McCollum, Stimac lift Efes to first home win
Errick McCollum scored 13 points in the fourth quarter as Anadolu Efes Istanbul registered its first home win of the season, holding off AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 73-68 in an exciting game on Thursday night. Both teams now hold 3-7 records with one third of the season behind them. Efes had its biggest advantage at 23-14 in the first quarter, but Milan quickly caught up. The teams traded small runs and exchanged leads throughout the second half before Efes got a much-needed offensive boost from McCollum, who scored his first basket in the final minute of the third quarter and added 13 more points in the fourth. He also dished a key assist on Vladimir Stimac’s three-point play with 37 seconds to go that gave Efes the lead for good. Stimac collected 19 points plus 10 rebounds in victory for his third double-double of the season and Zoran Dragic scored 12 points for the hosts. Vladimir Micov and Jordan Theodore score 15 points apiece for Milan and Arturas Gudaitis had 11 in the losing effort.
Josh Adams from long range and Stimac from close range gave Efes a slim early lead, but Cory Jefferson had a close-range basket and Micov fed him for an alley-oop dunk and a 10-11 edge. After Micov knocked down a baseline jumper, Dragic answered with a corner triple. Dragic also added a reverse layup, before Ricky Ledo had a three-point play and Bryant Dunston scored inside to cap a 12-2 run and open a 23-14 advantage late in the first quarter. Ledo had a second-effort tip-in early in the second, but Theodore made a runner and Kaleb Tarczewski another alley-oop dunk. Stimac scored inside again for the hosts, but Dairis Bertans added a driving layup and a three-pointer to get within 30-26. However, in the ensuing three and a half minutes, a free throw from Krunoslav Simon was the lone basket at either end and
Theodore’s wide-open corner triple cut the margin some more to make it 33-30 at halftime.
Stimac made a three-point play, as he scored the first 7 second-half points for Efes, but Micov fed Gudaitis for an easy dunk and then finished a fast break with a layup before three-pointers from Jefferson and Theodore made it 40-44 midway through the third quarter. Gudaitis had a pair of baskets inside, including a tip-in that made it 42-48, but Brock Motum hit a timely corner three to start an 8-0 run, which was capped by McCollum jumper, his first basket of the night. Motum’s put-back beat the buzzer to make it 52-50 after three quarters, and McCollum had a put-back and a three-pointer to give the hosts a 57-53 edge early in the fourth. Milan answered with a 0-8 run, capped by Amath M’Baye’s corner triple, but McCollum continued to feel it and went on a personal run, scoring the next 8 points in the game, including his second triple, to put the hosts in front 65-61. Micov snapped the run with a three-pointer and a triple from Kalnietis tied it at 67-67 with 2:13 to go. After misfires on both ends, Micov made a free throw to give Milan a 67-68 lead with 51 seconds left, but Stimac scored a three-point play before McCollum blocked a three-point attempt from Milan’s Curtis Jerrells. Efes grabbed the loose ball, and was running down the clock before Dragic nailed a three-pointer on the other end to seal the outcome.
Thursday, November 30, 2017