Micic, Larkin lead Efes to victory in Piraeus
Anadolu Efes Istanbul blasted past Olympiacos Piraeus with a resounding 67-86 victory at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Thursday evening. The result boosted Efes's record to 5-2 and bumped the Reds down to 2-5. The opening stages were evenly contested but Efes surged ahead in the second quarter and never looked back, establishing a double-digit advantage that was only briefly threatened early in the final quarter. The visiting team’s star guards shined once again, with Vasilije Micic registering 27 points while Shane Larkin added 24. Micic made 5 of 6 three-point attempts and Larkin converted 7 of his 8 field goal attempts. Rodrigue Beaubois added 10 points, while Bryant Dunston was dominant inside with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Nikola Milutinov recorded a double-double for Olympiacos with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Brandon Paul led the scoring for the home team with 15 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting and Georgios Printezis added 14 points in defeat.
A pair of Milutinov dunks and a triple from Paul gave Olympiacos an early lead, but consecutive three-pointers from Micic gave Efes its first lead, 9-10. A deep strike and a hook shot from Printezis got the host back ahead and Augustine Rubit and Will Cherry netted from close range before Taylor Rochestie converted a four-point play on the buzzer to make it 24-21 after 10 minutes. A classy drive and layup from Larkin opened the second-quarter scoring and a trio of baskets from Dunston highlighted runs of 1-8 and 0-7 to send Efes ahead 28-36. The red-hot Micic kept the visiting team on track and Larkin scored two layups for a 33-42 lead. Micic’s triple and a tough layup from James Anderson were followed by a driving score from Micic, making it 35-53 at halftime. Antonios Koniaris from long-range and Printezis with a three-point play gave Olympiacos hope at the start of the second half. Kevin Punter’s fastbreak score completed an 8-1 run, but Micic and Larkin responded to protect Efes’s advantage. Paul twice scored from deep, including an improbable buzzer-beater, to make it 58-67 at the end of the third. Paul struck another three-pointer early in the fourth, but Micic restored Efes’s double-digit lead from long range and then nailed a dagger from deep for a 63-76 lead midway through the quarter. Larkin added another three-pointer and a fastbreak layup to keep the visitors safe and Efes cruised the rest of the way.
Micic back in the groove
After going 0-of-6 from three-point range in a total of 6 points in last week’s loss at Panathinaikos, Vasilije Micic rediscovered his mojo. The dynamic guard scored 10 points in the first quarter alone and stayed red-hot to advance to 19 points by halftime. He couldn’t maintain that pace, but ended with a career-high 27 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting.
Record-breaking second quarter sparks Efes
The key to the victory was a record-breaking second quarter. Olympiacos was leading by 3 points after 10 minutes but then Efes became unstoppable with Micic, Shane Larkin and Bryant Dunston all on fire as the visiting team enjoyed an 11-32 edge in the period – the biggest-ever second-quarter margin suffered by Olympiacos at home.
Turnovers haunt Olympiacos
The biggest problem for the home team, especially in the first half, was carelessness with the ball. Olympiacos committed 11 turnovers before halftime to give Efes plenty of extra possessions. The home team improved in that respect to finish with 16 turnovers, but the damage was done.
Dunston makes rebounding milestone
Veteran big man Dunston reached a personal milestone in this victory, with his haul of 8 rebounds taking him beyond a career tally of 1,000. Dunston – who started his EuroLeague career with Olympiacos in 2013 – now has 1,004 rebounds, 15th on the all-time list.
Efes returns home in Round 8 to welcome Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday, while Olympiacos stays in Piraeus for a home meeting with Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday.
Thursday, November 7, 2019