Larkin leads Efes in blowout of Zvezda
Anadolu Efes Istanbul scored its fifth consecutive victory over Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade with an 86-72 victory on Tuesday evening at Sinan Erdem Dome. Shane Larkin matched his season-high with 23 points as Efes lifted its record to 12-10. Vasilije Micic added 13 points, Sertac Sanli scored 12, Rodrigue Beaubois 11 and Krunoslav Simon paired 10 points with 6 assists. Ognjen Dobric and Dejan Davidovac scored 12 apiece for Zvezda, whose record fell to 7-15 with its fourth loss in its last five games. Duop Reath added 10 points for the visitors, who lost leading scorer Jordan Loyd to injury in the second quarter.
Adrien Moerman and Simon knocked down back-to-back-three-pointers and Sertac Sanli added free throws and another triple in a 12-0 run that saw the hosts take control at 14-3. Threes by Marko Jagodoc-Kuridza and Loyd got Zvezda going, however, Efes continued to pad its lead, which reached 22-8 on a short jumper by Micic. Despite baskets by Loyd and Reath, the lead reached 29-13 after 10 minutes on a basket by Dogus Balbay. Langston Hall drove for a three-point play and Dobric added a triple before Coach Ataman called timeout early in the second quarter. A hook shot by Landry Nnoko made it 29-21. Back-to-back threes by Larkin got Efes rolling again. Larkin and Sanli teamed up for all the points on a 12-1 run to make it 41-22. The lead reached the 20s after a steal and layup by Larkin. Loyd limped off holding his left leg after taking a spill when fouled with 4 minutes left in the half. Zvezda managed to trim the deficit to 14, but Micic and Larkin each hit his third triple of the half to secure a 56-35 advantage at the break.
Sanli became the fourth Efes scorer in double figures early in the third quarter. Davidovac heated up for Zvezda and Reath and Branko Lazic buried threes, but Efes always seemed to have an answer. Larkin scored from downtown and fed Bryant Dunston for an alley-oop slam that made it 75-52 through three quarters. Zvezda continue to fight in the fourth, but the outcome became clear. Dunston scored frequently inside. A late flurry by Davidovac led a 0-8 Zvezda run that closed the gap to 12 before Adrien Moerman scored that game's final basket.
Shane Larkin scored 23 off the bench for Efes to fuel the home team. He did not miss on 3 two-point tries, shot 5 for 8 on threes and made both if his free throws. Larkin also had 3 steals, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in compiling a performance index rating of 24.
Efes simply outplayed Zvezda in nearly every major stat. The hosts outshot the visitors on two-pointers (70.4%-63.0%) and threes (45.2%-34.4%) and both differences were much higher before Efes eased up in the fourth quarter. Efes also won the battle of the boards 33-27 and scored 17 second-chance points to Zvezda's 7.
Loyd leaves with injury
Jordan Loyd limped off holding his left leg after taking a spill when fouled with 4 minutes left in the half. Zvezda's top scorer did not return to the court.
Zvezda returns home for its next game on Friday, January 29 against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Efes will have more than a week off before it faces FC Barcelona in Round 24.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021