2018-19Regular SeasonRound 23
February 21, 2019 CET: 18:30
Local time: 20:30 SINAN ERDEM DOME.

Efes turns back Olympiacos with defense

Anadolu Efes Istanbul protected its fourth place in the standings by turning back Olympiacos Piraeus with a 75-65 home win on Thursday. Efes raised its record to 15-8, while sixth-place Olympiacos fell to 12-11 with its fourth straight loss. The final difference also assures Efes a head-to-head tiebreak over Olympiacos should then finish the regular season tied. Efes, which ended a five-game losing streak to Olympiacos, withstood a 0-17 run with which the visitors flipped the scoreboard to 18-26 early in the second quarter. Efes then used relentless defense to limit Olympiacos to 39 points over the game's final 28 minutes. Krunoslav Simon led Efes with 13 points. Adrien Moerman had 12 points and 8 rebounds, while Shane Larkin scored 11 and dished 8 assists. Bryant Dunston scored 11 points and Vasilije Micic 10, as well. Janis Strelnieks led the visitors with 14 points, including 9 in a row, for Olympiacos to get within 51-49 in the third quarter, but the visitors did not get closer after that. Nikola Milutinov had 12 points and 8 rebounds for Olympiacos.

Simon and Moerman blasted triples to open the scoring before Briante Weber nailed his first EuroLeague points from deep, but Dunston and Micic soon made it 10-3. Moerman and Simon struck again at 18-9, but Weber and Milutinov cut the distance until Zach LeDay and Kostas Papanikolaou gave Olympiacos an 18-22 lead after 10 minutes. Sasha Vezenkov extended the visitors' run to 17-0 with a flying put-back and fastbreak layup to make it 18-26. Tibor Pleiss ended the Efes drought with a dunk and Brock Motum scored 5 points in a row at 25-29. James Anderson did the same before Dunston's block led to Simon tying it up. Moerman's baseline fadeaway gave Efes a new 36-35 edge at the half. Moerman, Dunston and Micic lifted the lead before Larkin's 3 of 3 free throws made it 47-37 mid-way through the third quarter. The Efes defense had taken over, forcing a 3 turnovers in 4 minutes after Olympiacos had committed 10 in the first half. Papanikolaou ended the drought and Strelnieks buried the next 9 points for his team, pulling Olympiacos to within 51-49 while reaching 1,000 points for his EuroLeague career. Simon came to the rescue for Efes to retain a 56-49 lead on Micic's banked-in buzzer-beater after 30 minutes. Micic came back with a take-no-prisoners driving dunk to open the fourth quarter, then Pleiss detonated an alley-oop dunk for a 62-51 lead. Militunov swung from the rim before Georgios Printezis downed a floater and free throws at 62-59 with under 6 minute left. Dunston and Moerman scored the game's next 6 points in close to make it 68-59. Dunston's three-point play pushed the difference to 73-63 with 1:30 to play, spelling the end of the drama and keeping the victory in Istanbul.

Difference-maker

Shane Larkin might have missed all 3 of his three-point tries and only hit 2 of 3 two-pointes, but his 7 perfect free throws and especially his season-high 8 assists were like gold dust for Efes in a tough, defensive battle.

Historic rivalry

The game marked 38th meeting between Efes and Olympiacos since 2000, matching Olympiacos and KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz for the most prolific rivalry in the EuroLeague this century, and by extension, among the most prolific international rivalries in world basketball. Olympiacos now leads the series 17-21.

Balbay applies the breaks

Briante Weber started his EuroLeague career with 8 points in 6 minutes as a starter for Olympiacos in the absence of injured Vassilis Spanoulis. Efes captain Dogus Balbay took the assignment of stopping Weber and did just that when the latter returned for the last 7 minutes of the second quarter, but did not score again in the game.

Next round

Olympiacos goes home to Piraeus to host second-place CSKA Moscow in Round 23. Efes goes across town in attempts to sweep the league leaders, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, for the season.

Krunoslav Simon - Anadolu Efes Istanbul - EB18
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: JAVOR, DAMIR; PEREZ, MIGUEL ANGEL; LAURINAVICIUS, JURGIS
Attendance: 10010
By Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul18182019
Olympiacos Piraeus22131416
End of Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul18365675
Olympiacos Piraeus22354965
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 LARKIN, SHANE 27:16 11 2/3 0/3 7/7   4 4 8 1 1     3 3 19
1 BEAUBOIS, RODRIGUE 14:13   0/2 0/3         1             -4
3 SAYBIR, YIGITCAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 10:55               1         2   -1
6 BIRSEN, METECAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 MOTUM, BROCK 8:41 5 0/2 1/1 2/2 1   1         1   1 4
18 MOERMAN, ADRIEN 31:19 12 3/7 2/4   2 6 8 1 1 1     4 4 15
21 PLEISS, TIBOR 14:38 8 4/5 0/1     4 4   2 2     1   9
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 27:02 10 4/6 0/5 2/2   1 1 5 2 2   1 3 2 7
23 ANDERSON, JAMES 13:06 5 1/3 1/2   1 2 3 1   1     2 1 4
42 DUNSTON, BRYANT 25:22 11 5/7   1/3   3 3 1 1   1   4 2 11
44 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 27:28 13 2/3 2/3 3/4   2 2   1         4 17
Team           4   4               4
Totals 200:00 75 21/38 6/22 15/18 8 22 30 18 8 7 1 2 19 17 85
        55.3% 27.3% 83.3%
Head coach: ATAMAN, ERGIN
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
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 WEBER, BRIANTE 21:07 8 2/5 1/2 1/1 1 4 5 3 2 3     4 2 9
3 WILLIAMS-GOSS, NIGEL 27:00 7 2/4 0/3 3/4       3 1 5     1 3 2
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 10:47 2   0/3 2/2   1 1             1 1
10 TIMMA, JANIS 5:46                              
11 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 31:57 12 6/8     4 4 8 1   1     4 2 16
13 STRELNIEKS, JANIS 31:11 14 1/4 3/5 3/4   5 5 2 1 1     2 5 18
14 VEZENKOV, SASHA 13:33 4 2/3 0/1   1 3 4   1 1     2   4
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 26:27 7 2/6 0/1 3/4 1 5 6 1   1 1   1 5 12
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 24:09 7 2/2 1/3     3 3 2   1     3   6
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 BOGRIS, GEORGIOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 LEDAY, ZACH 8:03 4 2/4   0/1 1 1 2     1 1 1   1 3
Team           1 1 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 65 19/36 5/18 12/16 9 27 36 12 5 15 2 1 17 19 72
        52.8% 27.8% 75%
Head coach: BLATT, DAVID

Head Coaches

ATAMAN, ERGIN
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"We made perfect, aggressive defense, especially inside. We didn't give easy points to Printezis or Milutinov, except on offensive rebounds. We gave some extra points to Strelnieks in the beginning of the third quarter. On offense, also Olympiacos played great defense against us, but tonight with Larkin doing a great job on offense, we moved the ball well. The second half, we started to attack very well also against mismatches, switching with Moerman inside, and we shared the ball very well. So it's a very important win, and also the 10-point difference is like two wins against Olympiacos. Every game is a final now, the last seven games, for us and for everybody. We'll see what happens now in the other games this week, but some teams are in the playoffs and we have to win more to do the same. At this point, we are thinking only to advance to the playoffs. After if we have a chance, of course we want to take fourth place."
BLATT, DAVID
Olympiacos Piraeus
"No question, we did a pretty good job defensively in what we planned on doing, but we're just not making shots, and that's holding us back from being able to beat very good teams like this one, even in an away game. You know, if you don't score you're not going to win. The ball's just not going in for us, number one. But also there were several turnovers that should have been avoided. Every game has between 10 to 20 turnovers. About 10 of them are going to happen because the other team is playing well against you. Anything between 10 and 20 are careless or self-imposed, like a bad tennis shot, an unforced error. And we had too many of those. We definitely have to pick it up and win some games. No question. We're in a particularly tough period of the schedule. We played Fenerbahce away, a hard Barcelona team at home, Maccabi away in a tough gym, and Efes, one of the top teams in the EuroLeague, away. That's a tough period, realistically. Those are games that you can win or you can lose. We lose to Maccabi in the last second. We gave ourselves a chance to win here, but didn't take good enough care of the ball and turned it over a few times needlessly, missed shots. We have to get back on the winning track. Right now we're down, and that's a reality. We have to face it and get back to our winning ways."

Players

LARKIN, SHANE
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"It was a big game for us. It was very important for us to go out here, protect our home court and try to win by as many points as we could. We got a big victory against a team that's right behind us, and it'll help propel us toward the playoffs. I'm just trying to be aggressive out there, trying to play my game, get more time and more responsibility, so we can be a successful team. I'm just going to keep grinding, keep trying to play my best and try to keep winning games. I feel good about [our chances for fourth place]. Obviously, it's not going to be easy. We've got a lot of tough temas coming here, we've got big games coming up, but if we stay together as a team I think we can do it."
TOUPANE, AXEL
Olympiacos Piraeus
"They made some tough shots and we could not really stop them. We turned over the ball too much, and that's why we lost. We have been bad offensively; we did not had rhythm; we did not shoot well the ball."