Efes rolls to victory in Berlin
Anadolu Efes Istanbul captured its first road win of the season with a 63-90 triumph over ALBA Berlin at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Thursday night. The champs took control of the game with a 4-25 run in the second quarter to lead 35-51 at halftime and cruised the rest of the way in lifting their record to 3-6. It was Efes’s seventh consecutive victory over ALBA. Reigning MVP Vasilije Micic led the way with 19 points, 9 assists and 9 steals, Kruno Simon contributed 18 points and Tibor Pleiss had 16 points and 8 boards in his home country. Oscar da Silva led the home side with 13 points as ALBA fell to 3-6.
Luke Sikma opened the scoring with a put-back dunk and da Silva made it 0-4 with free throws after drawing the second foul from Efes’s starting center Bryant Dunston. His replacement, Pleiss, made an instant impact with a jumper and a couple of rebounds. Pleiss added another bucket on the offensive glass, but threes by Marcus Eriksson and Maodo Lo gave ALBA a 10-6 edge. Lo fed da Silva for an alley-oop dunk and a 16-10 lead, but the ALBA forward committed his second foul on the ensuing play and was replaced by Ben Lammers. Micic came in took charge with a layup, 2 free throws and an assist to Pleiss for the go-ahead basket. The center added a long jumper to cap a 0-9 run. Tamir Blatt tied it with a three-pointer and a wicked slam by Lammers gave the hosts a 21-20 edge after 10 minutes.
Lammers kept the momentum with a jumper for the first points of the second quarter, but Micic countered with a three to tie it at 23-23. Efes looked to pull away through a three-point play by Filip Petrusev and a triple by Micic. Pleiss and Simon each scored to make it 25-33. Sikma revived the ALBA attack with a layup, however, back-to-back threes by Adrien Moerman and Rodrigue Beaubois gave Efes a double-digit lead, 27-39. Micic fed Simon for a basket-plus-foul on the break and then wrapped up a 0-12 run with a three of his own. Johannes Thiemann ended a 2-minute scoring drought for ALBA with a slam that made it 29-45. The momentum remained with Efes as Simon’s free throws stretched the lead to 20. Lo drove for a layup and added free throws to trim the deficit to 35-51 at halftime.
Jaleen Smith cashed a steal in for a layup and da Silva buried a three for ALBA, but Shane Larkin got going with a triple and a layup to keep the visitors rolling. Petrusev padded the lead with a short jumper and free throws to make it 40-63. The margin reached 25 on a steal and layup from Micic. Malte Delow and Thiemann made free throws to bring the margin down to 20. A triple by Simon ended the third quarter with Efes in total control, 47-70.
ALBA continued to fight with Lammers sandwiching a slam and a jumper around a triple by Delow. Threes by Moerman and Beaubois kept Efes comfortably ahead. Da Silva dunked to make it 59-76 only to see a three by Moerman restore a 20-point cushion. Larkin converted a three-point play and Beaubois nailed a triple as the difference again reached 25. A slam by Pleiss in the final minute gave Efes its largest lead and the final score, 63-90.
Milestones in the Efes backcourt
Anadolu Efes Istanbul’s star guards Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin each achieved significant milestones during Thursday’s road win at ALBA Berlin. Micic, who entered the game with 1,990 career points in the EuroLeague, scored his 2,000th career point with a three-pointer 2 and a half minutes into the second quarter. He became the 45th player in competition history to reach that number. The next will likely be a tall teammate; center Tibor Pleiss scored his 1,998th career point in the final minute of the game. Larkin knocked down a triple early in the third quarter for his 300th career three-pointer. He became the 28th player to accomplish that feat.
ALBA gets contributions from up and down the lineup
Even when it was down big in the fourth quarter, the ALBA Berlin effort was on display with players drawing offensive fouls and giving full effort on the floor. All 12 players in uniform played at least 8 minutes and no one played more than 22. Eleven of them scored and 10 of them grabbed at least 1 rebound. Those kinds of contributions from up and down the lineup are what make ALBA a dangerous team and the reigning MVP, Vasilije Micic, took notice after the game. "I think they're a very good team," Micic said of ALBA. "I really like the way they play, the way every player contributes and that was very important tonight to stop all of their players, because they don't change the rhythm no matter who's on the court."
By the numbers: Efes shot well from all over
Anadolu Efes Istanbul made it look easy against ALBA Berlin on Thursday with its excellent shooting. The visitors made 19 of 31 two-pointers (61.3%), 12 of 29 three-pointers (41.4%) and 16 of 19 free throws (84.2%). Not only were all three numbers markedly better than Efes’s season averages, but they were also much higher than ALBA’s. The hosts made 48.5% of their twos, 23.1% of threes and 72.2% of free throws. Efes also outrebounded ALBA 29-38. Even though they had similar numbers of turnovers (14 for ALBA and 13 for Efes), the visitors scored 20 points off turnovers, which was twice as many as the home team.
Thursday, November 11, 2021