Efes too much for Baskonia
Anadolu Efes Istanbul reclaimed first place in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with a comfortable 77-102 victory at KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, extending its winning streak to six games. Shane Larkin poured in 24 points to lead Efes, which was victorious in returning to the site of last season’s Final Four, where it lost in the Championship Game to CSKA Moscow. Sertac Sanli added 18 points, Vasilije Micic picked up 13 points and 9 assists, Chris Singleton scored 13 points, Rodrigue Beaubois had 12 points and Alec Peters chipped in 10 points as Efes improved to 10-2. Baskonia was paced by Tornike Shengelia’s 20 points but it was not enough as the Spanish side dropped to 5-7 overall, and 4-2 at home. Nik Stauskas and Shavon Shields both added 16 points in the defeat.
Shengelia’s three-ball opened the scoring for the hosts, to which Efes responded with Beaubois baskets bookending a 2-9 run. Baskonia followed with the next five points for a 10-9 lead before going scoreless for more than 3 minutes - and Singleton draining two triples in an 0-10 surge to go ahead 10-19. Larkin came off the Efes bench for his first points - a three-ball for a 13-24 cushion and it was 16-26 after 10 minutes. Larkin was white-hot early in the second quarter with a layup, a four-point play and a third triple as Efes increased the cushion to 18-37. Shengelia proved one of Baskonia’s main weapons with five straight points to answer, but long balls from Micic and James Anderson increased the margin to 22 points - 24-46. Shields tried helping out Shengelia with 5 straight points only to see Anderson hit again from the outside and Micic add two baskets for a 35-55 Efes lead at the break. The Efes onslaught continued in the second half with Micic setting the tone with a triple to start the third quarter. Larkin and Singleton both hit from long range as the gap increased to 41-68, before Stauskas nailed three treys in trying to keep the hosts close. Sanli converted three baskets at the other end and the score was 46-76. Baskonia closed the third quarter on a high note with a 7-0 run to trail 53-76 with 10 minutes left. Efes hit the first four points of the fourth quarter to stop the momentum and Sanli hit three more baskets to keep the guests ahead 57-83. Michael Eric tried to make the game more respectable with three straight scores but Beaubois, Peters and Larkin all nailed treys as the lead was out to 31 points - 65-96 - with 4 minutes left. Baskonia would not get closer than 25 points the rest of the way.
Shane Larkin can do no wrong at the moment. A week after setting the EuroLeague scoring record with 49 points, Larkin scored 24 points including 5-of-6 three-pointers to go with 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 0 turnovers in 24:26 minutes for a PIR of 37.
Career high for Sanli
Efes’ win also saw a career night from Sertac Sanli off the bench as the big man set a new career mark with 18 points and hit all nine of his field goal attempts - missing his only free throw attempt. He also picked up 3 offensive rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block and 0 turnovers for a career best PIR of 20.
Efes shot a blistering hot 78.1 percent from two-point range - to go with 46.9 percent from the outside - while dishing out 27 assists to just nine turnovers. The guests also held Baskonia to just 42.2 percent from inside the three-point line.
Baskonia next head out on the road with a five-game losing streak away from home and will take on Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade on Thursday December 12. Efes looks to extend the winning streak to seven games as it heads to city rival Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul on the same night.
Friday, December 6, 2019