2015-16Top 16Round 5
January 29, 2016 CET: 20:00

Granger leads Efes rally on the road in Malaga!

A riveting fight for an upper hand in Group E produced 22 lead changes and 10 ties before Jayson Granger led Anadolu Efes Istanbul to rally past Unicaja Malaga 75-85 on the road Friday. Efes improved to 3-2 as part of a three-way tie for second place with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. Unicaja dropped to fourth place at 2-3. Unicaja led 59-50 midway through the third quarter before Granger's three-pointer started Efes back and the visitors' defense held the hosts scoreless in the game's last 5 minutes to win going away. Granger had 12 of his game-high 22 points during the comeback. Jon Diebler added 16 points, including 5 in the final 35 seconds, for the winners, while Cedi Osman scored 10. Those three players had 10 of the visitors' 12 three-pointers, as compared to just 7 for Unicaja. Efes withstood having fewer defensive rebounds (18) than Unicaja had on offense (19) and losing the rebounding war 41-29 overall. Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Richard Hendrix scored 16 each for Unicaja, while DeMarcus Nelson added 11 and Carlos Suarez 10.

FIRST QUARTER: Back and forth they go!

Kuzminskas made a give-and-go dunk to open the scoring, but Bryant Dunston bettered him at the other end with a basket-plus-free throw combination at 2-3. The lead changed hands as Kuzminskas put back an offensive rebound and Granger drove for a layup. Osman stole and broke away to put Efes up 4-7, but Hendrix responded with back-to-back baskets for Unicaja. Osman hit the game's first triple as Efes led 8-10. Layups by Nelson and Edwin Jackson for Malaga were offset by those of Granger and Osman for Efes as the score kept climbing. Hendrix scored in close for a 14-14 tie that Granger broke by making 1 of 2 free throws. Suarez hit the floor and tipped in a miss for Unicaja, but that lead lasted only until Granger's triple made it 16-18. Nelson got those 3 points back with a shot from the corner at 19-18, but Diebler answered in kind for Efes. Kuzminskas tied it again at the foul line before Alberto Diaz came off Unicaja's bench and hit a running one-hander with 4 seconds left for the 10th lead change in the quarter and a 23-21 edge for the home team.

SECOND QUARTER: Unicaja one step ahead

Diaz started the new quarter with a clean triple from the wing that Derrick Brown answered with a baseline jumper at 26-23. Jackson drove from the corner for a two-hand slam but Dario Saric fed Birkan Batuk at the other end for a triple. Saric then got 3 points the hard way on a monster offensive rebound to seize a new lead for Efes, 28-29. It changed hands on a Diaz-to-Suarez backdoor layup and on a triple from Thomas Heurtel. Nemanja Nedovic tied it twice, with free throws and on a goal-tended reverse layup on either side of a jump shot by Saric. Brown's free throws were answered by Nedovic speeding coast to coast for another tie, 36-36. Out of a timeout, Hendrix scored inside before Dani Diez drilled a three-pointer for a 41-36 advantage for the hosts. Alex Tyus scored 2 in close for Efes that Suarez matched at the free throw line. Diebler hit a tough baseline runner but Hendrix hit his own between two defenders. Granger hit an acrobatic layup, and though he missed the accompanying free throw, the rebound turned into a game-tying corner triple by Diebler at 45-45. Brown's 1 of 2 free throws meant another lead change, however Nelson put back his own miss as Unicaja went ahead again, 47-46, at the half.

THIRD QUARTER: Granger leads Efes rally

Will Thomas powered up his first basket for the hosts and Kuzminskas buried a second-chance triple as Unicaja quickly built a 52-46 advantage. Heurtel landed a long two-pointer for Efes, but Kuzminskas was back with a longer three-pointer at 55-48. Heurtel and Nelson traded baskets, then Thomas fed Hendrix for a reverse to make it 59-50, the biggest lead for Unicaja. Granger steadied Efes with a big triple, then Osman followed him from even deeper to suddenly make it close again, 59-56. Hendrix returned yet another offensive rebound through the basket, but Granger stepped back and drilled another three at 61-59. Kuzminskas changed hands for a nifty layup before Brown tipped in an Efes miss to keep it close, 63-61. Tyus appeared with a block at one end and a game-tying put-back at the other before Granger drove strong and made the and-one foul shot to put Efes in front again, 63-66. Suarez came on and answered from the arc for Unicaja to tie 66-66, which is how the score stood after 30 electric minutes.

FOURTH QUARTER: Efes defense rides to victory!

Granged busted a triple to open the final quarter, while Kuzminskas stormed from the corner to dunk for Unicaja at 68-69. Nedovic's free throws put Unicaja ahead, but Dogus Balbay took it back with a driving layup for Efes. Suarez flipped the scoreboard again with a smooth triple, but Diebler appeared at the other end for his third strike from long range. When Heurtel led Brown with a pass for a two-hand slam, Efes had a 73-76 lead. Nelson made a tough layup drop to get Unicaja close, but after a timeout, Saric drilled an inbounds jumper to make it 75-78 with 4:35 to play. A tense, scoreless 2 minutes and 30 seconds passed before Hendrix was hurt at one end and Unicaja forced to foul Bryant Dunston at the other. He made 2 of 2 free throws to lift Efes ahead 75-80 with 2 minutes left. Every Unicaja shot attempt missed before Diebler stepped forward with a clutch two-pointer near the end of the shot clock with 36 seconds left. He was back before the finish with his fourth three-point strike, giving Efes the game's highest lead as the final score to take home to Istanbul.

Jayson Granger - Anadolu Efes Istanbul - EB15
Friday, January 29, 2016
Attendance: 6431
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga2324199
Anadolu Efes Istanbul21252019
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga23476675
Anadolu Efes Istanbul21466685
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 JACKSON, EDWIN 23:02 4 2/2 0/3   1 2 3 2   4     1 3 4
4 DIAZ, ALBERTO 16:50 5 1/2 1/1         2         4 1 3
7 HENDRIX, RICHARD 27:22 16 8/17 0/1   4 4 8 4   1 3   3 1 18
10 THOMAS, WILL 18:31 2 1/3 0/1   3 3 6 1 1       1 1 7
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 10:50 3   1/2   1 3 4           1 1 6
12 SUAREZ, CARLOS 23:35 10 1/4 2/4 2/2 1 3 4 2   1     2 2 10
13 KARAHODZIC, KENAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 NEDOVIC, NEMANJA 18:17 8 2/5 0/3 4/4       3   2   1 2 5 5
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 3:17                         2   -2
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 25:22 16 4/6 2/4 2/2 4 2 6     2     1 2 17
20 NELSON, DEMARCUS 25:39 11 4/8 1/3   3 1 4 3 1 2   1 2   8
45 COOLEY, JACK 7:15         1 2 3       1   1 1 4
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 75 23/47 7/22 8/8 19 22 41 17 2 12 4 2 20 17 83
        48.9% 31.8% 100%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN
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
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 TYUS, ALEX 12:07 4 2/3     3   3 1     1   1 1 8
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 9:22 2 1/2 0/1                 1 2 1 -2
5 BROWN, DERRICK 28:31 9 3/5   3/4 2 3 5 2   1     1 4 15
6 OSMAN, CEDI 21:29 10 2/2 2/3     2 2 2 4       1   16
8 BATUK, BIRKAN 10:22 3 0/1 1/3                   4   -4
9 SARIC, DARIO 16:44 7 3/5   1/1 1   1 1   2   1 2 2 4
10 KORKMAZ, FURKAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 GRANGER, JAYSON 31:36 22 4/9 4/8 2/4   3 3 2   1     1 5 19
31 HEURTEL, THOMAS 19:30 7 2/6 1/1     1 1 5   3   2 1 2 5
33 DIEBLER, JON 27:41 16 2/2 4/9     3 3 1         1 3 17
42 DUNSTON, BRYANT 22:38 5 1/3   3/3 1 4 5 1   1 1   3 2 8
44 DUVERIOGLU, AHMET DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           4 2 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 85 20/38 12/25 9/12 11 18 29 15 4 9 2 4 17 20 91
        52.6% 48% 75%
Head coach: IVKOVIC, DUSAN

Head Coaches

Unicaja Malaga
"We have the feeling of having lost a great opportunity tonight. Nevertheless, we are pleased with some moments of the game where we controlled the scoreboard. But we had errors that prevented us getting the win, such as missed open shots in the pain that had would have allowed us to expand the difference. We have also committed more serious errors in searching for passes that did not exist or our one-on-one defense against some players like Granger or Heurtel that enabled them to reach under the basket with ease. Now we have to see the video to look at all the details. We have to grit our teeth to continue and go for more. In the last quarter alone, we looked for outside shots only and we did not choose our shots well. They increased their intensity on defense and took us to play eight meters from the rim. Against that, we were unable to put the ball inside."
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"It was a game with two very different parts. In the first half we had many problems on defense and defensive rebounds and let Unicaja capture 11 offensive rebounds. We knew that these boards are an essential part of the game of Unicaja and Joan Plaza, but we could not stop them in this regard. We also missed easy baskets in the first two quarters. In the second half when Unicaja took the lead on the scoreboard, we were able to change the tempo. in the fourth quarter. We scored 19 points and managed to defend well our basket. We wanted to win away from home: it was very important to us. We had two evenly matched games but lost in the end against Cedevita and Lokomotiv Kuban. I think it will be a very tight group in the Top 16 and think in the end the margins between the teams will be very important. I congratulate my players for the win tonight."


Unicaja Malaga
"It is difficult to talk after a game like tonight. It was important for us to get this win and defend our court, which was one of the goals we set at the beginning of the Top 16. We are saddened by this loss, but this has only just begun. In the first half, we defended badly. In the second, we improved the defense but were unable to score with ease. They took the lead on the scoreboard, but we could not get back in the game despite our efforts. We also had some bad luck at times. If we look at the statistics, we see a very big difference between the two teams in the final score, but I think that's bigger than it was. The difference should have been just four or five points. Tonight we have not been able to stop Granger.We know that players who have been here in Malaga when they come back they are more motivated. And so it has been the same tonight."
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"It was a tough game. In the first half they dominated the game with offensive rebounds. Both teams scored easily and we went into halftime with a high score. After the break, we were able to control their offensive rebounds and scoring thanks to our defense and that was the key to the victory. We were 2-2 with two away losses in two matches that were very close. We wanted to win today here in Malaga for this reason. It has been special for me to return to play against Unicaja, my coach and some of my teammates from the last seasons."