Moerman leads Efes to first win
Reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul grabbed its first win of the season by edging UNICS Kazan 71-68 at home on Thursday to snap a four-game losing streak. Both teams now have 1-4 records in the standings. Rodrigue Beaubois and Elijah Bryant led the winners with 14 points apiece, Tibor Pleiss added 12 and Adrien Moerman had 10 - all in the fourth quarter - and 9 rebounds for Efes. Lorenzo Brown and Isaiah Canaan paced UNICS with 16 points apiece and Mario Hezonja added 13 for the visitors. Lorenzo Brown took over in the first quarter and got help from John Brown and Tonye Jekiri to give UNICS an 18-22 lead after 10 minutes. Shane Larkin rescued Efes but Hezonja led a 0-11 run that allowed the visitors to keep a 32-37 edge at halftime. Beaubois struck from downtown to put Efes in charge, 44-3, but Hezonja and Canaan helped UNICS to a 47-51 margin after 30 minutes. Bryant, Beaubois and Moerman each hit a triple to put Efes ahead, 62-58, with 4 minutes left and Efes never looked back.
Jarrell Brantley got UNICS going with a layup and Lorenzo Brown added a jumper, but Beaubois and Tibor Pleiss gave Efes its first lead, 4-6. Lorenzo Brown struck from downtown and Jekiri followed a jump hook with a floater for an 8-11 UNICS edge. Pleiss kept pushing Efes with a layup and a jump hook. Bryant and Erten Gazi each found their first points, but Lorenzo Brown and John Brown kept UNICS fully in charge, 16-22. Chris Singleton beat the first-quarter buzzer with a put-back layup that brought the hosts within 18-22 after 10 minutes.
Larkin stepped up for Efes early in the second quarter to singlehandedly put his team ahead, 23-22. Bryant Dunston added a tip-in to cap a 9-0 run. Hezonja and Canaan each buried a deep three-pointer to give UNICS fresh air at 25-29. Hezonja fed Jekiri for a dunk and added a turnaround jumper that capped a 0-11 UNICS lead. Filip Petrusev took over with an alley-oop slam and Larkin added a three-point play, but Hezonja and Lorenzo Brown restored a 30-37 lead. Pleiss hit a mid-range jumper to fix the halftime score at 32-37.
Dunston and Bryant brought Efes within 36-37 right after the break. UNICS was held scoreless for more than 3 minutes and Beaubois's driving layup put Efes ahead, 38-37. Lorenzo Brown struck from beyond the arc off a UNICS timeout and soon added an off-balance basket for a 38-42 score. Bryant and Beaubois each buried a three-pointer to put Efes ahead 44-43. Hezonja hit a close jumper and Canaan bettered that with back-to-back triples that gave the visitors a 44-51 lead. Gazi struck from downtown to get Efes closer, 47-51, after 30 minutes.
Canaan nailed a stop-and-pop jumper early in the fourth quarter. Moerman took over with a put-back slam, igniting a 9-0 run in which Bryant hit another triple and Beaubois added an acrobatic layup for a 56-53 Efes lead. Marco Spissu and Beaubois each struck from beyond the arc and Jekiri hit a close jumper for a 59-58 score with over 4 minutes left. Moerman joined the three-point shootout and Bryant scored in penetration to ignite the crowd at 64-58. Canaan rescued UNICS with a backdoor layup that an unstoppable Moerman bettered with a triple that sealed the outcome, 67-60, in the next-to-last minute.
Bryant returns, Mayo debuts
Elijah Bryant signed a two-year deal with Anadolu Efes Istanbul earlier this week and returned to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague against UNICS Kazan. He came off the bench, but ended up playing over 32 minutes, proving he will have a significant role in the reigning champion's rotation. Bryant had 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 8. Above all, Bryant led Efes to its first win, scoring 5 of his 14 points in the final 3 minutes to make sure his team snapped a dangerous four-game losing streak. O.J. Mayo played his first-ever EuroLeague game with UNICS and was held scoreless in 10 minutes.
Moerman steps up when needed most
Adrien Moerman had been scoreless for three quarters in Anadolu Efes Istanbul's game against UNICS Kazan, but stepped up big in the fourth quarter to make the difference. UNICS led 57-63 when Moerman took over with a huge one-handed put-back slam. It ignited a 9-0 run that completed his team's comeback, 56-53. With the game on the line, Moerman buried a three-pointer that gave Efes plenty of fresh air at 62-58 and another one that sealed his team's win, 67-60, with less than 2 minutes remaining. He finished the game with 10 points, 9 rebounds and a team-high PIR of 21.
Rebounds, steals give Efes the win
Anadolu Efes Istanbul improves its overall aggressiveness in its game against UNICS Kazan and that led to its first victory of the season. Efes averaged 5.3 steals in its four-game losing streak, but collected 10 against UNICS. In the opening four rounds, Efes ranked 17th in offensive rebounds (7.0 orpg.), only trailing LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (6.8 orpg.). That all changed against UNICS, as Efes pulled down 11 offensive boards against the Russian powerhouse. Efes also did a great job protecting its paint as UNICS only made 15 of 35 two-point shots (42.9%).
Thursday, October 21, 2021