Efes dominates CSKA for 6th straight win
Anadolu Efes Istanbul remained one of the hottest teams in the EuroLeague with a 100-70 domination of CSKA Moscow at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall on Thursday. Vasilije Micic collected 21 points for Efes, which won its sixth straight game and its ninth in its last 10 to improve to 17-10. Sertac Sanli scored 14 points, Chris Singleton had 12 and Shane Larkin, Rodrigue Beaubois and Krunoslav Simon netted 11 in what was just the second Efes win in the last 13 matchups with CSKA - including the 2019 championship game. CSKA, which had won the first game against Efes this season at home by 35 points, dropped to 18-9 despite Toko Shengelia scoring 14 points and Johannes Voigtmann chipping in 10 points.
Sanli opened the game with a dunk and it was 4-0 before Joel Bolomboy got CSKA on the board. Beaubois added a second layup and Sanli and Micic both hit three-pointers as the hosts went up 15-4. Despite a third dunk by Bolomboy, Efes did not let up with Adrien Moerman scoring six points in a 10-0 surge to build a 25-6 advantage. A Singleton triple gave Efes a 20-point lead. Daniel Hackett hit from deep to get CSKA within 31-13 after 10 minutes. Efes continued the onslaught in the second quarter with James Anderson and Larkin hitting three-pointers to book-end a 12-2 start and a 43-15 margin. Two Singleton foul shots extended the cushion to 30 points. CSKA finally started to produce a bit more efficiently on offense with 5 points from Shengelia, but Efes was still rolling 55-28 at the break.
Hackett opened the second half for the visitors with Sanli answering with a dunk. Larkin and Micic both had 2 free throws after a foul and ejection of Hackett to get the lead to 61-32. Iffe Lundberg came on for Hackett and scored 5 points and Mike James scored his only 5 points of the game, but CSKA was still down 67-42. Efes kept CSKA scoreless for more than 3 minutes and Beaubois made it 73-42. The advantage was 75-45 after 30 minutes. After Bryant Dunston’s three-point play opened the final frame, CSKA put together a run of 2-13 with 2 three-pointers from Voigtmann and a triple from Darrun Hilliard to pull within 80-58. Efes just did not stop though as Singleton, Micic, Simon and Larkin all drained three-pointers and the margin grew to 97-64. Efes tried to avenge the 35-point loss from earlier this season it had to settle for a 30-point win.
Historic futility for CSKA
CSKA’s first-quarter deficit of 18 points (31-13) was the worst ever recorded by the club in a EuroLeague quarter. The previous worst had been 17 points in the third-place game at the 2003-04 Final Four against Montepaschi Siena. CSKA trailed by 27 points at halftime, setting another low mark as the club’s previous worst difference at halftime was 23 points.
Leading scorer James held in check
The league’s leading scorer Mike James was held in check by Efes as the CSKA guard was held to just 5 points on 1-of-9 field goal shooting and 2-of-2 on free throws. He had scored in double figures in his last 18 games and 48 of the last 49.
Efes shot a blistering 74.2% on two-pointers while forcing CSKA into 19 turnovers. Efes also held the guests to just 28.6% efficieny from long range.
CSKA will play at home again after four straight road games with a home date against AX Armani Exchange Milan on Thursday, March 11. Efes will remain at home for its third straight game in Istanbul when it hosts Zalgiris Kaunas the next day.
Thursday, March 4, 2021