2020-21Regular SeasonRound 29
March 12, 2021 CET: 18:30
Local time: 20:30 SINAN ERDEM SPORTS HALL.

Efes cruises past Zalgiris for seven straight

Anadolu Efes Istanbul continued its fabulous form by brushing aside Zalgiris Kaunas 89-62 in Istanbul on Friday. Efes, which has now won seven straight, made a blistering start to take a double-digit lead inside the first quarter. That advantage exceeded 20 early in the second and Zalgiris never got close. Shane Larkin led the way with 18 points, while backcourt teammates Vasilije Micic (17) and Rodrigue Beaubois (12) also shone. Sertac Sanli scored 12 and Krunoslav Simon added 11. Thomas Walkup paced Zalgiris with 15 points and 8 assists, Marius Grigonis netted 14 and Augustine Rubit paired 13 points with 8 rebounds. Efes improves to 18-10 while Zalgiris remains outside the playoffs places at 15-14.

Joffrey Lauvergne struck first but 5 points from Beaubois sent Efes in front and a mid-range strike from Micic made it 7-4. Sanli hit inside and then outside, before Micic’s three-pointer followed by Adrien Moerman under the basket stretched the lead to 17-8. Lauvergne rescued Zalgiris with a pair of long twos, but another Micic triple and Sanli’s dunk helped make it 26-12 at the end of the first. Larkin and Chris Singleton opened the second quarter with three-pointers for a 20-point lead, and 4 points from Larkin completed a 17-0 run which was finally ended by Walkup’s driving layup. Rubit added 4 fast points to give Zalgiris hope at 36-18, but Micic and Singleton took the lead back above 20. Grigonis and Simon traded triples, before Walkup and Paulius Jankunas pulled the visitors a little closer. But Larkin had the last word of the first half from deep, and it was 49-28 at the break.

Nigel Hayes banked in the opening basket of the second half and Grigonis added a three-pointer, but Simon reignited Efes from the corner and Moerman added a fastbreak layup. Sanli scored twice inside before Larkin and Grigonis both struck twice from beyond the arc for a 64-43 Efes lead. Beaubois scored 4 fast points and Micic added a three-point play to make it 73-45, before Walkup and Beaubois hit from deep and it was 76-48 with ten minutes remaining. James Anderson opened the final frame with a pair of deep hits, but 5 points from Rubit stopped the lead from growing further. The pace of scoring slowed at both ends in the final few minutes, with the outcome already way beyond any doubt.

Early Efes excellence sets the tone

Efes made an early statement of intent by converting its first seven field goal attempts – 4-of-4 from two-point range and 3-of-3 from outside – and didn’t miss a shot until nearly six minutes had been played. Soon after that Krunoslav Simon netted his first basket to ensure that every Efes started had scored inside the opening seven minutes. Efes finished with great shooting percentages of 69.6% from two-point range and 44.1% from deep.

Hosts flex defensive muscles

The home team didn’t only produce offensive brilliance: Efes was also outstanding on defense, holding Zalgiris to zero points for more than six minutes to bridge the first and second quarters. That phase of play effectively decided the outcome as Efes increased its lead from 19-12 to 36-12, and there was no way back for the visitors.

Early shooting problems hinder Zalgiris

Zalgiris didn’t help its cause by missing its first 6 three-pointers, before Marius Grigonis finally hit one 3 minutes before the break. The visitors gradually improved its scoring but the game had already become a mismatch.

Next round

Efes has a tough trip to fellow top four hopefuls FC Bayern Munich next Friday, while Zalgiris has another journey to Istanbul to face Fenerbahce on Thursday.

Shane Larkin - Anadolu Efes Istanbul - EB20
Friday, March 12, 2021
Euroleague.net
Referees: BOLTAUZER, MATEJ; BELOSEVIC, ILIJA; GKONTAS, SPIROS
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul26232713
Zalgiris Kaunas12162014
End of Quarter1234
Anadolu Efes Istanbul26497689
Zalgiris Kaunas12284862
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 27:36 18 1/1 4/9 4/4   1 1 3 4 2     1 5 23
1 BEAUBOIS, RODRIGUE 21:22 12 3/3 2/4     2 2 2 1 2     1 2 14
2 SINGLETON, CHRIS 20:54 8 2/3 1/5 1/2 1 3 4           1 2 7
4 BALBAY, DOGUS 5:42         1   1   1       1   1
13 MUSA, DZANAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 SANLI, SERTAC 22:16 12 4/5 1/3 1/2 1 2 3 1   1 1     1 13
18 MOERMAN, ADRIEN 19:06 4 2/2 0/1     3 3 4   1     3   6
21 PLEISS, TIBOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 30:20 17 3/4 2/5 5/5 1 3 4 4 2 3     2 7 25
23 ANDERSON, JAMES 11:03 7 0/1 2/3 1/2 1 2 3 2   1     2 2 8
42 DUNSTON, BRYANT 17:44   0/3     1 4 5 3 1       2 2 6
44 SIMON, KRUNOSLAV 23:57 11 1/1 3/4     5 5 4   1     2 1 17
Team                                
Totals 200:00 89 16/23 15/34 12/15 6 25 31 23 9 11 1 0 15 22 120
        69.6% 44.1% 80%
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
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 31:56 15 5/7 1/5 2/2   1 1 8   2     3 1 14
1 BLAZEVIC, MAREK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 11:06   0/1               3     1 1 -4
10 HAYES, NIGEL 25:34 2 1/3 0/2     2 2 3 2 3     3 1  
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 20:04 3 0/3 1/2   3 5 8     1     4 2 4
16 LUKOSIUNAS, KAROLIS 5:21     0/2                       -2
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS 12:25 2 1/1       3 3 1   1     3 1 3
24 RUBIT, AUGUSTINE 23:49 13 5/11 0/1 3/3 2 6 8 1 1 1   1 1 4 17
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 25:24 7 2/3 1/3   1   1 2   1     2   4
32 VASTURIA, STEVE 6:07   0/2 0/1             1     1   -5
40 GRIGONIS, MARIUS 28:20 14 1/2 4/6   1 1 2 1   2     3 5 14
77 LAUVERGNE, JOFFREY 9:54 6 3/5       1 1           1   4
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 62 18/38 7/22 5/5 9 21 30 16 3 16 0 1 22 15 52
        47.4% 31.8% 100%
Head coach: SCHILLER, MARTIN

Head Coaches

ATAMAN, ERGIN
Anadolu Efes Istanbul

“Congratulations to my players. Another victory with great hustle, great basketball, great defense. Although we missed a lot of open three-point shots, and we could maybe have made a new record. We made 15 three-point shots but we missed a lot of open shots. But perfect defense, perfect teamwork, so good win. We take the victory and the head to head advantage. It’s good, and we continue our run.”

“On defense we were very aggressive and on offense we shared the ball well, everybody touched the ball. We will continue on this road because we want to go higher in the standings.”

SCHILLER, MARTIN
Zalgiris Kaunas
“First of all, congratulations to Efes. A well-deserved win for them. The story of the game for me started on the defensive end. We could never really get a grip on them. In the first five minutes I thought we got some good looks which we couldn’t convert, and it helps morale if you make some shots. But the bottom line is defensively we are not satisfied. We did things better in the second half, especially in pick and roll coverages, but we had big problems in the first half and we could never really make it a game which is not satisfying.”

Players

LARKIN, SHANE
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
“We feel good. Obviously we’ve been playing well lately, winning our last few games in a good way, so we feel like we have momentum right now and are playing at our best level of the season. This is the most important time to play well. A lot of people were questioning us early in the year but I think we’re going out every single night now and proving who we are. We have a lot of guys who can create offensively so it’s tough to guard us. We have a lot of guys coming off the bench, even our bigs can create for us. So we’re a very special team offensively and defensively, right now we’re at a high level and we’ve got to continue to do that, hopefully we’ll make it to the playoffs and continue that momentum.”
MICIC, VASILIJE
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
“Another good game for us. I didn’t know we won with such a big difference, but the most important thing is that every player who stepped on the court had a contribution. That’s very important to keep our aggressiveness and concentration at a high level. We’ve got to forget this game now and think about the tough schedule next week. In the second half we started a bit soft and slow but then we started to be aggressive offensively with penetrations, which gave us extra spacing. We have a really talented team, we showed that today. If one guy didn’t have a good contribution, the second guy stepped up and then we have a third and fourth option which is really good for us and I hope we’re going to continue.”