Efes dominates second half to beat Real
Anadolu Efes Istanbul dominated the second half en route to a 90-63 rout of Real Madrid in Game 1 of their best-of-five Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs series on Tuesday night at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall. The hosts doubled up the visitors 46-23 in the third and fourth quarters to take control of a game that had been even, 39-39, late in the second quarter. Rodrigue Beaubois paced the Efes attack with 19 points and Sertac Sanli shined with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Shane Larkin contributed 14 points and 5 assists, Bryant Dunston added 11 points and Krunoslav Simon paired 10 points with 6 assists. Trey Thompkins led Real with 13 points and Walter Tavares posted 10 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Real Madrid won the opening tip and Nicolas Laprovittola went right inside to Tavares. Back-to-back threes by Laprovittola and Alberto Abalde caused the hosts to call an urgent timeout at 0-8. Sanli got Efes on the scoreboard with free throws and Larkin came off the bench to strike from downtown. Laprovittola extended the Real lead to 5-11 with a three-point play that also drew an early second foul from Vasilije Micic. Threes by Sertac Sanli and Simon bookended an 8-0 run that gave Efes its first lead, 15-14. The lead switched hands a few more times before the quarter finished at 20-18. Beaubois opened the second quarter with a triple and his layup soon made it 27-20. Back-to-back threes by Fabien Causeur and Rudy Fernandez trimmed the gap to 31-30. Micic heated up for Efes with a triple and 2 free throws. Laprovittola drained a three over Larkin to knot the game at 39-39. A three-pointer by Beaubois gave the hosts a 44-40 edge at the break.
Back-to-back threes by Simon and Sanli gave Efes the game's first double-digit lead early in the second half. Sanli contributed a three-point play on one end and a block on the other as Efes extended the lead to 53-42. Real missed 12 of its first 13 shots in the second half – including all 8 from behind the arc. In the meantime, Sanli remained hot for Efes in stretching the lead to 58-43. Real called timeout down 17 to try to reboot. A jumper by Thompkins and three by Sergio Llull gave Real hope before Dunston's put-back made it 64-50 at the end of the third quarter. Moerman heated up early in the fourth quarter and Beaubois's tip-in extended the margin into the 20s. The lead peaked at 85-58 on a James Anderson three with 4 minutes remaining and Efes coasted the rest of the way.
By the numbers
Efes outrebounded Real 45-34, outscored the visitors from every range (51.4% 2FG, 38.9% 3FG, 92.3% FT% to 37.9 2FG, 30.3% 3FG, 68.8%) and committed only 9 turnovers to Real's 13.
Real Madrid's second-half point tally of 23 was the worst ever for the club in a playoff game and 1 off the club record-low in any playoff game. FC Barcelona held Real to 25 second-half points in a 68-61 victory in the opening game of their 2010 playoff series. Barcelona went on to with the title that season.
Did you notice?
Tristan Vukcevic started for Real in what was his EuroLeague debut and contributed a lot of energy in the 6:31 he played in the first quarter. He finished the game with 2 rebounds and 1 block in 12:15 minutes. Since the EuroLeague adopted the current playoff structure in 2005, Vukcevic is the first player to make his EuroLeague debut in a playoff game.
Efes will host Game 2 of this best-of-five series on Thursday evening in the same arena.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021