Dominant fourth quarter lifts Efes over Reds
Anadolu Efes Istanbul claimed its second win in a row for the first time this season by defeating visiting Olympiacos Piraeus 88-69 at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall on Wednesday night. The hosts, whose record improved to 4-6, used a strong defensive display in the fourth quarter, in which they held Olympiacos to just 3 points to break open a game that had been close for the first 30 minutes. Rodrigue Beaubois led the winners with a career-high 29 points on 7-of-10 in three-point shooting, followed by Vasiljie Micic, who tallied 19 points. Shane Larkin posted 10 points and assists. Sasha Vezenkov led the way for the Reds with 17 points and 8 rebounds for a PIR of 26 and Moustapha Fall finished with 15 points. Olympiacos remained winless on the road and dropped to 6-4.
Beaubois got Efes going with back-to-back three-point plays right after the tip-off, but Olympiacos struck back with Fall rocking under the rim. The French center scored the visitors’ first 7 points, setting the momentum that allowed the Reds to go on a 2-11 run that pushed them ahead, 10-17, after 6 minutes. Micic stepped up to break the trend and make Efes react. He scored 8 of the hosts’ next 13 points in less than 3 minutes to give the lead back to the champs, 23-22. A free throw by Hassan Martin tied it and Vezenkov closed the first quarter with a layup that gave the visitors a slim edge, 23-25.
Georgios Printezis took the leading role for Olympiacos early in the second quarter, providing a layup and drilling a three-pointer that kept the visitors in charge, 27-32. Beaubois heated up again with back-to-back triples before Larkin scored a long jumper that completed the comeback, 37-36. Beaubois remained red hot and hit his fifth three of the night and then contributed another jump shot to light his team up, but Olympiacos found an answer through Kostas Sloukas and Printezis to make it all square, 42-42, at the intermission.
Both teams traded baskets right after the break to maintain a balanced score, 49-49, that Beaubois dismantled with a bucket. Adrien Moerman showed up at that moment to fire up the hosts, going for 7 points in a row that set up a 58-52 advantage for Efes. Fall and Thomas Walkup tried to hold off the charge, but Micic and Larkin joined in for Efes and extended the margin to 63-56. The Reds didn’t tremble, though, and reacted in style through Fall; he first added a couple of free throws and then finished a fastbreak with a thunderous dunk for a 0-7 run that reset the game once again, 63-63. Simon banked a shot and Larkin converted 3 free throws to get Efes back in front, but Vezenkov aborted the run with a timely corner three that made it 68-66 entering the last stanza.
Krunoslav Simon had a three-point play to open the fourth and Beaubois connected from behind the arc again to build a 74-66 hole that Olympiacos tried to refill with a timeout. Despite Olympiacos managing to contain Efes’s offense, it remained scoreless for more than 5 minutes, which allowed Micic to raise a double-digit lead, 77-66, midway through the last period. Things got even worse for the Reds when Bryant Dunston drew an unsportsmanlike foul from Martin that turned into a couple of free throws to cap a 10-0 run and make the gap 79-66. Fall put the visitors’ drought to its end from the line, but Efes felt already in full control of the game. Beaubouis’s seventh triple of the night had the visitors with their backs to the wall, 84-69, entering crunch time and Singleton in the last minute sealed the outcome.
Red-hot Beaubois turns the light on for Efes
Rodrigue Beaubois was the key factor that allowed Anadolu Efes Istanbul to claim its second win in a row for the first time of the season, and he proved it from the very beginning. He opened fire early in the game with a three-pointer and a three-point play, showing he was more than ready for the challenge of leading his team. Beaubois finished the first half with 20 points and 5 three-pointers and continued the show in the second with 2 more bombs from downtown that launched him to a career-high 29 points on 7-of-10 shooting from three. He added 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks for a PIR of 33, but what was more important is that his shooting made up for his team's so-so accuracy overall. The rest of his team made just 5 of 23 from deep and Micic was for 1 for 10.
Defense lifts Efes to sixth consecutive win over Olympiacos
In a game that saw several lead changes and ties, and that was tight for the first 30 minutes, Efes managed to prevail thanks to a 20-3 score in the last quarter. A quick 10-0 run sparked by back-to-back threes by Beaubois and Micic when the game entered its last frame helped Efes to build a double-digit lead that Olympiacos could not recover from. The Reds needed more than 6 minutes to score a field goal and when they did it was too late for any comeback attempt. That final drought prevented Olympiacos from breaking a negative trend against Efes, which had won all of their last five encounters. The last Olympiacos victory over the Efes came on December 13, 2018.
Telling number: To care is to win
Anadolu Efes signed off a fantastic assist-turnover ratio against Olympiacos. The hosts made just 6 turnovers and dished 21 assists, compared to the Reds 13 and 19, respectively. Moreover, Efes made the difference in taking care of the ball much better in the last period, as it didn’t turn the ball over on any possession, also preventing its opponent from recording any assist over the last 10 minutes of the game. Shooting percentages were also on the winners’ side, as the home team went 19 for 34 on two-pointers (56%), 12 for 33 on triples (36%) and 14 for 15 from the line (93%), against 56% on twos, 26% on threes and 81% on free throws by Olympiacos. Efes had a 30-point difference in PIR in the end (109-79).
Wednesday, November 17, 2021