Efes rolls Baskonia for fifth straight win
Anadolu Efes Istanbul extended its winning streak to five games by topping KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz by 96-85 on Friday. Efes is now 8-2 and tied for at least third place with Real Madrid, its next opponent. Baskonia dropped to 3-7. Vasilije Micic and Brock Motum led six double-figure scorers for Efes with 16 points each. Rodrigue Beaubois had 14, Dogus Balbay 11, Adrien Moerman and Bryant Dunston 10 each. Matt Janning was the game's top scorer with 20 points for Baskonia, while Johannes Voigtmann and Darrun Hilliard both had a season-high 15 and Jason Granger scored 10.
Dunston and James Anderson shared 9 points and Micic hit a layup for a quick 14-6 Efes edge. Moerman supplied the first double-digit lead but Granger's second shot from downtown cut the difference to 25-17 after 10 minutes. Tornike Shengelia's triples kept Efes from escaping until Hilliard's running hook shot and three-pointer suddenly put Baskonia in front, 36-37. The lead went back and forth until halftime, when Micic's second basket in a row made it 44-42 for Efes. The lead see-sawed through a flurry of three-pointers after the break until Krunoslav Simon's 5 points in a row made it 57-50, but Voigtmann exploded for 8 points in less than 2 minutes for a 59-60 Baskonia advantage. Balbay answered with 5 in a row as Efes restored a 75-67 lead after three quarters. Baskonia got as close as 84-78 before Micic shot from deep for an 88-78 lead. Janning's fourth triple helped Baskonia get within 90-85 before Micic's layup and free throws by Motum sealed the deal entering the final minute.
Its fifth victory in a row marks the longest such streak for Efes since the team won seven straight from Round 2 through Round 8 of the Top 16 in 2013. With this victory, Efes also surpassed its win total from all of last season, when it finished last at 7-23.
Historic tie broken
Efes and Baskonia entered the game with an 8-8 record against each other since 2000, including six of the previous eight games decided by five points or less. After they had split road wins last season, Efes took the series lead at home and left no doubt which team is on better form this season.
Besides the fact that Ergin Ataman of Efes was going against the coach he replaced, Velimir Perasovic, the game had a lot of cross-overs players between the teams, several of whom played well. Former Efes players Matt Janning and Jayson Granger combined for 30 points, 10 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals for Baskonia. Former Baskonia players Rodrigue Beaubois, Tibor Pleiss and Shane Larkin compiled less numbers – 18 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals – but they got the win.
Denial by Dunston
Bryant Dunston became the second player in EuroLeague history to record 200 blocks with his second of the game, blasting Darrun Hilliard's shot off the backboard in the second quarter. Only Fran Vazquez, with 249, has blocked more shots than Dunston's 200.
Efes stays at home in Round 11 to try for its first regular season victory against Real Madrid in more than four years. Baskonia will host a team accustomed to its perch at the top of the standings, CSKA Moscow.
Friday, November 30, 2018