference.
Six out of six
The visitors are now 6-0 against ASVEL in games this century, including a 72-68 home win in a rescheduled Round 5 game less than a month ago. This victory is also the sixth on the road for Efes this season.
Did you know?
Anadolu Efes passed the 100-point mark for the second time this season but fell short of reaching the 105 points it scored against Khimki Moscow Region in Round 10. Both triple-digit offensive performances have come in road games, as Efes’ best scoring at home this season is 91.
In Round 19 Efes will return home to take on ALBA Berlin on Tuesday, January 12, while ASVEL travels to Greece to face Panathinaikos OPAP Athens the day after.
Friday, January 8, 2021