Anadolu Efes still alive after beating Olympiacos
Anadolu Efes Istanbul extended its Turkish Airlines Euroleague season by at least two more days after beating reigning champion Olympiacos Piraeus 83-72 in Game 3 of their best-of-five playoffs series at Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall on Wednesday. Jordan Farmar scored 17 and Jamon Lucas flirted with a triple-double to pace Efes, which hosts Game 4 on Friday. The keys to victory were excellent three-point shooting and clear domination in rebounds. After struggling from downtown in the games in Piraeus, Coach Oktay Mahmuti’s men drained 8 of 15 (53.3%) from behind the arc in Game 3. They also nabbed 12 offensive rebounds – turning many of them into second-chance baskets – while outrebounding Olympiacos 39-30. Dusko Savanovic led the way for Efes early and finished with 15 points, while Semih Erden tallied 15 points and 9 rebounds and Jamon Lucas finished with 13 points, 9 boards, 7 assists and 3 steals. Acie Law led the visitors with 19 points, Georgios Printezis scored 11, Kyle Hines 10 and Vassilis Spanoulis dished 8 assists, though the Reds’ leading scorer was held to just 4 points. Efes led for much of the game. Olympiacos moved ahead 27-28 on Startos Perperoglou’s second quarter hook shot, however Efes went on a 15-1 run spanning the second and third quarters to take control. Savanovic fueled a 7-0 spurt that made it 56-39 later in the third quarter. Olympiacos rallied late, but Efes held on comfortably.
First quarter: Savanovic, Farmar shoot Efes to narrow lead
Savanovic got the hosts going with a jumper just 14 seconds into the game. Five offensive rebounds on one lengthy trip down the court allowed Savanovic to make it 4-0 before Josh Powell scored the Reds’ first points from the line. Printezis kept it close with a three from the elbow, though another score on the offensive glass, this time by Erden, kept the hosts in front. A Printezis floater and Savanovic baseline jumper left it 12-9 midway through the opening quarter. Spanoulis found an open Powell in transition for a layup only for a Farmar triple to boost the hosts’ lead. Another Farmar jumper made it 17-11. Quickly, a pair of Farmar turnovers led to a pair of Law layups. Giorgi Shermadini knotted the score in the final minute, but Lucas found a wide-open Kerem Gonlum for a slam to make it 19-17 through 10 minutes.
Second quarter: After Reds take first lead, Efes responds 10-1
Stanko Barac doubled the Efes lead with a jumper. Law and Sasha Vujacic traded threes. Perperoglou followed with a long jumper for the visitors only to see Farmar’s second three make it 27-22. Law beat the shot clock with a tough runner-and-foul. A long Pero Antic jumper brought Olympiacos within 1 before a hook shot by Perperoglou gave Olympiacos its first lead, 27-28, at the halfway point for the quarter. Farmar connected with Erden to put Efes on top again and Lucas followed with a floater. Savanovic scored the next 4 points to make it 35-28 before an Olympiacos timeout. Printezis ended the Olympiacos drought with a free throw, however Vujacic hit a jumper to leave Efes ahead 37-29 at the half.
Third quarter: Vujacic takes hosts’ lead to 19
Efes picked up where it left off at the end of the first half. Erden converted a three-point play inside and Lucas added another second-chance bucket to boost the lead to 13. Spanoulis free throws and a Printezis triple kept the Reds alive. Shipp and Kostas Papanikolaou traded threes before Savanovic scored inside. Savanovic’s first three of the night put the hosts in the driver’s seat, 52-39. Erden added a basket on the offensive glass and a Shipp steal led to free throws and a 17-point lead. Antic and Hines helped narrow the gap. A series of free throws on both ends slowed the pace of the game, but had little impact on Efes’s control. The lead reached new heights when Vujacic drained a triple and responded by wagging his tongue, 65-46. Following free throws by Antic, Hines and Sloukas, the scoreboard showed 65-50 through three quarters.
Fourth quarter: Olympiacos rally is too little, too late
Olympiacos set the stage for a comeback by keeping Efes scoreless for the first two and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, but Sloukas was the lone Red to put the ball in the basket in that time. A technical foul on the Olympiacos bench allowed Farmar to make it 67-52. Hines and Sloukas carried Olympiacos to within 9 with five minutes to go. After a timeout, a goaltending call gave Efes a much-needed basket. A Lucas jumper made it 71-59, however Law hit right back with a three and then a pull-up jumper to make it a 7-point game. Farmar sank a jumper and set Gonlum up to draw a foul inside. Free throws by Gonlum and later Erden made it 77-64. Olympiacos fought on with a Perperoglou three with two minutes to go. Another Farmar three almost sealed the outcome, as eve Law’s next three left the Reds trailing by 10 with 69 seconds to go. But a Lucas steal allowed the hosts to run out the clock before he celebrated the win with a big three to rev up the crowd before Game 4.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013