Efes blows past Real and into playoffs
Anadolu Efes Istanbul clinched a place in the EuroLeague Playoffs behind a huge second half to run past Real Madrid 83-108 on Tuesday night in the Spanish capital. Efes improved its record to 21-11 and remained in third place in the standings, inching closer to securing a home-court advantage, while Real dropped to 18-14 on the season. The hosts led 42-41 at halftime, but Efes needed just a quarter and a half to score 56 points and open a 25-point lead midway through the fourth quarter en route to a resounding victory. Sertac Sanli finished as Efes's top scorer with 17 points in 18 minutes. Shane Larkin scored all of his 16 points in the final 11 minutes of the game and Krunoslav Simon scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter. Vasilije Micic finished with 13 points and 6 assists, Rodrigue Beaubois had 12 points, Chris Singleton 11 and Bryant Dunston 10. Trey Thompkins scored 19 for Real. Rudy Fernandez scored 13 in 16 minutes, while Usman Garuba had 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Carlos Alocen had 11 and Walter Tavares finished with 10 points in a losing effort.
Simon opened the game on fire, first feeding Sanli inside and then taking over the scoring. Simon had 3 triples and a driving layup, scoring 11 quick points and opening an 11-18 lead midway through the quarter. However, Real settled in defensively with Jeffrey Taylor entering the game, while Alocen had a tough runner before Garuba knocked down a triple. The hosts did not allow a single basket in the last 3:30 of the quarter, while Tavares and Alocen knocked down jumpers to tie it at 20-20 after 10 minutes. The teams started slow on offense in the first 3 minutes of the second quarter before starting to trade blows. Thompkins and Nicola Laprovitola hit from downtown to put Real up 27-24, before Adrien Moerman and Alberto Abalde traded triples. Another three from Thompkins made it 35-31, but Beaubois answered with a corner three before Micic took it to the rim to restore an Efes advantage, 35-36. After Tavares and Tibor Pleiss exchanged close-range baskets, Fernandez and Sanli traded threes in the final minute of the half to make it 42-41 at halftime.
Singleton opened the third quarter with a three-pointer, and after a close-range basket from Tavares, Efes went on a run. Micic, Singleton and Sanli each had a basket-plus-foul that put Efes in front 46-53, while forcing Tavares to the bench with 3 personal fouls. Alocen had a floater and Thompkins knocked down a baseline jumper, but Micic and Simon got to the free-throw line and Sanli knocked down a triple to build a 50-64 cushion midway through the third. Thompkins hit a three-pointer for the hosts before Garuba fought for a layup and Alocen drove the length of the floor. Garuba's triple cut it to 62-67 as Efes was held without a basket for the final 5 minutes of the quarter, but Larkin used technical fouls by Fernandez and Real head coach Pablo Laso to make 6 of 6 from the foul line in the final 11 seconds of the quarter and make it 64-76 going into the fourth. A Larkin triple in the opening minute of the final quarter pushed the lead to 66-81. Fernandez answered with a triple, but Larkin scored more points and Dunston had a fastbreak dunk to take the advantage to 69-89. Larkin and Fernandez traded triples, before a corner three from James Anderson established a 25-point advantage, 72-97. The margin reached 27 points as Efes closed out the game.
Efes made an 8-23 run in the opening 6 minutes of the third quarter, which included consecutive three-point plays from Vasilije Micic, Chris Singleton and Sertac Sanli. Micic and Sanli combined for 18 points during the run that created a 50-64 lead with 3:58 to go in the third quarter.
The most points allowed ever
Efes hit 14 three-pointers on 26 attempts in the game, including 8 of its final 10 attempts, in shooting 7-for-9 in the second half. It helped Efes score 67 second-half points, which is the most points Real has allowed in a single half of a EuroLeague game this century.
Not in 16 years
Efes came just 2 points shy of matching a club single-game scoring record in this game, but these 108 points are the most Efes has scored in a game since scoring 110 against Olympiacos Piraeus in December 2004.
In addition to picking up his third personal foul just 2 minutes into the third quarter, Real center Walter Tavares also suffered what appeared to be a hip injury and limped off the floor early in the third quarter and never went back into the game.
Shaking things up
Vasilije Micic, who came into the game having started 28 of 30 games, came off the bench in this game while Shane Larkin, got his 12th start of the season in Madrid.
Efes will be in action already on Thursday when it visits another playoff contender TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, while Real will host Olympiacos Piraeus on Friday.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021