Farmar, Erden lead Efes to clutch win in Berlin
Anadolu Efes Istanbul edged closer a playoffs spot from Top 16 Group E by edging Alba Berlin 86-91 in the German capital on Wednesday. Efes improved to 8-2 and could clinch a playoffs spot as soon as next week in a home game against Brose Baskets Bamberg. Alba dropped to 1-9 and was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Jordan Farmar led the winners with 23 points on 11-of-11 free throw attempts. Semih Erden added 12 and 8 rebounds while Sinan Guler and Kerem Tunceri each had 10 points for Efes. DaShaun Wood led Alba with 24 points on 6-of-10 three-point shooting. Ali Traore and Zach Morley each added 12 and Nihad Djedovic and Yassin Ibdihi scored 11 apiece for the hosts. A 7-0 run that Traore capped with a layup gave Alba an early 10-3 lead. Farmar and Jamon Lucas stepped up to give Efes get a 24-28 lead after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Farmar soon boosted Efes's lead to 33-42. Morley and Ibdihi fueled an 11-2 run that tied it at 44-44 but Dusko Savanovic and Stanko Barac allowed Efes to regain a 46-50 edge at halftime. Djedovic and Morley led a 12-0 run that gave Alba a 64-58 lead late in the third quarter. Guler ignited the guests' rally, but jumper by Traore gave Alba a 83-81 edge with two minutes left. Farmar followed a big triple with free throws to put Efes ahead for good, 83-86. A put-back basket and a block at the other end, both by Erden, and more foul shots by Farmar clinched Efes another road win.
First quarter: Efes overshadow s red-hot Wood
Zach Morley got Alba going with a three-pointer but Josh Shipp quickly answered from downtown for a 3-3 tie. Djedovic nailed a catch-and-shoot jumper and Wood joined the three-point shootout to boost Alba's lead to 8-3. Ali Traore capped a 7-0 run with a backdoor basket. Erden matched it with a running hook and added an alley-oop layup to keep Efes within 10-7. Shipp kept pushing Efes with a put-back layup in an 0-8 run that Erden capped with a close basket for a 10-11 lead. Yassin Ibdihi shined with a big basket in the low post and soon added a tip-in to give Alba a 14-11 lead. Farmar took over with a three-point play before Dogus Balbay added a driving layup. Wood took over with back-to-back three-pointers, but Jamon Lucas and Farmar tied it at 20-20. Lucas hit free throws and Sinan Guler added a layup off a steal for a 20-24 Efes edge. Stanko Barac buried a close jumper that capped a 0-8 run, however Je'Kel Foster hit a running jumper and after free throws by Dusko Savanovic boosted the guests' lead to 22-28, an off-balance basket by Wood fixed the score at 24-28 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Visitors hold off rally to stay ahead
Djedovic scored off a steal early in the second quarter, but Farmar erased it with an outstanding driving layup. Sven Schultze struck from downtown, however, and a driving basket by an unstoppable Djedovic put Alba back ahead, 31-30. Kerem Tunceri buried a corner triple and free throws by Farmar gave Efes some fresh air at 31-35. Deon Thompson and Farmar traded foul shots, as Efes tried a more dynamic frontcourt with Erden and Kerem Gonlum together on court. Lucas took over with a floating jumper in the lane that caused Alba to call timeout down 33-39. Efes kept running its offense through Farmar, who struck from downtown. Thompson and Djedovic tried to change things with free throws and a jump hook by Ibdihi brought the hosts as close as 39-42. Morley capped an 8-0 Alba run with a mid-range jumper. Lucas nailed a five-meter shot. Ibdihi split foul shots and a fast break layup by Morley tied it at 44-44. Savanovic hit a jump hook that Barac followed with a layup. Wood swished a stop-and-pop jumper and free throws by Barac fixed the halftime score at 46-50.
Third quarter: Alba's 12-0 run brings the hosts back
Savanovic nailed a jumper immediately after the break, as Efes now played with more intensity at both ends. Erden dunked to force Coach Sasa Obradovic to call timeout at 46-54. Traore banked in a jump hook, which Erden erased with another slam. Traore insisted with a driving basket and a layup by Morley brought the hosts within 52-56. Savanovic kept pacing Efes with a layup, Thompson made free throws and a triple by Wood made it a 1-point game. Djedovic also struck from downtown to complete the hosts' comeback, 60-58. Ibdihi hit a jump hook and Wood capped a 12-0 run with a high-flying driving layup, good for a 64-58 Alba lead. Farmar tried to change things with free throws and a coast-to-coast layup by Shipp brought the guests within 64-62. Tunceri bettered Ibdihi's free throws with a three-pointer but a put-back basket by Albert Miralles gave Alba a 68-65 lead. A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Guler tied the game, 68-68, through three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Erden comes up big down the stretch
Guler stayed on fire with a reverse layup early in the fourth quarter, but Traore stepped up with a jump hook. Guler struck from downtown to put Efes back ahead, 70-73. Alba struggled to score and Barac took over with a power layup, good for a 70-75 Efes lead with over six minutes to go. Gonlum made free throws to cap a 0-7 Efes run, before Wood tried to ignite a comeback with a three-pointer. Traore soon added another jump hook to make it a 2-point game. Tunceri and Wood traded three-pointers and a free throw by Barac gave Efes a 78-81 edge. Derrick Byars sank a three-pointer to tie it at 81-81 and Efes called timeout. Traore sank a floater in the lane that Farmar bettered with a big three-pointer for a 83-84 Efes lead with two minutes to go. Farmar hit free throws with 1:03 left, Schultze missed from downtown and a put-back basket by Erden sealed the outcome, 83-88, with 22.5 seconds to go. Alba kept trying but Erden blocked Traore in the paint and Efes, pushed by many fans at the O2 World, cruised to a big road win.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013