2018-19PlayoffsGame 1
April 17, 2019 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 SINAN ERDEM DOME.

Micic helps Efes beat Barcelona in opener

Anadolu Efes Istanbul jumped out to a 1-0 lead in its best-of-five playoff series against FC Barcelona Lassa thanks to a 75-68 victory on Wednesday at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul. Vasilije Micic starred with 21 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting plus 7 assists to pace the winners, who host Game 2 on Friday. Efes led from start to finish after racing out to a 9-2 start and grabbing a double-digit lead inside of 5 minutes. Barcelona never threw in the towel and closed the gap to 5 in the finals minutes, but Efes held on for the win. Adrien Moerman and Shane Larkin added 12 points apiece for the winners and Bryant Dunston contributed 11 points and 3 blocks. Ante Tomic paced Barcelona with 14 points and Kevin Pangos and Thomas Heurtel scored 12 each.

Efes scored on its first four possessions – during which Micic delivered 3 assists – to take a 9-2 lead. Micic and Moerman buried back-to-back three-pointers as the hosts claimed a double-digit advantage, 15-4. Barcelona tried to get going with second-chance baskets from Tomic and Jaka Blazic, but James Anderson became the fourth Efes player to sink a three as the hosts continued to roll. Rodrigue Beaubois's pull-up jumper made it 26-15 after 10 minutes. Barcelona scored the first 4 points of the second quarter through offensive rebounds before Pangos's fastbreak layup closed the gap to 5 points. Pangos drained a triple to make it 28-26, which prompted an Efes timeout. Rolands Smits completed the Barcelona comeback with a three that made it 32-32. Efes regained control with back-to-back threes by Tibor Pleiss and Micic. Tomic kept Barcelona close, 40-36, at halftime.

The teams traded shots in the opening minutes of the second half. Dunston was inadvertently struck in the face by Chris Singleton and left the game. Nonetheless, Moerman hit from deep as Efes stretched its lead to 50-44. When Dunston returned, he connected from downtown to put Efes up by 9. The center stamped his memory on the game with a dunk-plus-foul at one end and a block at the other to restore a double-digit advantage. Victor Claver's slam made it 58-49 at the end of the third quarter. Smits opened the fourth with a wicked dunk, but a pair of Larkin triples kept Efes comfortably ahead. Micic converted a three-point play that gave the hosts a 69-57 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Barcelona turned up the pressure and Hanga's three-pointer capped a 0-7 run that brought the visitors within 71-66 with 2 minutes to play. However, Barcelona missed its next 3 shots – including one by Singleton that Dunston blocked at the rim – and Efes sealed the win thanks to a three-point play by Micic.

Key contributor

Vasilije Micic was there early, late and in between for Efes. The guard had 3 assists as Efes jumped out to a 9-2 start before sinking a three-pointer. When Barcelona closed the gap to 5 late, Micic again stepped up, this time with a reverse layup-plus-foul that all but ut the game on ice. For the game, he not only led the winning attack with 21 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting plus 7 assists, but his performance index rating of 30 was a career best. Is there any better time for a career-high PIR than Game 1 of the playoffs?

Game-changing moment

Entering this game, Bryant Dunston had made as many three-pointers in his EuroLeague career as he had won EuroLeague Best Defender awards. That changed in the third quarter when he struck from downtown to put Efes ahead 53-44. Dunston had stumbled off the court early in that quarter after he was inadvertently struck in the face by Chris Singleton. Upon his return, Dunston lifted his teammates not only with the three, but also with a dunk-plus-foul and a block as Efes restored a double-digit advantage.

Second chances

Barcelona struggled early, but got back into the game with strong offensive rebounds. The visitors amassed 16 second-chance points from 9 offensive boards in the first half alone. Efes showed up its rebounding game at halftime and allowed only 6 offensive rebounds and 2 second-chance points the rest of the way.

Playoff pressure affects free throws

The playoff pressure affected some of the league's best free throw shooters in this game. Rodrigue Beaubois had made 26 consecutive free throws in EuroLeague games before this contest and was tied for fourth in the league in free-throw accuracy (94.0%) when he stepped to the line in the third quarter following a technical foul on a Barcelona player. He missed. That came not long after Kevin Pangos missed a free throw after a technical foul on the Efes bench. And in the fourth quarter, Adam Hanga's streak of 18 straight free throws died as he missed twice!

Vasilije Micic - Anadolu Efes Istanbul - EB18
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: PUKL,SASA; LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT; KOROMILAS, ELIAS
Attendance: 14958 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul26141817
FC Barcelona Lassa15211319
End of Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul26405875
FC Barcelona Lassa15364968
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 21:20 12 3/4 2/8         2   1     3   3
1 BEAUBOIS, RODRIGUE 13:23 2 1/1 0/3 0/1 1 1 2 1         1 1 1
3 SAYBIR, YIGITCAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 5:35   0/1       1 1   1       2   -1
15 SANLI, SERTAC DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 MOERMAN, ADRIEN 37:31 12 2/2 2/6 2/2   5 5 2   1     3 3 14
19 TUNCER, BUGRAHAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 PLEISS, TIBOR 12:19 9 3/4 1/1     4 4       1 1 1   11
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 31:08 21 3/4 4/5 3/4 1 2 3 7 1 3     2 6 30
23 ANDERSON, JAMES 16:07 5 1/2 1/3   2 1 3 2   1         6
42 DUNSTON, BRYANT 30:05 11 3/5 1/1 2/3 1 4 5 1     3   3 7 21
44 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 32:32 3 0/3 1/7   1 4 5 2 1 1     2 2 1
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 75 16/26 12/34 7/10 8 24 32 17 3 7 4 1 17 19 90
        61.5% 35.3% 70%
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
FC Barcelona Lassa
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 PANGOS, KEVIN 21:12 12 3/5 2/4 0/1       1 1       2 2 9
5 RIBAS, PAU DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 SINGLETON, CHRIS 27:15 5 0/4 1/4 2/2 2 3 5 1 2     1 4 4 5
8 HANGA, ADAM 25:22 7 2/6 1/4 0/2 1 10 11 3 1     1 1 4 15
9 BLAZIC, JAKA 15:46 4 2/3 0/1   1 1 2         1     3
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 12:45 9 2/3 1/2 2/2 1 1 2     1 1   3 1 7
13 HEURTEL, THOMAS 24:17 12 4/8 0/2 4/4 1   1 5   1   1 2 3 11
14 PUSTOVYI, ARTEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 18:50   0/2 0/2   1 3 4 1         3 1 -1
24 KURIC, KYLE 11:09   0/2 0/2         2             -2
30 CLAVER, VICTOR 22:14 5 1/2 1/2   2 1 3 2 1 1     2 1 7
44 TOMIC, ANTE 21:10 14 7/9     1 3 4   1 3     3 1 12
Team           5 1 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 68 21/44 6/23 8/11 15 23 38 15 6 7 1 4 20 17 71
        47.7% 26.1% 72.7%
Head coach: PESIC, SVETISLAV

Head Coaches

ATAMAN, ERGIN
Anadolu Efes Istanbul

"I am proud of my players, congrats to them. We played a really aggressive game, we played a perfect game. Similar to what we played during the whole season, aggressive on defense, we moved the ball in offense. We missed some easy shots, we got tired, something was very strange, I don't want to talk about it, but something was also very strange. But it is 1-0; we have to continue to play this basketball in the second game. I am very satisfied with the defense in the first quarter. We were more soft in the second quarter and we lost our tempo. But the entire second half we played good defense We played open shot, easy shots, but it is a clear win and I hope we will continue to play the same basketball."

"We started the game very well with our plan; with good strategy, aggressive defense, in every minute in the first quarter we were successful to improve the tempo. We dominated the first quarter. In the second quarter, after we changed players, I think that we were Larkin, Beaubois, Pleiss – all offensive players, but we had a problem in defense. Especially we had a problem in two-on-two defense against Pangos and we gave them a lot of points – 10 points to Pangos – in the second quarter. And our tempo started to go off. We had some problems attacking the zone. And they came back in the game. We started the third quarter with the same strategy as the beginning of the game and again we started to play good defense, we moved the ball well and we controlled the game. Larkin especially gave us a lot of contributions offensively. He played one more excellent game with two guards, with Micic. We missed too many open shots with Simon, Moerman, Anderson, Beaubois. So it was incredible in our system, all good shots. We had a lot of possessions that we could have broken the game, to go over 13-14-15 points, but we weren't successful. Barcelone didn't give up, but we finally won the game. Just 1-0. It's very important. The second game is Friday night."

PESIC, SVETISLAV
FC Barcelona Lassa
"We didn't have that good of a start. Again, like in the last game, we more or less reacted on offense. We didn't make good decisions. We were a little bit afraid to be decisive. On defense especially, we didn't have good rhythm. Efes likes to move the ball and attack. To make an extra pass and play pick-and-roll. I the second quarter, we started to play and I think we lost a lot of energy, not only physical but mental. I think we had to find our rhythm. But again the third quarter was not the level that we needed to win the game tonight here. I think that, at the end of the day, we should congratulate Efes. They deserve this victory. And now the playoff starts. This is only one game."

Players

MICIC, VASILIJE
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"I am happy that we won this game. The first game is always the hardest one because we all have a 50-50 chance. I am very happy that our crowd was with us today and they pushed us very much. We have to clear our heads and prepare for the next one. I think we put good pressure on them, they did not play so well offensively, they did not score easy. It should help us to get more confidence. We missed a lot of shots that were all open."
MOERMAN, ADRIEN
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
"I think they took too many offensive rebounds in the first half, and I think we controlled that in the second half. We shared the ball. They are the best defensive team, but if we move the ball like this we can beat them. It was just the first game and we have to now focus on the second game on Friday."
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