Beaubois lifts Efes over Maccabi
Rodrigue Beaubois turned in a career night in lifting Anadolu Efes Istanbul to a come-from-behind 91-89 victory over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Thursday night at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall. Beaubois scored the go-ahead layup for Efes in the final minute and blocked Scottie Wilbekin's last-second three-point attempt that would have won it for the Israeli champs. He finished with 23 points and a career-high 7 assists, plus 3 steals and 2 blocks in compiling a personal-best performance index rating of 36. Tibor Pleiss posted 20 points and 9 rebounds, Adrien Moerman added 17 points and Krunoslav Simon 13 in lifting Efes to 3-3 on the season. Maccabi dropped its second straight game in falling to 2-5. Elijah Bryant paced the visitors' attack with 22 points, Scottie Wilbekin scored 15, Tyler Dorsey 14 and Ante Zizic had 10 points.
Efes took charge at the start with consecutive threes by Moerman, Vasilije Micic and Pleiss. Erten Gazi – making his first career start – took a steal in for a layup to cap an 11-0 start, which prompted a Maccabi timeout. Bryant knocked down a three to get Maccabi on the scoreboard after 3 minutes. The visitors roared back with Bryant sandwiching a pair of threes around a four-point play from Angelo Caloiaro. Chris Jones came off the bench to drill a go-ahead jumper and Dorsey capped a 0-10 run with a three to make it 18-22. After Beaubois tied it, Jones put Maccabi ahead 22-24 after 10 minutes. Pleiss scored on three consecutive possessions to push Efes back in front. Beaubois heated up before Pleiss's second triple of the night stretched the margin to 41-32. Back-to-back threes by Wilbekin kept Maccabi close and a third minutes later made it 44-43. Bryant sank a three in the final second of the half to give Maccabi a 49-50 edge at the break.
Bryant scored the first two baskets of the second half and Zizic added free throws to put Maccabi up 7. Beaubois and Micic kept the hosts within striking distance. Zizic took charge for Maccabi in the paint, but three-pointers proved to be the shot of choice for both teams with Adrien Moerman and Beaubois connecting on one end and Dorsey and Caloiaro on the other. Bryant continued to shine in lifting Maccabi to an 8-point advantage. Micic made a jumper in the lane to draw Efes within 67-72 at the end of the third quarter. James Anderson twice got Efes within 2 before a Moerman got going with a layup and a triple for an 80-78 Efes lead. After a timeout, Wilbekin responded with a pair of threes, but a three-point play by Simon made it 85-84 with less than 4 minutes to play. The lead switched hand again on a three from Oz Blayzer. Free throws by Beaubois tied the game at 87-87 with 2 minutes to play. Pleiss hit a long jumper with 53 seconds on the clock to put Efes in front. Zizic dunked to tie it before Beaubois scored what would prove to be the winning layup. Maccabi had a chance to win it on the buzzer, however, Beaubois capped a career night by blocking Wilbekin's shot.
Efes was missing three key players, including star point guard Shane Larkin. Rodrigue Beaubois stepped seamlessly into his role with 22 points, a career-high 7 assists, 3 assists and 2 blocks. He was perfect on 5 two-point shots – including the game-winning layup in the final minute. Beaubois shot 3 for 5 on three-pointers and made all 4 of his free throws. His second blocked shot came in the game's final seconds and clinched the victory. Beaubois amassed a career-high PIR of 36. His previous best was 30 against Khimki Moscow Region in October 2018.
Pivotal player II
Tibor Pleiss's participation was in question before the game because of a sprained ankle. He decided to give it a try, since the team was without its other two centers, and wound up spending a career-high 32:24 on the floor. Pleiss produced 20 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists, without which Efes would surely have been in trouble.
Turnovers were a big part of the game in many ways. Maccabi's 17 turnovers were 4 more than Efes committed. Not only are those 4 extra possessions immense in a game decided by 2 points, but what was done with those turnovers was even more important. Efes scored 24 points off of turnovers, while Maccabi got just 15.
Maccabi will look to bounce back in Round 8 when it hosts Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday, November 12. Efes will visit Greece the next day to take on Panathinaikos OPAP Athens.
Thursday, November 5, 2020