2019-20Regular SeasonRound 24
February 06, 2020 CET: 18:30
Local time: 20:30 SINAN ERDEM SPORTS HALL.

Larkin, Micic lead Efes past Zalgiris

Anadolu Efes Istanbul grabbed its ninth consecutive win in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 96-91 at Sinan Erdem Dome on Thursday. Efes improved to 21-3 in the standings and could become the first team to qualify to the playoffs if Friday's results go its way. Zalgiris dropped to 9-15 and saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. Shane Larkin led the winners with 25 points, all in the second half. Vasilije Micic added 22, while Tibor Pleiss and Krunoslav Simon each had 15 for Efes. Zach LeDay paced Zalgiris with 22 points, K.C. Rivers added 20, Edgaras Ulanovas 12 and Nigel Hayes 11. Zalgiris shot well from downtown all game to lead 56-65 late in the third quarter. Larkin led a 7-0 run that brought Efes within 63-65 entering the fourth and Rodrigue Beaubois, Simon and Larkin stepped up in crunch time to win it for Efes.

Ulanovas and Thomas Walkup each struck from downtown to get Zalgiris going. Hayes added a jumper to cap an 0-8 opening run before Pleiss stepped up with a put-back layup. Simon hit a floater that Martinas Geben erased with a layup. Larkin started to get his teammates involved, finding Micic for a three-pointer and Pleiss for a jumper. Arturas Milaknis buried a triple, but Simon scored again and Pleiss added a three-point play to give the hosts their first lead, 14-13. Hayes and Micic exchanged triples before Geben dunked for a 17-18 Zalgiris lead. Micic scored in penetration, but Lukas Lekavicius kept Zalgiris ahead, 19-20, after 10 minutes. Micic and Chris Singleton hit consecutive three-pointers early in the second quarter, causing the visitors to call timeout at 25-20. Lekavicius answered from downtown and fed LeDay for a dunk to tie it at 25-25. Beaubois rescued Efes with back-to-back bombs from beyond the arc and Singleton hit a jumper, but Zalgiris did not panic. Rivers nailed three consecutive triples and got help from Walkup and LeDay to give the visitors a 35-40 margin. Micic stepped up with a layup-plus-foul and Pleiss hit a jumper for a 40-40 tie, but a red-hot Rivers downed another three-pointer for a 40-43 Zalgiris lead at halftime.

Hayes struck from downtown immediately after the break and Ulanovas added a driving basket to boost his team's lead to 42-48. Pleiss downed a jump hook and Larkin found his first points in a 6-0 run that Micic capped with a jumper that tied it at 48-48. Ulanovas and Hayes each nailed one from beyond the arc to give Zalgiris fresh air at 50-54. Pleiss and LeDay traded layups and then Ulanovas downed a running hook, which caused Efes to stop the game at 52-58. Simon banked in a close shot and Micic matched Lekavicius's jumper with a driving layup. LeDay became the seventh Zalgiris player to hit a three-pointer and Ulanovas gave the visitors a 56-65 lead. Micic and Larkin kept pushing Efes, leading a 7-0 run that brought the hosts within 63-65 after 30 minutes. Rivers splashed another one from deep range early in the fourth quarter. Larkin downed a turnaround jumper, but LeDay improved on that with a triple for a 65-71 Zalgiris lead with 7 minutes left. Simon and Larkin combined for all the points in an 8-0 spurt that put Efes ahead, 73-71. LeDay insisted from beyond the arc, but Beaubois scored in penetration and Simon added a wild three-point play that boosted the hosts' lead to 78-74. LeDay scored twice in the paint, but Singleton answered with a three-point play and Simon added a triple that sealed the outcome, 85-78, as Zalgiris did not recover in the final 2 minutes.

Pivotal performer

Vasilije Micic was all over the place all game long, leading Efes to a big win against his former team. He finished the game with 22 points on 5-of-9 two-point shots, 3-of-5 three-pointers and 3-of-3 free throws, adding a rebound, 3 assists, a steal and 3 fouls drawn for a PIR of 19.

Game-changing moment

A three-pointer by Zach LeDay gave Zalgiris its last lead, 73-74. Rodrigue Beaubius stepped up when it mattered most with a driving basket, then Krunoslav Simon and Chris Singleton added consecutive three-point plays which allowed Efes to take off, 82-76, as the hosts kept full control of the game through free throw accuracy until the final buzzer.

Stellar stat

Efes hit 23-of-28 two-point shots (60.5%) and limited Zalgiris to just 12-of-24 (50%). Efes committed just 9 turnovers and forced Zalgiris into 14.

Did you notice?

Zalgiris made 19 three-point shots, a new club record. Zalgiris had made 14 three-point shots seven times in the past, the last time against Olympiacos Piraeus barely 48 hours before this game. It tied the second-best mark in competition history and was a season-high. The record belongs to Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, which downed 21 three-point shots against KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on November 15, 2018.

Next game

Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action in two weeks. Zalgiris visits KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday, February 20. Efes travels to Germany to face FC Bayern Munich the following evening.

Vasilije Micic - Anadolu Efes Istanbul - EB19
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Attendance: 14803
By Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul19212333
Zalgiris Kaunas20232226
End of Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul19406396
Zalgiris Kaunas20436591
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 LARKIN, SHANE 34:40 25 4/9 2/6 11/11   2 2 4 3 2   1 2 7 27
1 BEAUBOIS, RODRIGUE 23:45 10 1/2 2/4 2/2   3 3 2 2   1     4 19
2 SINGLETON, CHRIS 36:15 9 2/5 1/2 2/3 1 4 5 3 1   1   2 6 18
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 2:20                              
15 SANLI, SERTAC 0:34                   1     2   -3
18 MOERMAN, ADRIEN 15:54   0/1     3 2 5     1     4   -1
19 TUNCER, BUGRAHAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 PLEISS, TIBOR 20:26 15 7/8   1/1 2 1 3     1 1     1 18
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 27:14 22 5/9 3/5 3/3 1   1 3 1 1   1 3 3 19
23 ANDERSON, JAMES 8:38           2 2               2
25 PETERS, ALEC 6:51                         1   -1
44 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 23:23 15 4/4 2/4 1/1   3 3 2   3     3 2 14
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 96 23/38 10/21 20/21 8 19 27 14 7 9 3 2 17 23 115
        60.5% 47.6% 95.2%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 26:56 9 0/2 3/5     4 4 8   4 1   3 3 14
1 RIVERS, KC 25:06 21   6/11 3/3       2 1       2 2 19
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 22:37 9 1/4 1/3 4/4 1 1 2 7   1   2 4 4 10
10 HAYES-DAVIS, NIGEL 29:03 11 1/2 3/3   1 1 2   1 1     4   8
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 10:26     0/1     1 1 2 1       1 1 3
16 LUKOSIUNAS, KAROLIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 16:44 3   1/2         1   1     1   1
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS 13:26 4 2/3       3 3 2   2   1 1 1 5
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 6:42   0/1       1 1     1     1   -2
32 LEDAY, ZACH 26:34 22 6/8 3/3 1/2 3 3 6   1 3 1   4 3 23
34 LANDALE, JOCK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 22:26 12 2/4 2/3 2/2   3 3 2   1     2 3 14
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 91 12/24 19/31 10/11 5 18 23 24 4 14 2 3 23 17 96
        50% 61.3% 90.9%

Head Coaches

Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"First of all, I want to say that it was very difficult days for my country because as we know, we lost yesterday more than 37-38 people in an incident, and also in the airplane crash, we lost three people. And also today, I heard that one of my best friends, ex Turkish basketball general secretary, ex FIBA member, one of the most important persons in Turkish and European basketball, Mr. Nur Gencer, we lost him. So condolences for all these people, they are family. About the game, it was one of the most difficult games for us in the last maybe two-three months, but I expected this because Zalgiris played really great basketball in the last seven-eight days. And today they played fantastic, 19-of-31 three-point shots, I think it is a record for this year. They are not a team that shoots a lot of three-point shots, but they made a lot of three-point shots. So we won the game in the last quarter, we started to find scores, especially in isolation offense, because they also stopped our offense with their switching man-to-man [defense] but we started to use our players well, especially Shane Larkin. One-on-one, he played pick-and-roll and created scores. We got a very important victory. Congratulations to them and to my friend Saras because they really played a great basketball game tonight."
Zalgiris Kaunas
"Congratulations to Efes for the win. I would also like to congratulate our team for a great performance. It was a great basketball game that had everything. At the same time, I believe that if Zalgiris wants to beat the top teams on the road, they have to take down their numbers. I think that in the end, we ended up giving around 90 points and this is even above Efes's average, so it is very difficult to win... We hope that every day we will make 19 three-point shots. Like I said earlier, one of the problems was that we didn't make smart fouls. Every quarter, you get four fouls to make and we cannot put Shane Larkin on the line for 11-of-11 foul shots. Whenever there is a bonus situation, we must suffer and probably give him some space, because he is a great driver and hopefully, risk a little bit with a three-point shot but we didn't get to that level today."


Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"That was a character win. We are a team that fights all game and Zalgiris obviously shot the ball unbelievably. Sometimes, some days, teams shoot like that. They are a great team, so they can get on one of those runs but we just had to stick together as a team and fight all the way through. A game is 40 minutes and eventually, we knew we were going to have our opportunity. We took the opportunities when they came and pulled it out in the end. We just have to stay aggressive. Obviously, I didn't play that well in the first half but my teammates believe in me, my coaches believed in me, so I just had to go out there and continue to be aggressive. Eventually, I got some shots to fall into the basket, got some free throws and my teammates were able to have that confidence in me to be able to play my game. That is what keeps me going and I am just glad that we can come through with another win today."
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"As I said in the beginning of the game, they are really playing well. They improved their game and have a really good three-point percentage. After their last game, they came to this game with a lot of confidence, but we knew that. We knew how we had to respond. Our offense was great today, we tried our best on defense, but sometimes you can't stop everything. Most important is that we won today. I am fine; this is part of your, let's say, career. Sometimes you have to get through tough moments but most important, the whole team didn't stop and we won also without me, which is the best part of that. I am happy that I could help the team tonight."
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