2012-13Top 16Round 12
March 21, 2013 CET: 18:45
Local time: 19:45 ZALGIRIO ARENA

Zalgiris thrills fans with victory over Efes

Zalgiris Kaunas gave its fans plenty to cheer about in an exciting 79-71 victory over Anadolu Efes Istanbul on Thursday night at Zalgirio Arena. The hosts pieced together a 20-1 charge that bridged the second and third quarters to take a double-digit lead and Efes never got closer than 7 the rest of the way. The win bumped Efes’s record to 5-7,although the Lithuanian champs have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Efes, which entered the game tied for first place, slipped to 9-3. A win would have secured a playoff berth for Efes, which now must wait for other results to advance this week. Darjus Lavrinovic paced the home side with 24 points to match his season high. Mindaugas Kuzminskas added 15 and Rimantas Kaukenas 9 for the victors. Jamon Lucas paced Efes with 14 points and 7 rebounds, Semih Erden added 13 points, Jordan Farmar 12 and 4 steals and Dusko Savanovic scored 11.

First quarter: Unstoppable Erden helps Efes to early advantage

The visitors got on the board first through Semih Erden, but Zalgiris entertained its fans as Robertas Javtokas scored inside and Donnie McGrath buried a triple to make it 5-4. Savanovic took responsibility for Efes, which went ahead on a Lucas jumper. The lead switched hands once more when Ksistof Lavrinovic nailed a jumper from the top of the key, 11-10. Back and forth the lead went, with Kuzminskas creating a highlight with a basket-plus-foul. Erden drew Javtokas’s second foul and evened the score at 14-14 from the line. Then Lucas shined with a steal, layup and foul. After a timeout, the Lavrinovic twins each scored to put the hosts back ahead. However there was no answer for Erden inside, who scored his 10th point in less than seven minutes. Savanovic stretched the Efes edge to 5 from the line. After a Darjus Lavrinovic triple, Stanko Barac created a highlight with an offensive rebound and slam. Savanovic added a steal and layup, but Darjus Lavrinovic kept it close, 25-27, through 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Late Zalgiris rally gives hosts halftime edge

Kerem Tunceri got on the scoreboard with a three from the corner to open the quarter. Jamon Lucas added a wild runner as Efes moved in front by 6. Jeff Foote clawed 2 back for Zalgiris from the line, but a second Tunceri triple made it 28-35. Oliver Lafayette countered with a three before the TV timeout came at the halfway point of the quarter. A Foote tip in cut the deficit to 2, but Lucas stole the ball under the Zalgiris basket and went coast to coast for a slam to protect the lead. Rimantas Kaukenas, with 4 straight points, drew Zalgiris within 37-39. After an Efes timeout, Savanovic fired in a triple. Foote finished inside with a one-handed slam and Kuzminskas scored on the break to make it a 1-point game. Mario Delas swished a triple to give the hosts a 44-42 lead at the break.

Third quarter: Darjus Lavrinovic keys 13-1 Zalgiris charge to start the second half

Darjus Lavrinovic worked hard for a basket and foul on the first play of the second half. Kaukenas found Darjus for a big slam to boost the hosts’ lead to 6. The crowd really got into it after a Kaukenas block and a three-point play by Kuzminskas. A Darjus Lavrinovic triple extended the lead to double digits for the first time and resulted in an urgent Efes timeout at 55-43.Kuzminskas added 2 more free throws to bring the run to 13-1. Efes got a break when Kaukenas was whistled for an intentional foul on Farmar. Kaukenas took a seat with 4 fouls and Farmar ended the Efes drought with free throws. Nonetheless Zalgiris rolled as the crowd roared. Vytenis Lipkevicius added a jumper and Darjus Lavrinovic a hook shot before Coach Oktay Mahmuti used another timeout. Josh Shipp buried a three, however Zalgiris kept the momentum. But soon Kerem Gonlum posterized Kuzminskas with a vicious slam and Lucas carved through the Efes defense. Barac scored on the offensive glass to trim the gap to single digits. Dogus Balbay free throws took the Efes run to 8 straight points to end the third quarter at 63-56.

Fourth quarter: Driven by excited crowd, Zalgiris never lets up

Lafayette drew an offensive foul at one end and scored a three-point play at the other to restore Zalgiris’s confidence. Barac hit a short jumper, but Darjus Lavrinovic – after missing a pair of free throws – crushed in a two-handed slam to keep the lead at 10. Farmar back in and tried to spark his team with a steal and layup. Lucas nailed an important three to make it 70-63 with four and a half minutes to play. Darjus Lavrinovic brought the crowd to its feet with a triple. Erden dunked for his first basket since the first quarter. Farmar added a layup to make it 74-67 with just over two minutes remaining. Kaukenas nailed a pair of clutch free throw with 1:49 left. Farmar added a quick layup. McGrath kept the hosts up by 9 with 2 free throws with 45 seconds to go. A tough layup by Farmar proved to be too little, too late as Zalgiris ran out the clock for its fifth win.

Rimantas Kaukenas - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB12
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Euroleague.net
Referees: ROCHA, FERNANDO (POR), LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT (GER), KOROMILAS, ELIAS (GRE)
Attendance: 11680 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas25191916
Anadolu Efes Istanbul27151415
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas25446379
Anadolu Efes Istanbul27425671
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 McGRATH, DONNIE 19:26 5 0/1 1/4 2/2   1 1 1 2 2     1 2 4
7 LAVRINOVIC, DARJUS 21:04 24 7/8 3/4 1/3 3 2 5 1   1 1   1 3 28
8 JUSKEVICIUS, ADAS 9:11               2           1 3
10 LIPKEVICIUS, VYTENIS 16:53 2 1/3   0/2       1 1     1 1 1 -1
15 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS 8:10 4 2/3     1 1 2 1         2 1 5
17 DELAS, MARIO 17:21 4 0/2 1/1 1/2 1 2 3 1   2     1 1 3
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 31:46 15 4/5 0/1 7/8 1 5 6   1 2     2 5 20
20 LAFAYETTE, OLIVER 27:22 6 1/4 1/7 1/1 1 4 5 5   1     2 3 7
21 KAUKENAS, RIMANTAS 17:52 9 2/2   5/6   2 2 1 1 2 1   4 4 11
31 FOOTE, JEFF 7:17 6 2/2   2/2 1 2 3   1         1 11
33 LAVRINOVIC, KSISTOF 23:38 4 2/6 0/1   1 2 3 1   2 1 1 1 1 1
Team             1 1     1          
Totals 200:00 79 21/36 6/18 19/26 9 22 31 14 6 13 3 2 15 23 92
        58.3% 33.3% 73.1%
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
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 18:01 2 0/1 0/1 2/2 1 1 2 3   1     2 2 4
5 FARMAR, JORDAN 26:12 12 4/5 0/4 4/4 1 3 4 3 4 4     1 3 16
8 BATUK, BIRKAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 ERDEN, SEMIH 21:43 13 4/5   5/6 3 2 5   1 1 1   2 5 20
10 TUNCERI, KEREM 14:02 6   2/4   1   1     2     3    
11 SHIPP, JOSHUA 19:07 3 0/2 1/3   1   1           4   -4
12 GONLUM, KEREM 22:16 4 2/4     1 3 4 1   1     3   3
20 SAVANOVIC, DUSKO 17:44 11 3/6 1/5 2/2   1 1 1 1 1   1   1 6
22 GORDON, JAMON 33:48 14 5/10 1/3 1/1   7 7 3 2 2     4 4 17
23 KUQO, ERMAL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 GULER, SINAN 9:10   0/1 0/1         2   1     1   -2
42 BARAC, STANKO 17:57 6 3/7     4 2 6       1 2 3   4
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 71 21/41 5/21 14/15 13 19 32 13 8 14 2 3 23 15 64
        51.2% 23.8% 93.3%
Head coach: MAHMUTI, OKTAY

Head Coaches

PLAZA, JOAN
Zalgiris Kaunas
" I won’t say anything new by saying that I’m satisfied when we win like that with the situation around us. We are like boxer who should be knocked out, but we rise again, we never give up and we fight, fight and fight. You can think that it is easy to beat this team three times, but they beat CSKA, Real, Panathinaikos and Unicaja. Then we could compare the budgets too. We started the game with lapses in defense, allowed them to score almost 30 in the first quarter, but then in two quarters they scored only 29. We put a lot of effort into this game, so I think we deserved to win tonight. "
MAHMUTI, OKTAY
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"Congratulations to Zalgiris for the win. We defended really poor throughout the game. We started the third quarter terribly, we allowed Zalgiris to get away and it was very hard to come back. I think it was our weakest game lately. We made too many mistakes and Zalgiris used them well. But life goes on. We will concentrate on the last two games in the Top 16."

Players

LAVRINOVIC, DARJUS
Zalgiris Kaunas
"Every game is hard. We started the second half with great defense and managed to pull away. They changed their defense later and we started to struggle, but our defense allowed us to seal the win. We were playing for our great fans, who came to support us even if we don’t have a chance to qualify. We know that, but we don’t want to end Euroleague season with the losses. We always enter the court with the desire to win."
GORDON, JAMON
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"After halftime, Zalgiris came more prepared than us and we never got the chance to lead again. Zalgiris made a lot of good shots in the second half and the crowd helped them a lot. We made a lot of turnovers. In Zalgiris everyone can score points and it doesn’t matter that Marko Popovic couldn’t play. Their big men can shoot really well. Zalgiris beat us three times, so we knew that they can make a lot of problems for us, but our coach tried to prepare us the best. Now we have to move on, because we have two games left to play and of course the playoffs. It was also nice to see some fans from Turkey, not only from Lithuania. But it is nice that fans of Zalgiris know basketball very well and they are fair even for the visiting team. "