Efes holds onto 75-82 win, ruins Sassari's home debut
Anadolu Efes Istanbul spoiled the Euroleague home debut of Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari by leading from the first minute to the last for a 75-82 victory in Group A on Friday. Efes raised its record to 2-0, good for a first-place tie with Real Madrid, while Sassari is still looking for its first Euroleague victory ever. Although Efes didn't trail after 3-2, that doesn't mean it was in complete control. Sassari closed to within a single point, 56-57, before Efes scored the last 6 points of the third quarter, and then cut it to 75-79 with 1 minute left before Dontaye Draper's late free throws made sure for Efes. The winners were led by veteran center Nenad Krstic with 15 points, but he got plenty of help. Matt Janning and Stephane Lasme added 14 points each, the latter with a team-high 7 rebounds, too. Dario Saric added 9 points and Milko Bjelica 8, while Dontaye Draper dished 7 assists. Sassari was led by Jerome Dyson, who scored 16 of his 21 points in a four-minute span of the second quarter. Rakim Sanders added 15 for Sassari, but poor 44% two-point shooting doomed the hosts.
First quarter: Efes follows Janning to solid leads
Janning drilled a fastbreak jumper, but Miroslav Todic bettered him with a second-chance triple for Sassari. Saric matched that from deep before Dogus Balbay made consecutive steals, converting one, and Janning's second basket made it 3-9. After a Sassari timeout, nothing changed. Balbay was all over a tip-in and Janning fed Lasme for a monster slam. When Bjelica turned around Todic for a layup, it was 6-17. Sassari needed something and got it from Edgar Sosa, a deep triple and a free throws around an inside basket by Sanders to get the hosts back within 12-17. Bjelica answered from downtown and hooked in another shot off the board on either side of Sosa's wraparound pass to Marco Cusin for a slam. Cusin made a tip-in next, but Krstic matched him an added a free throw for a 16-24 Efes edge after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Dyson scores 16 points in just over 4 minutes
Despite David Logan's first basket, a triple, and a layup by Sanders for Sassari, Furkan Korkmaz, Draper and Krstic upped the Efes lead to 21-30 with quick baskets early in the second quarter. The 17-year-old Korkmaz then went backdoor for a slam and the game's first double-digit lead, 21-32. Dyson got on Sassari's scoreboard and followed with a three-pointer before Todic scored inside to get the hosts within 28-34 and force an Efes timeout. Dyson wasn't done, however: far from it. His next triple cut the distance further, and another from the same spot would have tied it had not Saric answered both with 5 points of his own. Dyson then finished a break at 36-39, getting the Sassari crowd out of their seats. Janning punished Sassari's sleeping defense with a triple, but Dyson was ready with another of his own to make it 39-42 thanks to his 16 points in 4 minutes and 10 seconds. However, Lasme made a huge block at one end and finished a nice pass from Bjelica at the other as Efes pulled into halftime ahead 40-47.
Third quarter: Efes withstands run by Sanders and Sassari
Shane Lawal and Lasme traded inside baskets to open the second half. Jeff Brooks made his first shot for Sassari, but Lasme was on fire with a three-point play followed by a jumper to make it 44-53. Consecutive Sassari turnovers resulted in Balbay breaking loose for a super slam, forcing a Sassari timeout. Brooks found Lawal for a dunk to restart Sassari's offense, but there the scoring stalled for the first time all game. Lasme ended the drought with a put-back alone inside to make it 48-57, but if anything that sparked Sassari, and in particular Sanders. He flushed a pair of dunks on either end of 7 points in a row before Brooks copied him with another slam to suddenly make it 56-57. Janning came to the rescue for Efes with a triple then Krstic dunked and hit a free throw to send Efes into the 30-minute mark leading 56-63.
Fourth quarter: Saric, Krstic seal the deal for Efes
Sanders continued leading Sassari close by hitting 3 of 4 free throws early in the final quarter, but baskets by Saric and Krstic kept Efes safe. A wild but scoreless minute ended with Dyson blasting to the rim, but again Saric answered to make it 61-69. When Krstic eluded a double-team by finding Cedi Osman for a back-door reverse, Efes was again ahead by double digits that rose to 61-74 on free throws by Krstic and Bjelica. Sosa's layup stopped the bleeding for Sassari and Brooks used an offensive rebound to get within single digits again at 65-74. Draper and Cusin traded baskets, but Krstic's perfect fadeaway kept Efes comfortable with under 4 minutes left. A couple minutes later, however, Sassari rallied again, as triples by Sosa and Dyson, plus a free throw by Brooks, suddenly put the game in play at 75-79. In the final minute, Osman made 1 of 2 free throws to settle his team and Draper 2 of 2 to assure a second straight victory in Group A.
Friday, October 24, 2014