2020-21PlayoffsGame 5
May 04, 2021 CET: 18:45
Local time: 19:45 SINAN ERDEM SPORTS HALL.

Efes edges Real to take series

Anadolu Efes Istanbul held off a feisty Real Madrid squad to clinch a spot at the 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Cologne, Germany. Efes won 88-83 on Tuesday at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall to take their best-of-five EuroLeague Playoffs series 3-2. The game was not decided until the final minute and featured six lead changes and five ties in the fourth quarter alone. Krunoslav Simon broke an 80-80 tie with a desperation three-pointer with 38.6 seconds remaining and after Sergio Llull missed from downtown on the next possession, Chris Singleton gathered the rebound, was fouled and made 2 free throws to all but clinch the victory. Singleton tied his career-high with 26 points and added 8 rebounds, Vasilije Micic scored 18 and dished 5 assists, Simon finished with 17 points and Shane Larkin scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter. Nicolas Laprovittola led the Real attack with 17 points, Trey Thompkins added 12 points and Jaycee Carroll and Llull scored 10 each.

Singleton, in his 200th career EuroLeague appearance, scored on Efes's first two possessions and Real's starting backcourt of Carlos Alocen and Carroll matched him. Efes had little trouble with Real's zone defense and a slam by Bryant Dunston made it 10-6. Threes by Alocen and Alberto Abalde helped Real to its first lead and an Alex Tyus slam made it 14-17. Walter Tavares came on for the first time since Game 1 and promptly grabbed a rebound on both ends, drew a foul and made free throws for an 18-21 edge after 10 minutes. Laprovittola and Singleton traded threes early in the second quarter. Then Rudy Fernandez and Simon did the same. A three by Micic gave the hosts a 29-27 edge. Thompkins heated up with a three-point play and a three-pointer as the visitors regained the lead 31-33. After Simon tied it, Llull beat the shot clock with a triple and Laprovittola added a three-point play to make it 33-39. After a three by Micic, Tavares's put-back gave Real a 36-41 halftime lead.

A three by Simon and free throws by Micic tied the game a little over a minute into the second half. After a three-point play by Carroll, Efes made its move. Micic and Rodrigue Beaubois each drained threes and Sertac Sanli scored twice in a 14-0 run that made it 55-44. Back-to-back threes by Thompkins got Real right back in it at 57-53. After a timeout, Singleton struck from deep, however free throws by Llull and Tavares trimmed the gap to 60-57 at the end of the third quarter. A three by Laprovittola and a dunk by Garuba tied the score at 62-62. Singleton and Shane Larkin made threes on consecutive possessions, but Garuba's put-back kept Real close and a three by Fernandez made it 68-69. Tibor Pleiss countered with a triple only to see Laprovittola end a three-chance Real possession with a three. The lead changed hands twice more on Larkin's free throws and Laprovittola's fifth three of the game. A hook shot by Pleiss tied it at 75-75 with 3 minutes to go. Larkin sent Efes ahead with a long three that prompted a Real timeout. Abalde's three from the top of the key tied it again. Simon beat the shot clock with a deep three with 38.6 remaining for an 83-80 advantage. Llull missed a three with 15 seconds left and Singleton hit a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game and all but wrap up the game and series.

Lineup changes

Efes used a different look from the start to attack the Real defenses with James Anderson and Chris Singleton starting for the first time all series, while Sertac Sanli, Krunoslav Simon and Adrien Moerman came off the bench for the first time. Real used the same starting lineup from its Game 4 victory: Carlos Alocen, Jaycee Carroll, Alberto Abalde, Usman Garuba and Alex Tyus.

Pivotal performer

Chris Singleton made his only start in the series and the 200th appearance of his EuroLeague career one to remember with one of his best-ever performances. Singleton tied a career-best with 26 points scored and set a career-high with a performance index rating of 38. He hardly left the floor, playing a game-high 37:25 minutes, and made 5 of 7 two-pointers, all 3 of his three-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws. Singleton also collected 8 rebounds, 1 steals and 1 block.

Pleiss production

Tibor Pleiss played sparingly in the first three games of the series and did not appear at all in Game 4. The big man came up aces in the fourth quarter when he played 9:22 minutes. Pleiss hit a go-ahead three-pointer and a game-tying hook on his only 2 shots of the game. He also made life difficult for Real's star center Walter Tavares.

Telling numbers

Efes's outstanding three-point shooting made the difference in such a close game. The hosts knocked down 14 of 29 triples (48.3%), including 5 of 8 in the fourth quarter. Real also made 14 threes, but needed 38 shots (36.8%) to do so.

A Dunston milestone

Bryant Dunston grabbed 2 offensive rebounds to snap a tie with Nikola Milutinov of CSKA Moscow and move into sole possession of seventh place in EuroLeague history with 466 career offensive rebounds. Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul is sixth with 477.

What's next?

Efes has advanced to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four and will face CSKA Moscow in the semifinals at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, on Friday, May 28. That game will be a rematch of the 2019 championship game. Real's EuroLeague season has come to an end and Coach Pablo Laso's men will now focus on the Spanish League.

Chris Singleton - Anadolu Efes Istanbul - EB20
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Attendance: 0 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul18182428
Real Madrid21201626
End of Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul18366088
Real Madrid21415783
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 LARKIN, SHANE 28:43 10   2/6 4/4 1 4 5 4   3     1 3 14
1 BEAUBOIS, RODRIGUE 21:07 5 1/3 1/3     3 3 1     1   4 1 3
2 SINGLETON, CHRIS 37:25 26 5/7 3/3 7/8   8 8   1   1   3 8 38
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 5:27                         1 1  
15 SANLI, SERTAC 17:57 4 2/4 0/2     3 3 2 1   1 1 1 3 8
18 MOERMAN, ADRIEN 2:35                   1     1   -2
19 TUNCER, BUGRAHAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 PLEISS, TIBOR 10:10 5 1/1 1/1     1 1     1     1 1 5
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 30:36 18 1/2 4/8 4/4   2 2 5 1 3     3 4 19
23 ANDERSON, JAMES 4:08                              
42 DUNSTON, BRYANT 11:53 3 1/3   1/2 2   2   2       4 2 2
44 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 29:59 17 3/6 3/6 2/2 1   1 3   1   1 1 1 13
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 88 14/26 14/29 18/20 5 23 28 15 5 9 3 2 20 24 103
        53.8% 48.3% 90%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 CAUSEUR, FABIEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 25:42 7 0/2 2/5 1/2 1 3 4 3   1     1 3 9
6 ABALDE, ALBERTO 23:39 6 0/1 2/5     4 4 4 1 2     3 1 7
7 TYUS, ALEX 9:31 2 1/2                   1 2 1 -1
8 LAPROVITTOLA, NICOLAS 21:04 17 2/3 4/7 1/1 1 2 3 4   1     3 4 20
12 ALOCEN, CARLOS 13:36 7 2/2 1/1     2 2 3   1     1   10
16 GARUBA, USMAN 25:34 4 2/2 0/3   3 4 7 1   1     2   6
20 CARROLL, JAYCEE 13:13 10 3/4 0/2 4/4           2   1 2 4 6
22 TAVARES, WALTER 22:51 8 2/4   4/4 3 4 7   3 3 2 1 5 3 12
23 LLULL, SERGIO 17:42 10 1/5 2/9 2/2 1 1 2 1 1       2 3 4
33 THOMPKINS, TREY 18:47 12 1/1 3/6 1/1   1 1     1     2 1 8
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 8:21         2 1 3           1   2
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 83 14/26 14/38 13/14 12 22 34 16 5 13 2 3 24 20 83
        53.8% 36.8% 92.9%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO

Head Coaches

Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"Great emotions for us. I believe that the last two seasons, we deserved to be there, in the Final Four, to fight for the cup, the EuroCup title that we lost last year. But big emotions. We lost in Madrid two games: shame for us, because we were up and dominated the games, but we lost in the last two minutes. And now, I think that tonight we played our worst game, but we had one excellent player, Chris Singleton. He was amazing; it was his career game in our team. And of course, congratulations to Real Madrid because I knew it would be very difficult to challenge them, because they have very experienced players and a very experienced coach. They hustled in all the games. They never gave up, also today they never gave up. We went up 12 points in the third quarter, and again they came back to lead the game by 1 or 2 points in the last 2 minutes. Finally, we found a way to score and to make a good defense, and now we will play the Final Four. We will fight for the title that we think we deserved the last two years. Now we will see what is going on in the Final Four, but I am very happy, very proud of my players that we will have this chance to fight one more time in the Final Four for the title."
Real Madrid
"First of all, I congratulate Efes on the victory. I wish them luck in the Final Four. Of course, they are a great team and they showed it in the playoffs. I don't have any other words but to congratulate them for the victory in the playoffs. About my team, I can only have good words for my players. They stayed in the playoffs from the first minute of the first two games. We were not able to compete, but we learned a lot during the playoffs. We grew as a group and I think my players deserve to be congratulated for the EuroLeague season that they played. I am very proud of them. I am very happy with the way my players fought the whole year to get to this point. Of course, I am not happy because when you lose a game like this, you are disappointed. But as a coach, I have to give them all the credit for the way they were competitive the whole year."


Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"I think we really felt, after the fourth game, big pressure, which probably sounds normal for everyone who watched from outside. But inside of us, we really fought with that pressure. But now the feeling is pretty good. I'm honestly empty. I don't have much to say, but the most important is that we won today."
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"I just wanted to win. Coach believed in me. He put me in the starting lineup. I just had to put my heart and my grit out there. I hit a couple of open shots. But I thank Shane [Larkin] and Vaso [Micic] for getting us here this far. I hope we can win a championship this year for Efes. We started off so bad. I remember one practice we had six people there. Everyone was hurt or something like that. And we just battled back the whole year. And now we're here. We're going to the Final Four. I think Shane was right. He said, 'Look at the end.' And here we are at the Final Four."
Real Madrid
"A week-and-a-half ago, after we lost two games here, we spoke together about intensity and attitude. And I think in these last three games, we've seen an unbeatable attitude in every way, from each of the players. I believe that we have to be very proud of our season and the playoffs we have played. This is sports, and sometimes when you most deserve the victory, you don't have the luck to achieve it. We now have to focus on resting and approaching the Spanish League, which is very important for us."