Anadolu Efes holds on to big home win
Anadolu Efes Istanbul opened the 2014-15 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season with a big win by downing Unics Kazan 82-76 at home in Group A on Thursday. Former Eurocup MVP Dontaye Draper paced the winners with 16 points, a new Euroleague career high. Nenad Krstic added 15, Matt Janning had 12 while Stratos Perperoglou got 10 for Efes. Keith Langford led Unics with 19 points. James White added 13 and 10 rebounds, Curtis Jerrells had 11 points while D'or Fischer got 10 for the guests. Efes opened the game with an 0-8 tun but three-pointers by Kostas Kaimakoglou, Jerrells and White allowed Unics to get an 8-11 lead. Janning and Draper allowed Efes to regain the lead, 20-19, after 10 minutes. A 10-0 run which Draper capped with a layup gave Efes the lead for good, 30-21. Efes improved its margin to 45-34 behind an outstanding Krstic and then again to 54-36 on a rainbow jumper by Cedi Osman. Jerrells, Langford and White allowed Unics to return to the game and a three-pointer by Kaimakoglou made it a five-point game, 70-65. Draper and Krstic stepped up in crunch time to lead Efes to a hard-fought, well-deserved home win.
First quarter: Unics overcomes slow start
Dogus Balbay got Efes going with a layup in transition and a jump hook by Perperoglou soon gave the hosts a 4-0 lead. Perperoglou kept pacing Efes with a layup, as Unics kept struggling to score. Free throws by Krstic gave Efes an 8-0 lead. Langford shined with a step-back jumper and a three-pointer by Kaimakoglou brought Efes within 8-5. Jerrells and White also struck from downtown to give Unics its first lead, 8-11, after a 0-11 run. Perperoglou rescued Efes with a six-meter jumper which White matched at the other end. Janning took over with a backdoor layup, Fischer made free throws, and a jumper by Dario Saric kept Efes within 14-15. Langford nailed a mid-range shot which Draper bettered with a three-point play. Kaimakoglou fed Fischer for an alley-oop slam, but a three-pointer by Draper put Efes back ahead, 20-19, after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Draper shines, Efes takes off
Fischer scored down low early in the second quarter for a 20-21 Unics edge. Draper quickly answered from downtown and found Janning for his own three-pointer, good for a 26-21 Efes lead. Stephane Lasme dunked, and a layup by an unstoppable Draper capped a 10-0 run for 30-21. Viktor Sanikidze found Fischer for an easy slam but Milko Bjelica quickly answered with a driving basket and another triple by Janning gave Efes its first double-digit lead, 35-23. A red hot Sanikidze answered from downtown, added a put-back basket and shined with a one-handed slam, making Efes call timeout at 36-30. Osman nailed a five-meter jumper off the dribble, and a layup by Krstic restored a 40-30 Efes advantage. White and Krstic exchanged free throws and a layup by Perperoglou gave the hosts a 44-32 edge. Langford scored in penetration and free throws by Krstic fixed the halftime score at 45-34.
Third quarter: Efes keeps double-digit lead
Saric took over with a big basket in the low post right after the break. Langford scored in the low post but a jump hook by Krstic restored a 49-36 Efes margin. The hosts kept excelling on defense while a six-meter baseline jumper by Krstic and a rainbow triple by Osman broke the game open, 54-36. Unics called timeout and Petr Gubanov tried to ignite the guests' comeback with a three-pointer. Saric quickly answered with a put-back layup that Langford matched with a close basket. Jerrells buried a stop-and-pop three-pointer and an off-balance layup by White got Unics as close as 56-46. Perperoglou stepped up with free throws and a dunk by Lasme gave Efes plenty of fresh air at 60-46. Janning scored around the basket but free throws by White and a three-pointer by Langford kept Unics within 62-51. Free throws by Bjelica boosted Efes's lead to 64-52 after 30 minutes.
Fourth quarter: Unics gets closer, Efes seals win
Janning scored again early in the fourth quarter but a jumper by Fischer kept Unics within 66-54. Bjelica found his way in the low post for an easy layup, as Efes stayed really aggressive on defense, not allowing Unics to get close to the basket. White changed that with a jump hook and free throws by Nikos Zisis and Dmitry Sokolov brought Unics within single digits, 68-60, with 6 minutes to go. Jerrells took over with a wild driving layup which Draper matched with a shot from six-meters, that gave Efes a 70-62 edge. Kaimakoglou answered from downtown but Draper - who else? - nailed a three-pointer for a 73-65 Efes lead. Langford split free throws and Jerrells added a three-point play, but Krstic went 4-of-4 from the foul line and a jumper by Saric sealed the outcome, 79-69, with 2 minutes left.
Thursday, October 16, 2014